Prospective Graduate Students
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can I know whether a graduate degree in sociology is what I really want?
Look further into this website; see the kinds of work that our faculty are doing. If their work seems compatible with your vision of sociology, then you probably do want a degree in sociology. Click here for a list of faculty.
Q: By what date must the department receive my application materials?
The department begins reviewing applications on January 10, so ideally your application will be complete by this date (e.g., letters of recommendation, GRE scores, statement of your professional interests and goals, academic transcripts).
Q: How can I be sure that I am considered for financial support?
Those students submitting all of the materials required for admission to the graduate program will automatically be considered for financial support, usually in the form of a graduate teaching or research assistant?
Q: For how many years is a teaching or research assistantship awarded?
In accordance with the policies of the Graduate School continuance of financial support is dependent upon adequate performance as a teaching assistant or research assistant and normal progress in the program. Normally, a student working toward an M.A. degree can expect two years of support. A student with an M.A. degree pursuing the Ph.D. degree can expect three years of support. Financial support beyond these lengths of time will be considered only in exceptional cases. Of course, the continuation of support is always contingent upon the availability of funds but, because of current and anticipated budget shortfalls, the Department will not be able to fund any graduate student beyond 10 semesters.
Q: What does a graduate teaching or research assistantship involve?
Students receiving an assistantship work 20 hours per week with faculty. The assistantship provides graduate students with a financial stipend, a health insurance package, and operation fee waiver for tuition. The total financial worth of the assistantship exceeds $30,000 for the current academic year.
Q: Do all students accepted into the program receive teaching or research assistantships?
Yes, typically we admit only the number of students we can fund with teaching or research assistantships.
Q: How many students do you admit each year?
The number of assistantships we can offer in any academic year depends upon funding from the administration and external grants received by our faculty. In recent years, we have accepted between 8-15 new graduate students.
Q: Do most incoming students receive a teaching or a research assistantship?
Most incoming students receive teaching assistantships. Research assistantships are typically funded through research grants received by our faculty. If such funds are available, and the applicant's experience meets the needs of a particular faculty member, research assistantships might be awarded in place of a teaching assistantship.
Q: Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
The Graduate College specifies: A prospective student must have received a baccalaureate degree from a college or university accredited by a recognized accrediting association with a minimum grade point average of 3.00 in the student's most recent 60 semester hours. Students with a baccalaureate degree from a non-accredited institution will be considered for admission only upon special petition to the Dean of the Graduate School.
Q: What are the requirements for international students?
In addition to the basic requirements for admission, the Graduate College specifies: International applicants are required to have the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree (normally a minimum of four years of study beyond grade 12), demonstrated proficiency in English (minimum TOEFL of 550 or equivalent), and evidence of financial support.
Q: Is there a minimum required GRE score?
No, we do not have a minimum required GRE score. But, GRE scores constitute one part of the application.
Q: Who makes the admission decisions?
Admission decisions are made by the Graduate Studies Committee. This committee is comprised of up to six faculty members, and the committee members rotate on an annual basis.
Q: Upon which part of the application is the most emphasis placed - GRE scores, GPA, letters of recommendation, or something else?
We take the entire application into consideration.
How can I know whether a graduate degree in sociology is what I really want?
Look further into this website; see the kinds of work that our faculty are doing. If their work seems compatible with your vision of sociology, then you probably do want a degree in sociology.