PhD Application Process

The department accepts applications for the PhD program; we do not offer a terminal Master’s Degree. All students admitted to our program will be offered six years of full funding. Admissions decisions are made once per year, with students beginning their course of study during the Fall semester. Applications to the graduate program are evaluated holistically; we look for a variety of signs of high achievement and research potential, as well as fit with our research areas.

We are now accepting applications for the Fall 2023 cohort. The application submission deadline is January 1, 2023.

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Application Requirements

To apply for the PhD in Sociology, you will need the following application materials: 

1.    A completed application form and submitted $45 application fee.  Fee waivers are available through the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences. Requests for fee waivers should be sent to
2.    A personal statement of approximately 2-3 pages explaining your motivation for pursuing graduate study in Sociology, your future career goals, as well as your preparation for graduate work. Please also comment on the sub-areas within Sociology you hope to explore in depth in your graduate study and the faculty with whom you would hope to collaborate. 
3.    A writing sample of no more than 30 pages.
4.    Unofficial transcript(s) from all prior degree-awarding programs (BA and up).
5.    Three letters of recommendation.
6.    A Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume.
7.    GRE scores. Please note that the GRE is recommended, but not required for application to the Sociology graduate program. If you choose to include these scores, please use the WU code 6929 for reporting and application. 
8.    TOEFL scores. Applicants who have received a bachelor’s degree from an institution where all instruction is not given in English must submit TOEFL or IELTA scores. We require a minimum TOEFL composite score of 100 and/or a minimum of 7 on the IELTS Academic. More information on Washington University's English Profiency Certification requirements and protocol can be found here.


For additional details regarding applications, please refer to the Office of Graduate Studies Admissions page.

For frequently asked questions from prospective Sociology graduate students, please see our Prospective Sociology Graduate Student FAQ page

Additional questions may be sent to the Graduate Program Administrator and Academic Coordinator at

Applications must be submitted online through the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences. Ready to apply? Get started below. 

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