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 obtain 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:  Placement

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, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, Statement of Purpose, Personal History Statement, fit with the department’s faculty and areas of strength, and possible contribution to UCI's 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 provide six years of guaranteed funding to all of our graduate students conditional on satisfactory progress in the program. Funding packages may include a mix of teaching assistantships and some fellowship funding. See the following page for information on financing your graduate education: https://www.gradstudies.socsci.uci.edu/funding/overview.php or https://www.ofas.uci.edu/content/GraduateEntering.aspx

I already have an MA in sociology. If I am accepted to the PhD program, can 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 https://sites.uci.edu/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 https://www.gradstudies.socsci.uci.edu/. Also, you can contact the social science graduate counselor, Jennifer Gerson at (949) 824-4074 or jennifer.gerson@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 2nd. There is only one application period per year – applications are not accepted for Winter or Spring quarters.

What application materials are required?

  • The online application will ask you to provide the following:

1. A valid e-mail address that you will maintain at least 8 months after you apply. If you are admitted, you will be notified via this e-mail address.

2. A non-refundable application fee of $120 for U.S. Citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents and $140 for all other applicants. Refer to http://grad.uci.edu/admissions/applying-to-uci/application-fee-information.php

3. Standardized test scores such as the GRE, TOEFL. GRE scores must have been taken within the past five years. For more information on these tests, refer to http://grad.uci.edu/admissions/applying-to-uci/gre.phpl  or http://grad.uci.edu/admissions/applying-to-uci/english-proficiency.php

4. Statement of Purpose.

5. Personal History Statement

6. Three letters of recommendation. Letters must be submitted online through the application portal that you create. We are unable to accept paper or electronic letters (via mail or email). Review the following to learn more about this process: https://www.grad.uci.edu/admissions/applying-to-uci/letters-of-recommendation.php

7. A transcript from each college or university attended. Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded by the applicant into the application portal created. We are unable to accept paper or electronic transcripts (via mail or email). We do not require official transcripts.

8. One (1) writing sample. The applicant should upload the sample during the application process into the application portal created. The document should be in pdf format.

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.

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 whether there are particular faculty members, clusters of research, or even specific research problems that are of special interest to you.

What is the Personal History Statement?

As sociologists, we understand that socialization processes and life course events influence our worldviews and sociological imagination. The personal history statement provides an opportunity for you to describe the background and life experiences that you believe shaped your current research interests and academic goals. We recommend that applicants limit themselves to 400-800 words.

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. Please contact the Graduate Directors regarding extenuating circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We cannot accept GMAT or MCAT scores in place of the GRE. 

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 an undergraduate degree from a four-year college or 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 conduct online or telephone interviews with students whose acceptance has been recommended by the department's admissions committee. If you are accepted into the program, we will invite you to visit our campus 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, Jennifer Gerson at (949) 824-4074 or jennifer.gerson@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.

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; a department's national ranking; how graduates have fared on the job market; whether the department’s atmosphere promotes collegiality, intellectual exchange, and diversity. To get a sense of the UCI program, accepted students will be encouraged 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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