Admissions and Degree Requirements

Find out if the sociology graduate program is a good fit for you.
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Assistantship Opportunities

Learn about graduate assistantship opportunities for graduate students.
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Find detailed information for domestic and international student applications.
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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the deadline for applications? 

Applications completed on or before Dec. 1 will be guaranteed consideration for funding. Applications completed after this date will still be considered with funding awards contingent on availability.  

How do I apply and what materials do I need to submit?

For domestic students, the application must include a) official transcripts, b) GRE scores from within the last five years [CONTACT GRADUATE COORDINATOR ( MAY BE DROPPED FOR FALL 2022 ADMISSION], c) a personal statement 2-4 pages in length that describes why you believe our program would be a good fit for you given your interests, which faculty members (if any) you may be interested in working with and why, and your eventual career plans, and, d) three letters of recommendation from individuals (preferably professors of sociology) who can speak to your ability to succeed in a sociology graduate program. A writing sample is not required, but we strongly encourage all applicants to include one. International students must submit all of these materials as well along with evidence of English proficiency. In some cases the English language requirement can be waived. Details are available here:

Do you offer funding for graduate students?

The department typically funds around six new students each fall. Currently a graduate assistantship carries an award of $18,000 per nine-month academic year, a remission of tuition, and health benefits. In addition, the department offers a competitive Chair's Fellowship that adds up to $2,000 to the base stipend, bringing the total award to $20,000. Finally, the university offers a competitive Graduate Dean's Award to support academically excellent applicants with diverse backgrounds. The Graduate Dean's award adds up to $2,500 per academic year to the base stipend, bringing the total award to between $20,500 and $22,500  per academic year depending on whether a Chair's Fellowship is also awarded. Stipends are guaranteed for five years contingent on adequate progress. The Chair's Fellowship and Graduate Dean's Award are guaranteed for two years and are renewable for up to five years contingent on good progress and performance in the program. Students may supplement their awards with summer teaching assignments. In addition, teaching assignments may allow students to extend their funding window beyond five years at the chair's discretion. All graduate applicants are automatically considered  for a graduate assistantship, a Chair's Fellowship, and the Graduate Dean's Award. If you are accepted into the graduate program, the Graduate Coordinator will notify you of the total award offer. More details about assistantships and related duties are available on this page of our website: Graduate Assistantships.

What if I have a B.A. or M.A. in an area other than sociology? Should I still apply?

Students with degrees in fields other than sociology are occasionally accepted. For these students, priority is given to applicants who have completed and done well in classes in social research methods and statistics (in sociology or a related field), and classes covering sociological theory. Students without courses in these three basic areas (methods, statistics, theory), may be accepted into the program conditional on successful completion of these courses at the undergraduate level either at their current institution or upon starting our graduate. program. Other requirements may be imposed at the discretion of the Graduate Education Committee (GEC).

I have already completed (or partially completed) a master's degree in sociology at another university. What is your policy on transfer of credit and how do I go about that?

The university policy on the transfer of graduate credit can be found here: In short, students who are accepted into our program can transfer an M.A. thesis and up to 12 semester credit hours toward the Ph.D. degree (consult with the Graduate Coordinator). Please note these and other conditions that must be satisfied in order to transfer graduate credit. If you are accepted into our graduate program and wish to transfer graduate credit for a degree that you have not yet completed, please complete the Transfer of Graduate Credit form (available here) and submit it along with electronic copies of your M.A. thesis and/or relevant course syllabi to our Graduate Coordinator. Students not eligible for transfer credit can request waivers for required courses in our program that have already been taken elsewhere and are comparable in breadth and depth.

Can I be admitted in the spring semester?

No, due to course sequencing, the department no longer admits students for the spring semester.


What areas of specialization does the program cover?

We offer four areas of concentration; social inequalities (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, social class), medical and mental health, social psychology, and criminology and deviance. We also provide students with extensive training in classical and contemporary theory, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and statistics.

How long does it take students to complete the Ph.D. program?

Our Ph.D. program is designed to be completed in five years. Students who enter with an M.A. in sociology may complete it in less time.

How long does it take students to complete the M.A. program?

Beginning in fall 2022, we will begin accepting applications for a standalone M.A. program (with thesis). This program is designed to be completed in two years. Currently, students who wish to earn and M.A. in sociology without earning a Ph.D. simply withdraw from the Ph.D. program after earning their M.A.

Does your program provide graduate students with training to be college-level teachers and opportunities to teach classes?

Yes, all of our Ph.D. students will be given the opportunity to teach their own class after they complete our course on College Teaching.

What kinds of jobs are your graduate students prepared for when they graduate?

We prepare our students for tenure-track jobs at research universities and teaching colleges as well as jobs in social research in both the private and public/government sectors. The university/college positions usually require a Ph.D. For many jobs in the private and public/government sectors, an M.A. degree may suffice.

Moving to Kent

I will be relocating to Kent, Ohio. Where can I find out more about off-campus living (e.g., apartments) and other things about the area?

Kent is a vibrant, growing college town with a strong commitment to local business and sustainability. Find more details about life in the city of Kent.