FAQs

General | Admissions | Financial Support | The Community


 

General Questions

How is the graduate program in Sociology organized?

The graduate program in Sociology at the University of Connecticut is a Ph.D. program. We seek students who are willing to make the commitment to the Ph.D. Most students enter with a B.A. and obtain the M.A. in Sociology in the first two years of the program, then proceed to the Ph.D. Students who are admitted with the M.A. in Sociology from another institution will typically finish the Ph.D. program in a shorter time.

What is the best academic preparation for graduate work in Sociology?

Ideally, students should have an undergraduate degree or at least some courses in sociology. But we also accept students who have undergraduate degrees in other social sciences and other fields. Strong writing skills are essential. Students are also strongly advised to take an undergraduate statistics course in order to be prepared for the graduate quantitative methods sequence in our program. Students should have an undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher.

What are the requirements for the PhD in Sociology? 

See the Graduate Handbook for information.

How long does it take to get the PhD in Sociology? 

Students entering with B.A. typically take about six years to complete the program. Students entering with M.A. in Sociology typically take about four years.

What if I just want to get a M.A. in Sociology? 

We grant M.A. degrees during the course of the Ph.D. program, but our program does not offer a terminal M.A. If you are looking to obtain only an M.A., it is better to apply to a specialized M.A. program oriented towards your specific interests.

What research opportunities are available to graduate students?

We provide a supportive environment for students to engage in original research projects and strongly encourage students to publish their research. Students get many opportunities to initiate publishable research projects in their graduate coursework. Many faculty members actively collaborate with graduate students in publishing papers in leading sociological journals or edited collections.  Also, students may also get opportunities to work on faculty research projects as graduate research assistants. These appointments often lead to opportunities to publish independently or with faculty investigators.

Are international students encouraged to apply?

Yes, we have a strong tradition of admitting international students. International students have the same access to funding and other opportunities as U.S. students. In recent years, we have welcomed students from countries such countries as Chile, China, France, India, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey.

Can graduate students take courses in other departments? 

Yes, our program requires all graduate students to take at least two courses in another department. Some students take more than this minimum requirement to earn a graduate certificate in fields such as Quantitative Research Methods; Human Rights; Survey Research; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Public and Nonprofit Management; Culture, Health and Human Development; and International Studies.

Does UConn have other academic programs that are of interest to graduate students in sociology? 

Yes, there are numerous centers and institutes which offer courses, public lectures, and employment opportunities for Sociology graduate students including the following:

 Asian American Studies Institute
Center for Applied Research in Human Development
Center for Behavioral Education and Research
Center for Education Policy Analysis
Center for Environmental Health
Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention (CHIP)
Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER)
Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life
Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies
Center for Public Health and Health Policy
Center for the Study of Culture, Health and Human Development
Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis (CCEA)
Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CCEI)
Human Rights Institute
Institute for Africana Studies
Institute for Violence Prevention and Reduction
Labor Education Center
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 

I am interested in a career in counseling or social work. Is this program for me? 

No, you should apply to a specialized graduate program in those areas, such as the one at UConn’s School of Social Work .

What should I do if I want to visit the department?

We encourage students to visit the department either before or after they are admitted. We will arrange for you to meet faculty and graduate students with similar research interests as you. If you wish to arrange a visit, please contact Professor Elizabeth Holzer, Director of Graduate Studies in Sociology, at elizabeth.holzer@uconn.edu.

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Admissions

What is the application deadline? 

Completed applications for admission must be received by January 10 to be considered for the Giolas-Harriott Fellowship (GHF) , Crandall-Cordero Fellowship (CCF), The NextGenCT Fellowship or the Outstanding Scholars Program (OSP) , and by February 1 to be considered for financial assistance from the Department of Sociology as a teaching assistant or research assistant. Applications that come in after this deadline may not receive fullest consideration. Any inquiries about the status of your application should be directed to the Graduate School by email at gradschool@uconn.edu or by phone at (860) 486-3617. Initial decisions about admissions and financial aid will be made in February.

Can I be admitted to the UConn sociology program if I was not a sociology major as an undergraduate?

Yes, although most of the students admitted to our program were sociology majors as undergrads, others majored in other social sciences and some majored in the humanities or natural sciences. If you did not major in sociology, it is helpful if you have taken some sociology courses. Some students who did not take much sociology as undergraduates may be asked to take additional undergrad sociology courses to give them the necessary background. In particular, if you have not taken an undergraduate course in statistical methods, you will be asked to take Sociology 3211Q before taking Sociology 5203.

