I’m interested in doing graduate work in sociology. How can I find out about the graduate program at UCI?

What kind of jobs do PhDs from the program usually get?

Most graduates fill teaching and research positions at universities, colleges, government agencies, and nonprofit and for profit organizations. The following provides information on some of the positions held by past students:  /html/PhDs.html

How many students are accepted each year to the program?

We receive approximately 200 applications each year. In recent years, our incoming cohort size has been between 12 to 15 students.

Who gets accepted to the program? Do I have the necessary background and skills?

The admissions committee considers a variety of factors in deciding whom to admit:  including, but not limited to the applicant’s undergraduate GPA, test scores, letters of recommendation, the writing skills and sociological imagination evident in the applicant’s statement of purpose, and applicant’s fit with the department’s areas of strength and its commitment to diversity.  If you are weak in one area, it may well be balanced by your strength in other areas.

If I am accepted to the program, will I receive financial aid?

We strive to provide financial support for our graduate students. Most students are admitted with some financial support, which usually includes a teaching assistantship and a graduate stipend. Students may also qualify for university fellowship support.  See also the following page for information on financing your graduate education: http://grad.uci.edu/admissions/financial-support.php

I already have an MA in sociology. If I am accepted to the PhD program, will I receive any credit for the coursework I have already done?

Yes. In consultation with the Directors of Graduate Study and relevant faculty, you may be able to waive some required courses.

Is a master’s degree required to apply to the PhD program?

No, you are not required to have a master’s degree to apply to our program.

I’m interested, but I’d like to find out more about the program, department, and university before I apply. What should I do?

If you have browsed the websites described above and have more specific questions about the program and its requirements, write to socnet@uci.edu.

If you have a question about a particular faculty member’s research, teaching, or work with graduate students, feel free to contact that person directly.

If you would like to find out more about what it is like to be a graduate student in the program, contact the Sociology Graduate Student Association /soc_grad_sgsa  and they can put you in touch with the current graduate students who will be most helpful to you.

If you have questions about the School of Social Sciences or questions about the graduate program in social sciences generally, including questions about housing, financial aid, teaching, and so on, go to http://www.socsci.uci.edu/gradoffice/. Also, you can contact the social science graduate counselor, John Sommerhauser at (949) 824-4074 or jdsommer@uci.edu



I’d like to apply to the graduate program in Sociology. What should I do?

Go to the following website to complete the online application: Application Link

I don’t have access to the web. Can I submit a paper application?

Unfortunately, no – only online applications are accepted. 

What is the application deadline?

The deadline for graduate applications is December 1st. There is only one application period per year – applications are not accepted for Winter or Spring quarters.

What application materials are required?

  • In addition to the online application, three letters of recommendation are required. We strongly encourage you to arrange for these letters to be submitted online, rather than through the mail. Review the following to learn more about this process: https://www.grad.uci.edu/admissions/applying-to-uci/letters-of-recommendation.php
  • You are also required to submit two(2)  official transcripts to the Social Science Graduate Office at the following address:

John Sommerhauser
University of California, Irvine
Social Science Graduate Office
3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100


  • Finally, the Sociology Department requires one (1) writing sample. Please email the writing sample to socsci.gradinfo@uci.edu. The document should be in pdf format. Include the following subject heading: Sociology Ph.D. Application Last Name, First Name, assigned ID number (as generated by the online application system), Writing Sample.


Additional information applying to graduate school at UCI can be found at http://grad.uci.edu/admissions/applying-to-uci/index.php

What is the statement of purpose? What should be in it?

The statement of purpose provides an opportunity for you to describe your academic background, interests, and goals. We recommend that candidates limit themselves to 750-1250 words, and note that a shorter statement is often better received.

When reviewing applications in our department, we look for information on what kinds of sociological topics and approaches interest you, why you want to be a sociologist, and why you are applying to our department in particular. You may want to indicate also whether there are particular faculty members, clusters of research, or even specific research problems that are of special interest to you.

Are GRE scores required for all applicants?

GRE scores are required of all applicants. GRE scores remain valid for 5 years following the test date. Visit http://grad.uci.edu/admissions/applying-to-uci/gre.php for more information on this test.

We cannot accept GMAT or MCAT scores in place of the GRE. We cannot waive the campus GRE requirement for any applicant.

What are considered acceptable GRE scores for admission?

There is no minimum required GRE score for admission into the program. The results of this test represent only one of many factors reviewed in the admissions process.

Who is required to submit a TOEFL score?

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is used to evaluate international applicants for admission and financial support. TOEFL scores remain valid for 2 years following the test date. We strongly encourage internet-based TOEFL scores. A current TOEFL score is required of all international applicants, including U.S. permanent residents. However, citizens of the following five countries are exempt from the TOEFL requirement:

New Zealand
South Africa
United Kingdom

Additionally, the TOEFL requirement may be waived if the applicant has a degree from a four-year college or university, or has a graduate degree from the United States or any of the above countries. 

The requirement cannot be waived for financial support consideration. All international applicants, except citizens of the five countries above, must qualify for admission and score at least 26/30 on the TOEFL-ibT Speaking sub-test to be eligible for TA appointment on campus.

As an alternative to the TOEFL, you may submit scores from the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). You must submit a Test Report Form (TRF) to: Graduate Division | Admissions | 120 Aldrich Hall, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-3180.

If you have further questions regarding English Language Proficiency Requirement, go to: https://www.grad.uci.edu/admissions/applying-to-uci/english-proficiency.php


Will there be an interview?

We do not interview applicants as part of the admissions process. However, you are welcome to visit the campus at any time. You are also welcome to contact faculty and/or graduate students before or after you apply.  If you are accepted into the program, we will invite you to visit during our Open House weekend. We will provide accommodations and meals and will help offset your transportation costs. The Open House is a valuable opportunity to meet faculty, students, and prospective students, learn about the program, and visit the area in an informal and fun atmosphere.  Normally, the Open House is scheduled in early or mid-March.

I have more questions about the application process. Whom should I contact?

Please consult the following additional web pages:

You may also contact the social science graduate counselor, John Sommerhauser at (949) 824-4074 or jdsommer@uci.edu.



When will the department tell me if I have been admitted?

We make every attempt to notify applicants about admission and financial support in late February.

What is the deadline for accepting an offer of admission?

April 15, although we would appreciate hearing from you as soon as possible once you have made a decision.

I have received offers from several PhD programs. How should I decide which one to accept?

You should consider a number of things: which program best matches your interests; how closely faculty work with students; what current students say about their courses, research opportunities, and teaching responsibilities; how graduates have fared on the job market; whether the department’s atmosphere promotes collegiality and intellectual exchange. To get a sense of the UCI program, we will encourage you to attend our Open House in March. We will provide housing and meals and will help cover the costs of your transportation to UCI. Past and current students say that the Open House was essential in giving them a sense of the advantages that UCI has to offer.





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