Thank you for your interest in the Sociology Department at UC Santa Cruz. We encourage you to browse our website to learn more about our program and our nationally and internationally recognized faculty. If UCSC seems like a good fit for your interests, please apply. 

We hope to have your creative and intellectual energy here as a graduate student in the Sociology Department!

Learn about UCSC's Sociology program, PhD requirements, our researchfaculty and current graduate students

Application process

View the Sociology admissions FAQ for the answers to common questions and refer to the Admissions Deadlines.

The online application process is administered by Graduate Division, not by the department. For technical questions about the online application, see the Graduate Division Admissions page and Graduate Division Admissions FAQ.

The Sociology PhD application requires the following:

  • Online application
  • $135.00 application fee for domestic applicants, $155.00 application fee for international applicants
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited undergraduate university prior to the quarter for which admission is sought.
  • Resume.
  • Statement of purpose (2-4 pages)
  • Personal history statement (1-3 pages)
  • One writing sample, approximately 20 pages, preferably in Sociology or in a related field. This sample is commonly a term paper, a field report, a research proposal, or an essay written specifically for the application.
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Transcript (unofficial or official) from the Registrar at each college-level institution attended, regardless of the length of time in attendance or if a degree was received, or whether work was completed. Students who accept an offer of admission will be required to submit official transcripts. Please do not submit duplicate transcripts.
  • Applicants from countries where English is not the primary language must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System test (IELTS). For admission to the Sociology program, the minimum scores are 550 for paper-based TOEFL, 83 for internet-based TOEFL, or 7 for IELTS. To be considered for Teaching Assistantships, you must score 26 or higher on the spoken word portion of the internet-based TOEFL, or get an overall score of 8 on the IELTS.
Note: The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required.

Questions? Contact the Graduate Program Coordinator at

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Are you interested in pursuing a Designated Emphasis in Sociology? Learn more about the Designated Emphasis in Sociology.