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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Sociology

Admissions and Funding

Applications for admission (to the MA and concurrent MA/PhD programs) in Sociology must be submitted via the Graduate School portal. You’ll be asked to submit three letters of recommendation, your GRE scores, your Academic Transcript(s), TOEFL Scores (if applicable), a Writing sample (e.g., class paper or thesis chapter) and a personal statement, maximum three (3) pages.

Funding: Unless otherwise indicated, all applicants for admission will also be considered for funding. Most students admitted into the graduate program in Sociology are funded through Department Assistantships. These students begin as teaching assistantships and, in the latter part of their graduate studies, go on to teach their own courses. Students are also funded through Faculty Research Grants and various Graduate Fellowships, including the new

Deadlines: In order to receive full consideration for admission and funding, completed applications must be received by January 1.

MA vs. PhD Program: Applicants need not have an MA to apply for the PhD program. Students accepted into the PhD program without an MA in Sociology will also work toward an MA during the course of their PhD work.

What do we look for in applications?

Generally, a minimum grade point average of 3.2 (on a 4 point scale) for the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate work is required for admission to the M.A. or PhD program. For applicants with a master's degree, a minimum grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4 point scale) for all graduate work is required for admission to the doctoral program. Of course, meeting minimum grade point average standard does not guarantee admission to the program. GRE scores must be submitted with the application to The Graduate School. The Department does not have a minimum GRE requirement, but scores approaching and exceeding the 70th percentile increase the applicant's likelihood of being admitted and funded.

Besides an excellent academic record, the Graduate Program Committee carefully considers how well applicants’ interests fit with those of the faculty. Thus, prior to applying, we encourage prospective applicants to peruse the Areas of Study page and individual faculty pages to learn more about department foci and faculty research. 


More about admission rates and time to degree

Over the last three years, we have averaged just over thirty applicants per year for our MA and concurrent MA/PhD programs. We have admitted an average of ten students per year. The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning portions of the GRE for admitted students averaged 158 and 151, respectively.

The average time to complete the PhD degree is about 6.5 years for students entering with a Bachelor’s degree. Students entering with an MA in Sociology finish in less time.

Questions: Please direct any questions about admission or funding to the Graduate Program Director, Brent Simpson: BTS@SC.EDU