Thinking About Graduate School?


In contemplating graduate school, you should first gather information on various programs.  Literature on Sociology graduate programs is available at the Career Center and in the sociology Department.  It is also helpful to discuss available programs and opportunities with the sociology faculty.  Examples of graduate programs are:

  • Sociology
  • Policy Sciences
  • Criminology
  • Social Service Administration
  • Demography
Graduate School Application Process

By the beginning of the senior year, you should have decided on five to seven graduate programs.  Graduate schools generally require a complete application and payment of  the related fees.  Other required materials usually include an essay, academic transcript, letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, and examples of written work.  Not all schools require all this information, so it is important to pay careful attention to what the school requests.  Often the student may write one essay, which can be copied and sent to all schools.  The essay is important and characteristically difficult to write and should be started early.  You may solicit recommendation letters from any faculty member who is familiar with your work.  This should be done in the fall of your senior year.  Be sure to supply the professor with addressed envelopes and the appropriate forms of r recommendations. 

The deadline for completed applications and supporting materials vary from school to school, but it is best to get the necessary materials in as soon as possible.  A good source for application deadlines is the American Sociological Association (ASA) current GUIDE TO GRADUATE DEPARTMENTS.  Information and applications for the Graduate Record Examination are available in the Career Center or visit the GRE Web Site at:  Preparation books can be obtained from the bookstore.  It is a good idea to take the test early, in case it has to be retaken.  You can take the test more than once, and it is necessary to allow six to eight weeks before scores are reported to graduate schools.  If you are seeking financial aid, the deadline may be quite early.  By December of the senior year most of the materials should be in.  Be sure to continue to check on the status of the admissions applications you sent to the graduate schools.