Master of Arts in Sociology

Major: SOCI
Degree Awarded: MA
Unit: GA
Program Webpage:

Program Information

The Department of Sociology, in the College of Arts and Sciences, offers graduate training leading to the master of arts in sociology and seeks to provide graduate education at the highest standards, introducing students to the current state of sociological knowledge and methods through quality classroom instruction, faculty-student collaboration, and independent student research and practical learning opportunities. The program is designed to prepare students for both the pursuit of a Ph.D. in sociology or moving directly into the workforce for careers in government, nonprofits, and the private sector.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants are examined holistically using the following information in the admissions decisions: GRE scores, GPA, quality of the undergraduate program from which the applicant graduated, two academic letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and possibly 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 not meeting - certain criteria, as a guideline, chances of admission are improved with the following:

  • undergraduate GPA of 3.2;
  • recommended combined verbal/quantitative GRE score of 1000 (if tested prior to August, 2011) or 300 (if tested since August, 2011);
  • previous undergraduate course work in statistics, methods, and theory*; and
  • international students should also have a quantitative GRE subscore of at least 500 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 or use equivalent undergraduate courses for 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 to discuss any questions regarding these prerequisites.

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

We encourage anyone interested in our graduate program to apply, regardless of GRE scores or grade point averages from undergraduate work or previous graduate work. When making our admission decisions, we holistically consider GRE scores and GPAs alongside personal statements and letters of recommendation (and other materials), knowing that low GRE/GPA numbers can be offset by other personal strengths. We do, however, prefer individuals with undergraduate GPAs of 3.2 or above, and (if applicable) graduate degree GPAs of 3.5 or above. We encourage anyone who is considering applying to our graduate program to visit our department and meet with our faculty members and current graduate students.

Program Admission Procedure

All applicants must submit to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Graduate Admissions:
• a 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
• GRE scores (GRE scores should be no older than five years unless a graduate degree has been earned within the last five years)
• a curriculum vitae, and
• for international students, TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Applicants must also submit to Dr. Jonetta Weber ( a personal statement (~500-750 words) addressing the questions below and giving the Sociology Departments' 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 master's program in sociology at UofL.
• What are your professional or occupational objectives, and how do you envision the department’s program fitting into those objectives?
• What areas of sociology do you find especially interesting for study and/or research, and with which sociology faculty might you be interested in working?

Application Deadlines and Graduate Assistantships

The Sociology Department has available annually a limited number of graduate assistantships.

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.



D. Mark Austin
Associate Professor

James K. Beggan

Latrica Best
Associate Professor

Derrick Brooms
Associate Professor

John A. Busch
Associate Professor

Robert M. Carini
Associate Professor

Karen Christopher
Associate Professor

Patricia Gagné
Director of Graduate Studies

Melanie Gast
Assistant Professor

Lauren Heberle
Associate Professor

Gul Aldikacti Marshall
Associate Professor

Cynthia Negrey

Deborah Potter
Associate Professor

Jon H. Rieger

Dave Roelfs
Assistant Professor

Ryan Schroeder
Associate Professor

Hiromi Taniguchi
Associate Professor

Wayne M. Usui

J. Allen Whitt