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Admission Requirements

Admission to graduate study is competitive and is based on evaluation of the total record of the applicant. Applicants generally have an undergraduate major in Sociology or one of its sub-fields (e.g., Criminology), another social science (e.g., Psychology), or substantial course work in sociology. We expect a grade point average of at least 3.0 (i.e., B) in the last two years of undergraduate course work. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is required, and students must achieve acceptable scores on both the verbal and quantitative parts. We expect a minimum score of 156 on the verbal part, a minimum of 146 on the quantitative part, and a minimum of 4 on the analytical writing part of the GRE. Admission decisions are based on the entire application file: While GRE scores are only one component, they are an important one. Students are occasionally admitted with scores below the minimum if other aspects of their application show considerable achievement and promise. Conversely, average or above-average scores do not guarantee admission.

Applicants whose highest earned degree is a bachelor’s degree can apply to the Ph.D. program. However, if admitted, they will be required to complete the M.A. Degree in Sociology first, before continuing to the doctoral program with approval of the department.

Applicants who already have an earned master’s degree in Sociology from another accredited U.S. university may be admitted directly into the Ph.D. program. Direct admission to the Ph.D. program is highly selective. A maximum of 30 semester hours of transfer credit toward the Ph.D. requirement of 90 hours will be allowed for students with an accredited master’s degree in Sociology received within seven years of University of Florida entry.

Applicants with Master’s degrees in other fields or whose Master’s degree is more than seven years old may be required to complete the MA in Sociology before they are admitted into the Ph.D. program. This will be determined at admissions.

Required Materials

A complete admission file includes:

  • An on-line admission application.
  • Three letters of recommendation submitted on-line: The most useful letters are from college professors who can address the applicant’s readiness to do graduate work in sociology.
  • A statement of purpose (two to four pages): Your statement of purpose should describe your motivations for undertaking graduate study in sociology, including both educational and personal experiences that have influenced your decision to attend graduate school. It should also describe your future career plans. Your statement should describe your current area(s) of interest and give some indication of the types of research questions that you are interested in pursuing. You should be able to identify faculty in the department that you would potentially seek mentorship from and/or work with (although this may change once you are in the program). If your statement is longer than the space allocated in the on-line application, you may upload the statement instead.
  • A copy of your written work. If you have completed, or are completing, the MA, upload a copy of your MA thesis or project. If you have completed, or are completing, the BA, upload a copy of a college paper that shows your best work.
  • Transcripts of all college work. An official, sealed copy of each transcript must be sent directly to the Admissions Office. The department copy may be an unofficial transcript or a photocopy.
  • Test Scores:
    • All applicants: An official report of scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test is required for all applicants. The GRE test is a computer-based exam in the U.S. Information on testing options, registration dates, and exam dates is available from college placement offices, directly from the GRE Program, Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541-6000, GRE website. Allow adequate time after you take the test for results to be reported to the University of Florida. The test must have been taken within the previous five years.
    • International applicants: The University of Florida requires proficiency in spoken and written English. International students must submit a satisfactory score either on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language: computer = 213, paper = 550, web = 80), IELTS (International English Language Testing System: 6), or MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery: 77). The department requires that international applicants for a teaching assistantship must also have a Test of Spoken English (TSE) score of 50 or higher. Applicants who are exempt from the English language test requirement should inquire whether the TSE is required. Information on the TOEFL and TSE tests is available from the Educational Testing Service website.

These materials are submitted as described below.

Materials to be submitted to the University Office of Admissions

  • The Graduate School admission application (should be completed online).

The following materials must be sent to the UF Admissions Office. Each of these items is described above:

  • Official copies of all college transcripts. The admissions copy must be an official sealed transcript sent in its original, sealed envelope mailed to: University of Florida, Office of Admissions, PO Box 114000, 201 Criser Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611-4000.
  • The University of Florida must receive an official report of GRE scores (plus TOEFL and TSE scores for international applicants) directly from the Educational Testing Service.

Materials to be submitted to the Sociology Department The application for financial aid MUST be submitted directly to the graduate coordinator, Dr. Ardelt . Application for Fellowship or Assistantship (PDF).


The deadline for submission of all application materials for the subsequent fall semester is January 15.

The Department Admission Procedure

The department admissions committee meets regularly during the admissions season and considers applications as soon as they are complete. The committee decides to admit, deny, or defer consideration until later in the admissions season. We notify applicants of the admission decision as soon as a decision has been made. We do not ordinarily notify students whose applications are incomplete or for whom consideration has been deferred. Applicants are welcome to enquire at any time concerning the status of their application.

Assistantship and fellowship consideration begins January 15. Applicants are given an award, put on a wait list, or notified that we will not be able to offer them admission. We notify applicants of our decision as soon as possible after January 30. We do not ordinarily notify wait list applicants of their status until we can offer definite word on funding.

We will schedule all admitted applicant to visit the department and UF during the spring term. We hope that a visit in February will provide you with a personal experience that allows you to imagine yourself in our program.

If you have questions on the status of your Graduate School application, please email Dr. Ardelt. E-mail contact is encouraged because we must consult your file before we can provide status information.

To Apply Online and Alternate Application Forms

The department strongly recommends that you complete your application online through the Graduate School. Look up How to Apply

If this is not possible, there are two alternate ways apply. You may use your web browser to print paper copies of the application forms or write to the department to request a paper application. Look up Graduate checklist