What can I do with the MaSS degree?

With the MaSS degree, you will be a strong candidate for competitive Ph.D. programs in the Social Sciences and for graduate degrees in professional schools at top-tier universities. You also will be prepared for professional research careers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

We provide substantial advising and support to prepare you for the next step after the degree, whether you are applying to PhD programs or seeking professional employment.

If you plan to pursue employment upon completing the MaSS Program, our staff will work closely with you to identify career opportunities.

When does the MaSS Program begin?

The Fall 2018 Quarter begins on Monday, September 24th, 2018.

Classes begin on Thursday, September 27th, 2018.

What are the application deadlines?

Currently accepting applications for Fall 2019

What do I need to do to apply?

Applications to the MaSS program are made through UCLA Graduate Division. Click here to apply. For more information, see UCLA’s minimum requirements for all graduate program applicants.

What application materials are required

Statement of Purpose

Your statement of purpose should tell us why you are interested in pursuing the Master of Social Science degree, your main areas of research interest, and what you plan to do after the degree. You may wish to discuss prior academic training and any relevant work experience. The statement of purpose should not exceed three double-spaced pages (approximately 750 words).

Personal History Statement

The Personal History Statement is intended as a supplement to your Statement of Purpose. This is the place for you to describe relevant aspects of your background, accomplishments, and life experiences that you would like us to know about in considering your application. Please Include any educational, personal, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges or opportunities relevant to your academic goals. In addition, please describe any aspects of your personal background, accomplishments, or achievements that will allow us to evaluate your contributions to the University’s diversity mission (Max: 8,000 characters).


GRE General

TOEFL (min. score 100)

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required. At least one letter, but ideally both, must come from an academic instructor. Please note that letters from graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) are welcome as long as they are co-signed by the course instructor. Applicants have the option to submit a third letter from an academic or non-academic referee.


Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions in which the applicant has been enrolled.

Writing Sample

Applicants must submit a writing sample. Examples of writing samples include course papers or professional reports.

Do I need to take the GRE or TOEFL?

All applicants are required to submit GRE or TOEFL (or IELTS) scores. Please note that GRE scores are valid for a period of five years.

Applicants who received a bachelor’s or higher degree from a university located in the United States or in another country in which English is both the primary spoken language and the medium of instruction are exempted from the TOEFL (or IELTS) requirement. All other applicants must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score to be considered for admission.

What is the minimum GRE score required?

There is no minimum GRE score requirement to apply to the MaSS program. We review all applications holistically to determine a prospective student’s fit with and potential to benefit from our program.

Why is there a minimum TOEFL/IELTS score requirement?

We require a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL or 7.5 on the IELTS. The demanding MaSS curriculum does not allow sufficient time for students to enroll in additional ESL courses while completing the degree.

Is there a minimum GPA to qualify for admission?

Yes. Applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher to qualify for admission.

Where should I send my academic records?

All academic records should be mailed to:

Cristy Portlock
University of California, Los Angeles
2500B Public Affairs Bldg.
Box 957174
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7174

Please send your official/signed/sealed bachelor’s degree academic transcript. If your are still completing your bachelor’s degree, we still need to receive your in-progress transcript.

*Note that no academic records are required for masters or other degrees higher than your bachelor’s degree.

International students:
You must send your transcripts in the native language of your home institution as well as a version translated into English.

In addition, you may** be required to send:
Degree Certificate in English AND native language of the home institution
Diploma (if you have graduated) in English AND native language of the home institution

**Please consult this guide to determine additional materials (degree certificate, diploma, etc.) that you may need to submit. Note that additional required documents vary by country.

Letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation should come from academic references. However, if you have significant professional or other non-academic experience relevant to your application, one of the two letters may be submitted from a non-academic recommender.

Do I need to submit a writing sample?

A writing sample is required for admission consideration. Examples of writing samples include course papers or a professional report.

Can I apply if I didn’t major in a social science discipline as an undergraduate?


How much does the MaSS program cost?

Estimated total charges for the 2018-19 academic year, including student fees, health insurance and tuition, are $48,000. Please note that MaSS is a self-supporting degree program and has a different fee structure than state-supported programs at UCLA. Click here for more information about self-supporting degree program fees.

The MaSS Program is pleased to offer merit scholarships, and we encourage all strong applicants to apply. Please contact us for further information about financial aid opportunities.

Do you offer scholarships to admitted students?

