The graduate program of the Department of Sociology trains scholars to conduct original research contributing to the advance of sociological knowledge and to teach sociology at the university level. For this reason, the Department will accept only students who are seeking the Ph.D. degree (a Master of Arts degree may be earned as part of the process of completing the requirements for the Ph.D.). The Ph.D. in sociology usually leads to a career in research and/or teaching. Although most sociologists are employed by universities, there are increasing career opportunities in government and other non-university research centers.

The application deadline is December 1. All applicants must complete the UCLA Application for Graduate Admission and meet the University minimum requirements for admission (also check the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information).

Although undergraduate or masters-level study in sociology or related disciplines is desirable, it is not mandatory for admission to the Department. Applicants need not be uniformly high on all indicators of potential. The Admissions Committee, which typically consists of five faculty members and three advisory graduate students, looks at a number of indicators of abilities and skills. For example, in assessing the level of verbal skills, the Committee considers several items, including samples of written work and grades in courses that ordinarily require extensive verbal skills.

In addition to relatively formal criteria (such as analytic and verbal proficiency), the Department pays particular attention to applicants who seem likely to contribute intellectual, social, or cultural diversity to its student body. Women and those from underrepresented backgrounds, in particular, are encouraged to apply.

If you have additional questions, please check the Admissions FAQs.  You can also contact Irina Tauber ( or Dreama Rhodes ( but please allow 2-3 days during admission time. For those only interested in MA, please visit Master of Social Science program.

Required Degree and GPA

A degree in Sociology is not required for admission. Applicants to the program must meet the University minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, comparable in standard and content to a bachelor’s degree from the University of California. An applicant whose post-secondary education is completed outside of the U.S. is expected to hold a degree representing completion of at least four years of study with above average scholarship from a university or university-level institution. Please carefully review this website for Required Academic Records.

An overall scholastic average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better is required, or its equivalent if the letter grade system is not used, and in any post-baccalaureate study.

GRE Test Scores

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required.

GRE scores must be valid (taken within 5 years of application date) and required for all applicants, including those with advanced degree(s).  You will need to upload your GRE score report on the application website and note the scores in the GRE section.  If admitted, you will also need to request ETS to send the official score report to us: Institution code for UCLA is 4837 and Sociology Department code is 2102.

Please note: it may take 2-3 weeks for official test scores to link to your account after your UCLA application is submitted, but this will not affect your application review process and you do not need to verify receipt with us. We only need the official test report for admitted students. If your scores are not updated by the time the admissions committee is prepared to make a decision, we will contact you directly. 

English Language Requirement

The University’s English Language Requirement applies to all applicants. Citizenship, U.S. residence and/or work experience are not substitutes for meeting the requirement. Exemptions to submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores can only be made for applicants who meet the exemption criteria as listed on the English Requirements page on the UCLA Division of Graduate Education’s website.

Applicants who do not meet the exemption criteria must submit valid TOEFL or IELTS scores. Please note that TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid for only two years and must be valid at the time of application submission.

The minimum score to be considered for admission is 87 on the TOEFL, but our admitted students have 100 or above. UCLA does not currently accept MyBest TOEFL scores. You will need to note your scores in the TOELF section in your online application.  If admitted, you will also need to send your official TOEFL score report to us. The institution code for UCLA is 4837 and the Sociology department code is 2101. The linking of TOEFL scores between ETS and the UCLA application only begins after your application has been submitted online. It may take 2-3 weeks after the UCLA application is submitted for an application to automatically update. We only need the official test report for admitted students.


The minimum overall band score to be considered for admission is 7.0 on the IELTS. Please note your score in the IELTS section in the online application. If admitted, applicants submitting IELTS scores must arrange their scores to be sent to the UCLA Department of Sociology:

ATTN: Graduate Advisor
375 Portola Plaza
264 Haines Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Receipt of IELTS scores on an application is a manual process that may take weeks. We only need to verify official scores for applicants admitted to our Program.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required, preferably from professors of sociology or related social science fields who are familiar with the applicant’s written work and research experiences.

Letters must be submitted online to the UCLA Application. In the Recommendation section of the application, applicants enter the names and email addresses of their recommenders. Applicants can check the status of recommendations and resend the email invitation through the UCLA Application. Applicants are responsible for reminding their recommenders to submit letters by December 1.

If a recommender wants to submit their letter through Interfolio, enter the email address(es) provided by Interfolio for recommenders in the application. Instruct Interfolio to answer all questions on the recommendation forms with the option Dossier Service Completion.

If they have trouble submitting their letter, please have them contact with a detailed description of the issue and screenshots.

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should include reasons for pursuing graduate work, interests within sociology, and any pertinent intellectual and career experiences and interests. The Admissions Committee considers a strong applicant to have well-conceived research interests, past research accomplishment, and intellectual biography.

