MA Application and Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

The department welcomes applications from anyone wishing to pursue an advanced degree in sociology at UofL. We especially welcome applicants whose sociological interests overlap strongly with those of our faculty.

Applicants are examined using the following information in the admissions decisions:  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.  (Beginning with applicants for Spring, 2021, GRE scores are no longer required, although students may submit them if they wish to supplement their application with the scores.)

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 admission is not based solely on meeting - or failure to meet - certain criteria, as a guideline, chances are improved with the following:

  • a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0;
  • previous undergraduate course work in statistics, methods, and social theory (with a grade of B+ or better in statistics and a grade of B in methods and social theory); and;
    • Students may be allowed to make up deficiencies by taking the undergraduate courses prior to beginning the program, or use equivalent undergraduate courses for these prerequisites, the latter which may require the student to submit the course syllabus and/or completed course work to determine equivalency. Students should contact Dr. Jonetta Weber to discuss any questions regarding these prerequisites. 
  • international students should also have (a) a TOEFL score of at least 550 (on the paper-based test), 213 (on computer-based test) or 80 (on the internet-based test), (b) a IELTS score of at least 6.5, or (c) a Duolingo score of at least 105.  (Note that only Duolingo English Test scores with subscores will be accepted, and tests must have been taken after 1st January 2020.) 
    • International students must also be registered with the International Center and should consult with the Center regarding their application to any program.

*In exceptional cases, students not qualified for regular admission may be conditionally admitted.

We encourage anyone interested in our graduate program to apply, regardless of grade point averages from undergraduate work or previous graduate work. When making our admission decisions, we holistically consider GPAs alongside personal statements and letters of recommendation (and other materials), knowing that a low GPA 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 also encourage anyone who is considering applying to our graduate program to visit our department and meet with our faculty members and current graduate students.

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 (including graduate assistantships) 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) discussing why they feel that they would be a good candidate for an assistantship.

Application Materials

Applicants to the stand-alone MA program as well as the joint MA-PhD program must submit to the Graduate Admissions Office:

  • a formal graduate application
  • official copies oftranscripts from all colleges attended (students with an international transcript must submit an evaluation of the transcript from World Education ServicesEducational Credentials Evaluators, or other NACES approved evaluators found here)
  • 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 (CV) or résumé
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores (if an international student)
  • a personal statement (~500-750 words) addressing the points below and giving the Graduate 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 the University of Louisville.
    • Discuss your professional or occupational objectives and how you envision the department’s program fitting into those objectives.
    • Describe the areas of sociology you find especially interesting for study and/or research and identify the sociology faculty with whom you might be interested in working.  [While we ask that students indicate in their personal statement faculty with whom they would like to work, faculty do not commit to working with students until they are in their first year of the program.  As such, students are not expected to contact and/or secure a faculty mentor prior to admission but are expected to identity in their statement current faculty with whom they would like to conduct their thesis work.]
    • Reflect on your experiences, skills, and/or knowledge related to your potential to engage in applied research in this graduate program.

Students may supplement their application file with GRE scores, but GRE scores are not required for admission.

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.  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). 

Note that 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; if so, the applicant must submit a new application file (i.e., all application materials) for re-examination.  Also, the Department of Sociology cannot provide a “pre-evaluation” of applications.  It is only after the student has submitted a formal graduate application and all other required application documents that the department can consider an applicant for admission and/or for funding.


Once students have been admitted to the program, they will be contacted by , Director of Academic Services, with advising/registration information.