Yes! The MaSS Program offers merit scholarships. Please contact us for further information about financial aid opportunities.

Can I apply for fellowships/scholarships/financial aid?

Students in self-supporting programs such as MaSS are limited in their eligibility for certain types of fellowships and financial aid. In general, students are not able to receive any of the following:

1.    Graduate Division or University Foundation funding
2.    GSR or TA positions
3.    State-funded fellowships/scholarships

You CAN apply for:

1.    Extramural funding that will be awarded directly to you
2.    Federal subsidized and un-subsidized loans (if you are eligible)

You can find a list of extramural funding opportunities here.

Can I apply my VA benefits to the MaSS program?

MaSS tuition/fees are eligible for tuition coverage under the Post 9/11 GI Bill or the Voc Rehab program up to the amount of your eligibility percentage found on your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA. The 2018 – 2019 tuition for the MaSS program is $48,000. Apply for your VA GI Bill or stipend benefits by going online to To apply for Voc Rehab benefits please make an appointment with a local Vocational Rehab Counselor.

Once your application is approved, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) which will list the benefit(s) you are eligible for.

To then have your benefits processed, you can email your Certificate of Eligibility to our Veterans Benefits Coordinator at

For more information about Veteran Services at UCLA visit

Can I enroll part-time? Can I begin in Winter or Spring?

Because the MaSS curriculum is based on a coordinated course sequence, you must enroll as a full-time student beginning in Fall.

Can I work part or full time while I am in the program?

MaSS is a highly intensive, one-year program. MaSS students are enrolled full-time, and must earn a grade of B or better in all core courses, and a 3.0 GPA overall. MaSS students must spend significant time on campus attending classes, workshops, mentoring meetings, and other activities. Given these obligations, the MaSS program affords students limited flexibility for outside employment. Applicants should take these demands into account before committing to attend the program.

How many students are in the program?

We are a small, highly-selective program. We expect to enroll approximately twenty-five students each year.

How long does it take to earn the MaSS degree?

Our intensive program is three-quarters long, running from September to June each academic year.

What courses will I be required to take?

The MaSS curriculum includes eight core courses especially designed for and exclusively taught in the program. MaSS students are also required to enroll into one elective graduate course offered by departments in the Division of Social Sciences.

The MaSS core courses are:

  • SOC SC 400A: Social Science Research and Perspectives (4 units)
  • SOC SC 401: Qualitative Social Science Research Methods (4 units)
  • SOC SC 402: Quantitative Data Analysis in Social Sciences (4 units)
  • SOC SC 403: Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis in Social Sciences (4 units)
  • SOC SC 404: Research Design in Social Sciences (4 units)
  • SOC SC 410: Engaged Social Science (4 units)
  • SOC SC 419: Data Analysis (4 units)
  • SOC SC 420: Research Analysis and Writing (4 units)

Can I take elective courses?

Yes! You can take one elective course selected from the graduate course offerings in the Social Sciences. For additional elective courses, contact the MaSS program Academic Director.

What is the Major Research Paper (MRP)?

All MaSS students complete a Major Research Paper (MRP). To complete this project, students use their methodological and analytical training to conduct a secondary analysis of existing quantitative and/or qualitative data. The MRP is developed over three quarters under the guidance and mentorship of MaSS faculty.

Is housing available?

Yes. Students can either apply for UCLA-owned housing or choose from UCLA community housing to find off-campus apartments.

UCLA-OWNED HOUSING: The assignment of university graduate housing is lottery-based. Before applying for UCLA graduate housing, you must 1.) Be admitted to the program, 2.) Accept the offer (SIR), and 3.) Create a MyUCLA account.

After you have created a MyUCLA account, follow these steps to apply for UCLA Housing:

1) Go to the UCLA Housing page
2) Click on the “My Housing” icon
3) Click on “Access Housing Application & Offers” where you apply for housing and manage your housing preferences and offer
4) After logging in, you will land on the application page. Go to the top of the page, then click on the “Application” tab

To learn more about UCLA graduate housing click here.

UCLA COMMUNITY HOUSING: The Community Housing Office (CHO) provides non-university owned rental listings and rental resources to the entire UCLA community. Full-time UCLA students may search listings for free (you must have a MyUCLA account). The office also maintains additional resources to assist those searching for housing in the Los Angeles area. Click here to access listings.

What can I do to prepare for the MaSS program?

Recommended preparation includes introductory statistics and other social science research methods courses. However, prior coursework in these areas is not required to apply.