Prompts to help develop the statement of purpose may be reviewed here.

Note: Sociology program has a limit of 500 words (1 page) for the statement of purpose.

Personal Statement

While the Statement of Purpose is about your work, your Personal Statement is about you – and how you will contribute to the diversity of ideas at UCLA. The Personal Statement is an opportunity for you to provide additional information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UCLA. For additional guidance, please see University of California’s guidance on Personal Statements. It will also be used to consider candidates for the Cota-Robles & GOFP fellowships. To be considered for Cota-Robles fellowship – be sure to describe your contributions to diversity (you can view UC Diversity Statement).

Instructions are provided in the application and include a 500 words limit (approximately 1-page, single spaced, using 1-inch margins and 12-point font).

Writing Sample

The writing sample should be a report of original research where the applicant was the sole author. If a report of original research has not been completed, a term paper, preferably one written for a sociology class, may be submitted. If you send a thesis, it’s advisable to send all chapters rather than select one or two chapters. Average length is about 15-30 pages.


Applicants must upload one copy of current, unofficial transcript to the UCLA Application for Graduate Admissions. Any transcript uploaded to the application, even if an official transcript, is considered unofficial. An unofficial transcript will be issued by the university or college registrar’s office or may be accessed through a student portal. An unofficial transcript may also be a physical, official copy that has been opened and scanned. Applicants should only upload transcripts from institutions where they received degree(s). Do not provide screenshots, degree progress reports, grade audits, or similar printouts as it will not count as an unofficial transcript. Please rotate the document page(s) prior to uploading to be upright for review.


Please carefully review this website for Required Academic Records. Official academic records are not needed for the application. Scans of academic records are acceptable for the application. Unless academic records and diplomas are routinely issued in English by the institution, the records in their original language must be submitted with an authorized, complete, and exact English translation.

All academic records must show the dates of enrollment; the subjects or courses taken, together with the units of credit or time allotted to each subject and, if rank is determined, rank in the total class or group. The records must also include a complete description of the institution’s grading scale or other standard of evaluation. Maximum and minimum marks and the steps between them must be indicated.

You will also need to upload a copy of the degree certificate/diploma along with the transcript.

Third-party evaluated transcripts, such as evaluations provided by WES, will not count as a transcript.

Applicants who are admitted and choose to attend the program will be asked to submit their official final transcript(s) showing degree conferral. Applicants who completed post-secondary education outside of the U.S. and who are admitted and choose to attend the program must also provide one certified copy of their certificate/diploma showing degree conferred in English and one certified copy of their certificate/diploma showing degree conferred in their original language.

Fee Waiver or Deferral Requests

Application fee waivers or deferrals are available to applicants who meet the University’s fee waiver requirements. All requested documentation outlined in the policy must be uploaded to the appropriate fee waiver/deferral section of the UCLA Application for Graduate Admission for a request to be considered. See also the “Fee Waivers” section in the Admissions FAQs. If an applicant qualifies for both types of requests, need-based and program participation, only one type should be selected to prevent any technical issues with the fee waiver review.

If requesting a fee waiver or deferral, applicants must carefully review the eligibility and documentation requirements to make sure they meet the eligibility requirements and upload the necessary documents before submitting their application.

Departments are not able to change fee waiver requirements or make exceptions. If you have additional questions, please contact Dreama Rhodes:


Anticipated Expenses for graduate studies can be found at the Financial Aid Office website.  Actual living expenses will depend on personal circumstances. A breakdown of fee and tuition costs can be found on the Registrar Office website.

Departmental Support
Our Faculty Admissions Committee will consider all admitted applicants, including international students, for departmental support (stipend, registration fees, non-resident tuition, teaching apprenticeships) at the time of admission. Decisions are made based on merit, i.e., the applicant’s strength of record and promise in relation to the other students, and not on financial need.

All admitted students receive an offer for financial support from the department. Our funding offers generally provide six years of support, which typically includes two years of fellowship and four years of teaching apprenticeship (TA) position at 50% time (approximately 20 hours/week).


Please check Funding for Entering Students.  UCLA has various funding opportunities and almost all admitted PhD sociology students obtain competitive funding packages depending on their merit and progress in the program. The main funding opportunities are graduate division fellowships, departmental fellowships, and extramural funding. For incoming students, the largest source of support comes from the Department’s multi-year offer of funding.

DGE Fellowships & Support from UCLA Centers
There are a number of campus-wide fellowships, such as the Eugene Cota Robles Fellowship for which the department can nominate admitted students if you apply and meet eligibility criteria. To apply for campus-wide awards, complete the fellowship section of your online graduate admissions application. For Eugene Cota-Robles Award, your Personal Statement must address your contributions to diversity.

