Prospective Students

Frequently Asked Questions

What materials do I need to submit to apply?

For domestic students, the application must include a) official transcripts, b) a personal statement 2-4 pages in length that describes why you believe our program would be a good fit for you given your interests, which faculty members (if any) you may be interested in working with and why, and your eventual career plans, and, c) three letters of recommendation from individuals (preferably professors of sociology) who can speak to your ability to succeed in a sociology graduate program. A writing sample is not required, but we strongly encourage all applicants to include one. 

International students must submit all of these materials as well along with evidence of English proficiency. In some cases the English language requirement can be waived. Please note that we no longer require GRE scores.  For more information, visit the Admissions page.

Do you offer funding for graduate students?

The department typically awards stipends on a competitive basis to six new students annually.  The current (academic year 2023-24) is $18,540 for the nine-month academic year, which also covers tuition and health benefits.  For our strongest applicants, we may also offer a Chair’s Fellowship which adds $2,000 to the base stipend and the Graduate Dean's Award, which supports academically excellent applicants from diverse backgrounds.  The Graduate Dean’s Award adds $2,5000 to the base stipend.

 Stipends are guaranteed for five years contingent on making good progress through the program.  When you apply for the program, you are automatically considered for a stipend, the Chair’s Fellowship, and the Graduate Dean’s Award. 

What if I have a B.A. or M.A. in an area other than sociology? Should I still apply?

Students with degrees in fields other than sociology are occasionally accepted. For these students, priority is given to applicants who have completed and done well in classes in social research methods and statistics (in sociology or a related field), and classes covering sociological theory. Students without courses in these three basic areas (methods, statistics, theory), may be accepted into the program conditional on successful completion of these courses at the undergraduate level either at their current institution or upon starting our graduate. program. Other requirements may be imposed at the discretion of the Graduate Education Committee (GEC).

I have already completed (or partially completed) a master's degree in sociology at another university. What is your policy on transfer of credit and how do I go about that?

Consult the university policy on the transfer of graduate credit. In short, students who are accepted into our program can transfer an M.A. thesis and up to 12 semester credit hours toward the Ph.D. degree (consult with the Graduate Coordinator). Please note these and other conditions that must be satisfied in order to transfer graduate credit. If you are accepted into our graduate program and wish to transfer graduate credit for a degree that you have not yet completed, please complete the Transfer of Graduate Credit form and submit it along with electronic copies of your M.A. thesis and/or relevant course syllabi to our Graduate Coordinator. Students not eligible for transfer credit can request waivers for required courses in our program that have already been taken elsewhere and are comparable in breadth and depth.

Can I be admitted in the spring semester?

No, due to course sequencing, the department no longer admits students for the spring semester.

Does your program provide graduate students with training to be college-level teachers and opportunities to teach classes?

Yes, all of our Ph.D. students will be given the opportunity to teach their own class after they complete our course on College Teaching.

What kinds of jobs are your graduate students prepared for when they graduate?

We prepare our students for tenure-track jobs at research universities and teaching colleges as well as jobs in social research in both the private and public/government sectors. The university/college positions usually require a Ph.D. For many jobs in the private and public/government sectors, an M.A. degree may suffice.