Application and admission requirements

Admissions Guidelines
Applicants are examined using the following information in the admissions decisions:  GRE scores, GPA, quality of the program from which the applicant graduated, two academic letters of recommendation, responses to a questionnaire, and an interview with the candidate.

The Department of Sociology is committed to fostering diversity by considering factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, and social class in its graduate and undergraduate programs; as such, background factors and circumstances will be considered when reviewing applications.

While the Graduate Admissions Committee does not base admission solely on meeting - or failure to meet - certain criteria, as a guideline, chances of admission are improved with the following:
• minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0;
• minimum combined verbal/quantitative GRE score of 1000 (if tested prior to August, 2011) or 300 (if tested since August, 2011);
• at least a solid B (grade) in previous course work in statistics, methods, and theory*; and
• international students should also have a quantitative GRE subscore of at least 450 and either (a) a TOEFL score of at least 550 (on the paper-based test), 213 (on computer-based test) or 79-80 (on the internet-based test), or (b) a IELTS score of at least 6.5.

*Students may be allowed to make up deficiencies regarding these undergraduate prerequisites; however, credit for such courses cannot be applied toward graduate degree requirements.

In exceptional cases, students not qualified for regular admission may be conditionally admitted by action of the Graduate Committee.

Non-Degree Status
Students seeking non-degree status must submit all application materials listed below, and their file will be evaluated using the same criteria established for degree-seeking applicants.


Application Deadlines
The application deadline for students not seeking funding is June 1 for fall admission and November 1 for spring admission. (Late applications may be considered on an individual basis.) The Department of Sociology does not admit students during the summer session.

The application deadline for students seeking funding (in the form of a graduate assistantship)is January 5 of the preceding year for fall admission and October 1 for spring admission.   NOTE: The materials must also be accompanied by a letter of interest (a) indicating that they wish to be considered for an assistantship, and (b) elaborating why they feel they would be a good candidate for an assistantship).


Application Requirements
All applicants must submit to the Graduate Admissions Office:
• a formal graduate application;
• official copies of transcripts from all colleges attended (students with a foreign transcript must submit an evaluation of the transcript from World Education Services ( or Educational Credentials Evaluators (;
• two references (preferably from former instructors, and in sociology, if possible) in the form of a discursive letter of recommendation and completion of the Letter of Evaluation form;
• a curriculum vitae;
• GRE scores  (GRE scores should be no older than five years unless a graduate degree has been earned within the last five years); and
• for international students, TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Applicants must also submit to Dr. Jonetta Weber in the Department of Sociology (   
• responses to the Sociology Graduate Admissions Questionnaire (below).  Responses should be of sufficient length to give the Graduate Admissions Committee a basis for evaluating the student’s interest in and ability to complete the program, and provide a sample of the student’s writing. Responses can be submitted in four separate essays or combined in one longer essay.

(1) Please explain your reasons for applying to the Graduate Program in Sociology. What are your professional or occupational objectives (including any study beyond the M.A.)? How does this department’s program fit into those objectives?

(2) What areas of sociology do you find especially interesting for study and/or research?

(3) What positions of responsibility, if any, have you had, and what, specifically, do you believe you have gained from such experience? (Those positions include not only employment, but offices held in organizations, volunteer work, etc.)

(4) Please summarize what you believe to be your most important accomplishments to date, including those in the academic or occupational areas.

NOTE: Students may also be asked to visit the department for an interview during which they would meet the Director of Graduate Studies and/or members of the Department's Graduate Admissions Committee.


Acceptance into the Program
The Department of Sociology will formally notify students of their recommendation regarding acceptance into the program, specifically whether the student was accepted unconditionally, accepted with special conditions, or not accepted.  Students whose applications were rejected may re-apply for admission at a later time if there has been a significant change in their application materials (e.g., improved GRE scores); if so, the applicant must resubmit a completely new application file (i.e., all application materials)for re-examination.

If accepted, students are asked to notify the Department of their plans, specifically if they plan to attend, if they wish to defer their admission (up to one year), or if they do not plan to begin the program at all.


Once a student has been admitted to the program, he/she should contact Dr. Gul Marshall, Director of Graduate Studies, at (502) 852-8027 or to schedule an appointment for advising.