How to Apply

Our admissions decisions are made by a departmental committee; individual faculty do not accept individual students. We therefore do not necessarily encourage applicants to contact faculty individually, nor do faculty typically meet with prospective applicants. We do encourage you to carefully look at our department faculty pages to identify areas of overlap—methodologically, substantively, theoretically—with your own interests, among several faculty, as you develop your statement of purpose.

  • Writing sample: Each applicant will be asked to provide one writing sample. (A second, supplementary writing sample of a similar length is optional.) Writing samples demonstrate the student’s academic interests and their capacity for thinking sociologically. 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 submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores is optional but strongly recommended by the department. We have made it optional, because we understand that in some cases it may be very difficult for applicants to access the test, due to distance from testing sites or the cost or other factors, but we expect that applicants will make every effort to take the test. Fee waivers and reductions can be found on the GRE website.
     The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for international students whose native tongue is not English and who did not receive an undergraduate degree from a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction.

    For further information, see the Office of Graduate Admissions website.