Sociology (SOCY)

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The Graduate Program in Sociology is designed for students seeking a Ph.D. degree. However, the M.A. option is available to students who either wish to obtain a master's degree while continuing in the Ph.D. program, or who leave the program before finishing the PhD. Areas of emphasis in the Department include: demography; development; gender, work, and family; globalizing theory; military sociology; social psychology; and stratification.

Typically, about half the students finishing Ph.D. degrees in the Sociology Department work as faculty members at colleges and universities, and about half are working in research, administration, and consulting in federal, state, or private organizations. Our location in the Washington, D.C., area offers an unusual number of full-time research opportunities for our graduates.

Admissions Information

Admission to the graduate program is based upon the student's academic record, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and other information relevant to the applicant's chances of being successful in the program. Although a previous major in Sociology is not required, students entering the graduate program should have had the following in undergraduate courses: mathematics through college algebra, elementary statistics, sociological theory, and sociological research methods. Students who have completed prior graduate coursework in Sociology may petition to waive one or more courses in Social Theory, Statistics, or Research Methods. New graduate students are assigned temporary advisors upon arrival, and are then expected to select a permanent advisor who will direct their dissertation research. For consideration for departmental fellowships or assistantships, applications should be received by the preferred deadlines.

Application Deadlines
Type of Applicant Fall Spring

Domestic Applicants; US Citizens and Permanent Residents

Deadline: January 3
Preferred: December 1

International Applicants seeking admission under F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas, as well as those seeking admissions under A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants.

Deadline: January 3
Preferred: December 1

Application Requirements

  1. GRE (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing)
  2. TOEFL required for all international students
  3. Statement of Goals, experiences and research interests
  4. Three Letters of Recommendation
  5. Writing Sample
  6. Transcripts (undergraduate and graduate)

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts (M.A.)
The graduate program in the Department of Sociology is designed for Ph.D. students. We do not offer a terminal Masters program and we will not accept or enroll students for the single purpose of acquiring a Masters degree. However, doctoral students may obtain a Master of Arts degree during their course of doctoral study by completing 30 credit hours, including 1) two courses in statistics (6 cr.); 2) one in methodology (3 cr.); 3) one in theory (3 cr.); 4) one computer skills course (1 cr.); 5) one course in proposal development (3 cr.); 6) an original research paper completed in the fourth semester (3 cr.).

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Ph.D. requirements include: 1) two courses in social theory (6 cr.); 2) two courses in statistics (6 cr.); 3) two courses in research methods (6 cr.); 4) an advanced statistics course approved by the student's advisor OR an additional course in research methods (3 cr.); 5) one computer skills course (1 cr.); 6) one course in proposal development (3 cr.); 7) a set of three courses in each of two specialty areas (independent reading courses do not count) (18 cr.); 8) a second-year research paper which meets the approval of a minimum of two faculty members (3 cr.); 9) a second-year research paper which meets the approval of two faculty members (completed while enrolled in 3 credits of SOCY699) 10) 12 credit hours of dissertation research (12 cr.); and 11) a total of 58 credit hours of coursework and research.

After completion of the coursework, doctoral students must pass two examinations qualifying them to write their dissertations in the specialties of their choice. Upon the recommendation of the appropriate faculty members, the Department Graduate Committee approves the coursework qualifying students to take the two examinations.

Facilities and Special Resources

In addition to these programs, the department is closely involved with the following research centers: the Center for Research on Military Organization, the Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC), the Center for Innovation, and the Program for Society and the Environment. Collectively, these centers account for over five million dollars in annual research funding. The Department is also affiliated with an interdisciplinary Joint Program on Survey Methods (JPSM). The campus has excellent computer facilities and computer resources are available to faculty and graduate students.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance for graduate students is available through teaching and research assistantships, and for advanced students through part-time instructorships. We also have several special fellowships for outstanding applicants that provide additional support tailored to the applicants needs. All carry a stipend plus tuition remission, and most include health benefits.

Contact Information

Applications materials may be found at:

All application materials should be submitted either electronically or by mail to this address: University of Maryland College Park Enrollment Services Operations (ESO) Applications for Graduate Admission Room 0130 Mitchell Building College Park, MD 20742

Liana Sayer, Director of Graduate Studies
2112 Art-Sociology Building
College Park, MD  20742-1315
Telephone: (301) 405-6390
Fax: (301) 314-6892

Milton Costen, Graduate Coordinator
2112 Art-Sociology Building
College Park, MD  20742-1315
Telephone: (301) 405-6390
Fax: (301) 314-6892

Courses: SOCY

Related Programs and Campus Units

Family Science

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