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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Sociology


What will I learn?

The Department of Sociology offers the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology. The graduate program in Sociology is designed to prepare students for research and teaching careers in the discipline of sociology. The graduate program is designed as a full-time course of study for students seeking the Ph.D. degree. The M.A. degree in Sociology is awarded as part of a student’s required progress toward admittance into the Ph.D. program in Sociology. The Department of Sociology does not award an M.A. degree to a student who already received an M.A. degree in Sociology from another institution.


Admitted students take required courses in sociological theory and methods (both qualitative and quantitative), as well as in any two of the department’s seven areas of specialization:

  • Criminology & Socio-Legal Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Medical Sociology
  • Organizations & Institutions
  • Political Economy & Global Social Change
  • Race & Class Inequality
  • Social Psychology.

Students normally complete the core program in theory and methods during the first year of study, finish all requirements for the MA by the end of the second year, and pass their qualifying exams in two areas of specialization and commence work on the doctoral dissertation by the end of their fourth year. Students are encouraged to present papers at professional conferences and publish scholarly articles both independently and with faculty.

Graduate students typically work as teaching assistants for one or more quarters during their time in the program. They also work as instructors, either during summer session or the normal academic year, in the later stages of the program.

Which department am I in?

College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Study options

Full Time (5 years)

Tuition fees
US$32,287.86 per year
Application deadline

Expected March, June 2023

Start date

Expected March, June, September 2023


College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

3400 HMNSS Building,

900 University Avenue,



92521, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

To be admitted to graduate status, the basic requirement is a bachelor's degree in Physics or its equivalent from an accredited institution. This degree must represent the completion of a program equivalent both in the distribution of academic subject matter and scholarship achievement comparable to that offered at the University of California. Qualified applicants are expected to have a junior/senior GPA of 3.25 or higher.

For international students

A bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, from an accredited institution. The degree must represent the completion of a program equivalent in subject matter and scholarship to that offered by the University of California.

A minimum of a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or B-equivalent (if GPA is not on a 4.0 scale). We recommend that you check with the graduate program as they may have a higher standard for their GPA requirements. If your GPA is below this, follow up with the graduate program you are interested. Applications are reviewed in their entirety and the program can look at your other components and advise you on potential admission.

English Language Requirement: TOEFL - The minimum acceptable scores are: 550 for the revised TOEFL paper-delivered test and 80 for the TOEFL iBT; IELTS - The minimum acceptable overall score is 7 with no score less than 6 on any individual component.

Application deadline: Summer - March 1st; Fall - June 1st; Winter - September 1st; Spring - December 1st.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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