Can I be admitted to the UConn sociology program if I have received a M.A. in Sociology from another university?

Yes, but we expect students to have acquired the same level of graduate training as our program requires of students who achieve the M.A. in our department. Some students entering with the M.A. in Sociology may have to take some courses to put them on par with students who have achieved the M.A. at UConn.

Can I be admitted to the UConn sociology program if I have a M.A. degree in another discipline like Political Science, Economics, or Social Work?

Yes, but you must complete the entire Ph.D. program (including the M.A. in Sociology). In other words, you must complete the same foundation work that is expected of students who complete our M.A. in Sociology.

Is the GRE required for admission?

Yes, the general test (Math, Verbal, Analytical) is required, but the Sociology subject test is not.

What is the most important factor in admissions decisions: undergrad GPA, GRE, letters of reference, personal statement, or something else?

Each of these factors is important, but we do not have a set formula for weighting different parts of the package. The Admissions Committee holistically examines applicants’ admissions materials. You should obtain letters of reference from people who know you well. Since we are trying to evaluate your academic potential, letters from faculty members are most useful, although letters from employers will also be considered.

I am not a native speaker of English–do I need to take the TOEFL?

Yes, unless you have an undergraduate degree from a college or university in the United States.

It’s been a while since I graduated from college. Can I still be admitted to your program?

Yes, many of our students have pursued other careers before entering the program.

Do you admit students for part-time study?

No, the program is intended for full-time students.

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Financial Support

What percentage of graduate students receives financial support?

We attempt to support all of our graduate students who are making satisfactory progress in the program. This normally means six years of support for students entering with the B.A. and four years of support for students entering with a M.A. in Sociology from another university. Some students may receive an additional year of support if funding is available.

What is the level of financial support for graduate students? 

Current stipend levels for the 2015-2015 academic year are posted in our website’s Graduate Studies section entitled “Financial Aid“.

Is there any chance I can lose my financial support?

Yes, if you fail to maintain satisfactory progress in the program as defined in the Graduate Handbook. However, if you are admitted, we have a high expectation that you will succeed in the program. Most students maintain satisfactory progress throughout their careers and only a very small percentage ever lose their funding.

What forms of support do you offer?

Pre-MA students are usually employed as graduate teaching assistants. Their duties are to assist faculty members in their undergraduate and graduate classes. Post-MA students are generally employed as lecturers and are given full responsibility for teaching their own courses. Some students work as research assistants helping faculty who have received internal and external grants on their research projects.

What is the amount of support?

Most students receive “full” support (20 hours per week). See the “Admission and Financial Aid” link at the right for more information. In addition to the stipend, students employed as lecturers, teaching assistants, or research assistants also receive a tuition waiver and may purchase UConn-sponsored health insurance at a discounted rate.

Is financial assistance available for international students?

Yes, all students receive the same consideration for departmental support.

Does the University of Connecticut admit students with Fulbright fellowships?

Yes, in recent years we have admitted Fulbright scholars from Chile, Israel, and Pakistan.

Are there any fellowships available to graduate students?

Yes, exceptional applicants might be offered a fellowship from the Outstanding Student Program (OSP) or the NextGenCT Fellowship. These awards are made by the Graduate School competitively on a university-wide basis to students with exceptional promise. The Graduate school also offers fellowships called the Giolas-Harriott Fellowship (GHF) or Crandall-Cordero Fellowship (CCF). These awards are made to American minority students competitively on a university-wide basis. These awards provide financial full or partial support without service obligations.

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The Community

Where is Storrs? What is it like? 

Storrs is in Northeastern Connecticut. It is in a picturesque rural setting, but it is very accessible to major urban areas like Hartford, New Haven, Providence, Boston, and New York City. The downtown area is currently undergoing a major redevelopment with new shops, apartments, and restaurants within easy walking distance to campus.

Does the University have any housing for graduate students?

Yes, the university has affordable graduate student housing and there is also off-campus housing near campus. Many students start out living on campus, then move off campus when they get more familiar with the area.

What is the off-campus housing situation?

Some students live in apartment complexes or shared houses near Storrs. Others live in the town of Willimantic about 10 minutes from campus. Others live in outlying suburbs of Hartford like Manchester or Vernon, about 15-20 minutes away from campus. See the Residential Life website for information on housing.

Is public transportation available?

Yes there is a campus bus service to get around on campus and also bus service from Willimantic to Storrs. Students can also utilize a bus service that connects the campus to Hartford and New York City.

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