The doctoral program in sociology prepares students for careers in research and teaching. The curriculum is intended both to acquaint students with the discipline of sociology and provide training in fields of special interest. Of the twelve required courses, four must be drawn from core courses in sociological theory, statistics, and research methods. Students are given ample opportunity to specialize, but the Faculty believes that specialization must be preceded by a thorough grounding in a wide range of classical and contemporary theories, proficiency in social statistics, and a variety of research methods. The curriculum permits — and Faculty encourage — study in related disciplines.
The Department encourages students to pursue work in any instructional unit of the University which furnishes additional dimensions to sociological analysis. We also encourage students to attend seminars and apply for research and training grants outside of the Department. A partial list of some of the many such opportunities within Yale include:
- The Institution for Social and Policy Studies
- The MacMillan Center
- The Yale Law School
- The Yale School of Management
- The Yale School Public Health
The Sociology Department offers joint Ph.D. programs with African American Studies and with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Students can also work closely with the Statistics Department and obtain an MA in Statistics en route to their Sociology PhD.
For an overview of joint degree programs at Yale, including the J.D./Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D., see the Yale Graduate School’s page on Joint Degree Programs. Over the years, we have had many students enroll in joint programs, and the Department is happy to work with students to make special arrangements for these programs.
All accepted students are fully funded for five years and are eligible for a funded sixth year if they do not receive an external grant. Funding includes full tuition and a living stipend. In 2022-23, the 12-month stipend is $38,300. In the third, fourth, and sixth years, students are required to serve as teaching fellows to receive their stipend. Please see the Graduate Division’s website Funding for Ph.D. Students for more detail.
Students who do fieldwork outside of New Haven are encouraged to apply to external and Yale-based research funds. Some recommended institutions are listed here:
- American Council of Learned Societies
- Association of American University Professors
- National Science Foundation
- Social Science Research Council
- Spencer Foundation
- Yale MacMillan Center
Between six and ten new students are admitted to the Sociology program each year. Preference is given to applicants who intend to complete the Ph.D. degree. An undergraduate concentration in sociology is not a prerequisite, but preference will be given to those who demonstrate familiarity with the social sciences, either through undergraduate coursework or other research experiences.
- Writing sample. In addition to a statement of purpose, transcripts, and recommendation letters, each applicant will be asked to provide one writing sample. (A second, supplementary writing sample is optional.) Writing samples demonstrate the student’s academic interests and their capacity for thinkingsociologically. We use writing samples to evaluate ability and intellectual fit with the strengths of our department. As a result, we strongly prefer a writing sample that is solo-authored by the applicant.
Typically, a writing sample should be 3,000-8,000 words and is usually a research paper written for a social science class, a senior thesis, or an MA thesis.
- Testing. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for international students whose native tongue is not English. For further information, see the Office of Graduate Admissions website.
As of Summer 2022, the Sociology Program is no longer accepting Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.
To apply to the Yale Sociology Graduate Program, please visit the Office of Graduate Admissions website. Students with financial need may request a waiver of the application fee via the Graduate Admissions Office.
If you have specific questions about the Sociology Department or the application process, you may email Professor Rene Almeling, Director of Graduate Studies in Sociology (email@example.com). You may also contact any member of the Faculty specializing in research topics in which you may be interested. https://sociology.yale.edu/people/faculty