Frequently Asked Questions


1. Do you have a master's program and do I apply for the MA or Ph.D program? 
We do not offer a terminal MA degree. All of our students are admitted with the expectation that they will work towards the Ph.D. Those entering the program without an MA in Sociology will earn an MA as they work towards Ph.D. All students should apply to the Ph.D program, even if they do not hold an MA.

2. What GRE test should I take? 
The General Test. The GRE Sociology Subject test is not required. 

3. As an international applicant, what test or tests should I take? 
The GRE (General Test) and TOEFL.

4. What is the average GRE/GPA of students admitted to your program? 
The vast majority of students admitted to the program score above the 75th percentile on the GRE (verbal and quantitative average). Most students admitted to the program have GPAs in the vicinity of 3.6 on a 4.0 scale.

5. Is there a cut-off point for GRE scores and GPA? 
There is no cut-off. We weigh GRE scores and GPA against other qualifications and achievements. However anything below 3.0 would not be considered competitive and would not likely be admitted.

6. What supporting materials are required as part of the application?
As part of the online application, GRE scores, and TOEFL for international applicants, you must provide transcripts for ALL colleges and universities you have attended, a statement of purpose, writing sample and 3 letters of reference.

7. How many students admitted to your program each year? How many apply? 
The department will admit about 23 students each year to its graduate programs. Total applications range from 65-125.

8. Do you admit for Spring Semester? 
All incoming students must start in the fall. 

9. I was a non-Sociology/Criminology major. Can I apply or is an undergraduate degree in sociology or criminology required?
You can apply with any major. Most of our students have undergraduate degrees in sociology, psychology, political science, criminology, criminal justice, or education.

10. How does financial aid work? 
All students admitted to the program receive a 5 year funding package through fellowships, research assistantships or teaching assistantships. This funding package includes a stipend and a tuition waiver. We also have a strong record of providing summer support.

11. What is the process and timeline on admissions decisions? 
Admissions decisions are made by a faculty committee. Most admissions decisions are made by the end of January.

12. Do you accept transfer credits earned in another graduate program? 
Yes. Transfer requests are determined on a case-by-case basis.

13. Can I defer entrance into the program? 
Although most students start immediately, deferring admission for one year is possible. Such requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. However, funding may or may not be deferred.

14. What is the deadline to let you know whether or not I will accept admission? 
By the nationally imposed April 15 deadline, however it is helpful for us, budget wise to receive your decision as soon as you’ve made it.

15. How long does the program typically take? 
Six years for those entering with a bachelor’s degree; 4-5 years for those entering with a master’s degree.

16. What kind of jobs do people get with a Ph.D. from this program? 
Because our program is a research based Ph.D. program, most of our graduates obtain academic positions. However, some work as researchers in government agencies, in the private sector, and for nonprofits.