Please note that for most of these awards, recommendation by the Department is critical, and the Department reserves the right to consider these awards that originate from other places on campus as part of the total award package that we are offering, fully subject to our rules and conditions.

Conference Funding

UCLA Doctoral Travel Grants (DTG) program offers students $1,000 to be used before the end of seventh year in the Program. The purpose of the DTG is to encourage doctoral students to present their work and network at conferences in their field, to support travel associated with off-campus research and to enable students to take advantage of off-campus professional development opportunities. Sociology Department also provides conference funding to students who are presenting at a conference and have used up their full DTG amount.

Summer Funding

Students in Years 1-3 of the Program are encouraged to apply for the Graduate Summer Research Mentorship (GSRM) Program (currently $6,000).  The objective of the program is to promote opportunities for students to work closely with a faculty mentor in developing a paper for presentation at an academic conference and/or for publication. Admitted students who apply for the GSRM and are not awarded will be eligible for Department summer funding award.

For Admitted Students

VISIT DAY: Please check Graduate Recruitment Events page to take a virtual tour of UCLA campus and Graduate Housing. Sociology Department will also have a Visit Day for admitted students, which is usually scheduled the first week of March.

RESIDENCE: Sociology Department generally covers Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition (NRST) during Year 1 of the Program. Domestic students are expected to take the necessary steps to become CA resident before the start of Year 2 and not be assessed (NRST) in subsequent years. Please review the Residence Requirements page from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.  NRST will be waived for international students for 3 years once they pass oral defense and advance to doctoral candidacy (ATC), which generally happens during Year 4 of the Program.

SUMMER: All admitted students will also receive summer funding during Summer after Year 1 and after Year 2, either through GSRM or the Department.  Students are required to apply Graduate Summer Research Mentorship (GSRM), which is currently $6,000, and will receive Department summer award ($3000) if not awarded GSRM or another summer fellowship.

HOUSING: Please visit Graduate Student Housing website for details about the application process, locations, and virtual tour. Departments have limited priority spots for Graduate Housing that will be assigned to students who wish to apply.


No. We only review applications once a year for Fall admission.

We receive close to 300 applications. Late applications submitted after December 1 will not be accepted.

We are looking for bright, imaginative, and highly motivated students who have a deep and abiding interest in doing sociology. The ideal applicant ranks uniformly high on all indicators (grade point average, recommendations from faculty, stature of undergraduate institution, the quality of written work, and the persuasiveness of the Statement of Purpose) of particular skills and shows exceptional promise of success in our program and as a future sociologist. Decisions are based on merit, promise, and fit with the program.

Yes, but note that quantity does not substitute for quality.

The committee uses the writing sample to assess your writing skills, analytical ability, and creativity. You should pick a piece of writing that best reflects your ability. An academic research paper is better than a more journalistic paper or a term paper.

Yes, but we prefer a single-authored paper. If you send a paper co-authored with a professor, please ask the professor to explain your involvement in and contribution to the paper. If the paper is co-authored with other students, provide the same kind of explanation.

3.66 for all applicants; 3.8 for admitted students.

Report your cumulative GPA from the institution where you received your bachelor’s degree.

No, you can only apply to one department during that application period.

We receive close to 300 applications and we aim for an incoming class of 12-15 students.

Usually by the end of February. Official notifications will be sent by the UCLA Division of Graduate Education via email notification.


Total minimum on the internet-based TOEFL (TOEFL iBT) is 87: Writing, 25; Speaking, 24; Reading, 21; Listening, 17. For the IELTS overall band score of at least 7.0 is the minimum required.

These minimum requirements are set by UCLA, not the individual departments: Note that most students who are admitted have scores that far surpass these minimums (100 on TOEFL or above and 7.5 on IELTS).

TOEFL scores must have been taken within 2 years of the date of your application.

The TOEFL score is required for international applicants, unless you hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from a university in the United States or in another country in which English is both the spoken language and the medium of instruction, or you have completed at least two years of full-time study at such an institution. If you qualify for an exemption and several years have passed since you actively used English a recent TOEFL score may be helpful for our Admissions Committee to better evaluate your current level of proficiency in comparison to other international applicants. If you meet the criteria for an exception, it will ultimately be up to you to decide whether or not a new TOEFL score would strengthen your application.

We generally admit 2-3 international students per year.

You will be required to submit a financial statement if you want to obtain a student visa upon accepting an offer of admission. Along with documented evidence of sufficient funds it tells the Graduate Admissions Office that you qualify for a visa and allows UCLA to mail you an I-20 form that you need to take to a US consulate or embassy in your country. It is advisable to have some personal funding in case the departmental award does not cover the minimum amount.
For more information, go to


The department’s goal is to provide funding to all entering students, domestic and international.

