PhD Application and Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements
Applicants are examined using the following information in the admissions decisions:  GRE scores, GPA, quality of the program from which the applicant graduated, three 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 graduate GPA of 3.0;
• combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of 300;
• previous graduate course work in statistics, methods, and theory (with a grade of B or better in each)*;
• completed thesis (or original independent work of research from another accredited graduate program); and
• international students should also have 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 or use equivalent graduate courses regarding these prerequisites.  Students who have completed similar courses in these areas may be asked to provide both the course syllabus and completed course work to determine equivalency. Students should contact Dr. Jonetta Weber at to discuss any questions regarding these prerequisites.

In exceptional cases, students not qualified for regular admission may be conditionally admitted by action of the Doctoral Admissions 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 Deadline
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 Materials
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;
• three 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;
GRE scores (GRE scores should be no older than five years unless a graduate degree has been earned within the past five years);  NOTE:  GRE scores are waived for applicants seeking admission in the Fall, 2020 semester.
• a curriculum vitae; and
• for international students, TOEFL or IELTS scores and a financial statement.  (International students should review University information regarding application deadlines, financial statements, health insurance, etc.)

Applicants must also submit to Dr. Jonetta Weber(
• writing sample (either the student's thesis or another work of original independent research).

• a personal statement (~500-750 words) addressing the items below and of sufficient length to give the Doctoral Admissions Committee a basis for evaluating the student's interest in and ability to complete the program:

• Please explain your reasons for applying to the doctoral program in sociology at UofL.  
• Discuss your professional or occupational objectives and how you envision the department’s program fitting into those objectives.
• Discuss the areas of sociology you find especially interesting for study and/or research, and with which sociology faculty might you be interested in working.


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 or decline admission, or if they wish to defer their admission (up to one year).


Once a student has been admitted to the program, he/she should contact , Director of Academic Services, to schedule an appointment for advising.