Award offers have typically been for five years, which includes two years of fellowship and three or four years of teaching apprenticeship (TA) position.

Yes. However, international students whose native language is not English must take a campus-administered Test of Oral Proficiency (TOP) and pass it at 7.1 or above before they can be appointed as a TA.

Yes. Our award offers to international students include non-resident supplemental tuition (NRST) for four years. International students are expected to advance to doctoral candidacy (ATC) by the end of fourth year in the Program, after which point NRST will be waived for three years.

Yes. Some professors have funding that allows them to employ research assistants. Our graduate students can also explore opportunities with faculty in other departments or research units on campus. There is no central job bulletin board for open research assistant positions. Students interested in research assistantships should inquire with individual faculty and campus research centers directly.

Employment as TA, GSR, or Readers for 10 hours a week or more (at least 25% time) entitles students to receive Fee Remission benefits. Fee remission benefits include payment of the educational and registration fees as well as the mandatory health insurance premiums. Please note TA fee remissions do not cover NRST. GSRs employed at 45-50% time are also eligible for non-resident tuition (NRST) remission benefits.

No. Graduate students are not allowed to work more than 50% time on campus (20 hours per week). Appointments in academic apprentice personnel titles (TA, GSR, Reader) cannot exceed 18 quarters of which no more than 12 quarters can be as a TA without exception. We do not recommend that our students work full-time off campus. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to work full-time and attend classes and complete course work.


No. Our students must complete the M.A. requirements first. If you have an M.A. degree in sociology from another institution read the next question and answer.

If you have a master’s degree in sociology you have the option of submitting your previous MA work (a research paper of no more than double-spaced 50 pages which can be based on the M.A. thesis written at another university and the transcripts from the M.A. institution) for review and approval within the first three quarters in the program. In this review, the Department will determine whether or not you may proceed directly to preparation for the field examinations, whether additional courses need to be taken for breadth purposes, whether the submitted paper needs additional work, or whether an additional paper needs to be done, and whether theory and methodology sequence requirements have been adequately satisfied. If your prior M.A. degree is accepted, you do not need to complete our M.A. requirements and can focus on the Ph.D. requirements. If you do not submit your materials to our review within the first three quarters, we assume that you opted to complete our M.A. requirements. If your degree is in another discipline, you will have to complete our M.A. requirements though there is a possibility that some relevant courses from your prior M.A. could be counted by petition.

No. Admission is approved on the basis of your B.A. or B.S. degree, even if you already have a Master’s degree.

No. Decisions are made on a comparative basis by a committee whose members and assessments may vary from year to year. Without seeing the complete application in the context of the other applications, it is difficult to make an assessment.

Most of our graduates obtain positions as faculty members at other universities and colleges. Many of them accept postdoctoral positions first before they start these positions. Recent graduates have accepted positions at other University of California campuses (UCB, UCI, UCSD, UCD), Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Yale, Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Washington, University of Kansas, SUNYs, and various California State Universities as well as four-year colleges such as Pitzer, Loyola Marymount, Mt. Holyoke, Grinnell, Beloit. Non-academic positions have included research oriented positions at Rand Corporation, the Census Bureau, CDC, LA County Urban Research Division. Our placements since 2002 are listed here.

You can email students and faculty in your research area directly from our main Sociology website: “People” section. Students who have been admitted to our program are strongly encouraged to attend our “visiting day” (usually first week of March). During visiting day, admitted students will be able to talk to faculty and graduate students and make an informed decision whether this is the right program for you.


The section about field exams contained in the program description on our web site will give you an idea as to which subspecialties are well represented in our department. Please also read through the list of faculty and students and their research interests to get a sense of the work being done in the department:

Our normative time to degree is six years and no more than two of these years can be devoted to completing the MA requirements. The actual time to degree varies depending on individual circumstances. If your prior MA is approved within the first year in the program, it can shorten the time to degree.

This is called an individually designed articulated degree. For information about how to pursue two degrees simultaneously, review page 24 of the Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study. You must be admitted into one of the two programs first and after entering the program, receive approval from the other program, your home department, and the Graduate Division for your individually designed articulated degree.

Many of our entering students live in the Weyburn Terrace Housing Complex for the first two years. The department has a limited number of guaranteed spaces each year and can nominate entering students for them. After the first two years, most move to off-campus rentals within 5-7 miles from campus. UCLA also has other off-campus apartment complexes for single and students with families for which graduate students can apply on a first-come-first-served basis. For more information on UCLA apartments go to You can also check listings of private off-campus housing, including rental vacancies and roommate notices, and general information about neighborhoods at the UCLA’s Community Housing Office.

We currently have 36 faculty members, 29 Emeriti, and 11 joint appointments (faculty who also have appointments in other departments). We currently have 116 graduate students. The actual faculty/student ratio varies depending on area of interest.