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Admissions to the Graduate Ph.D. Program in Sociology

Application Deadline: January 15

Application Process:

Note:  a detailed description of USF Graduate School policies surrounding admission can be found at:

1.  Application and application fee:

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2.  Send to the Office of Graduate Studies:

    University of South Florida
    Office of Graduate Studies BEH 304
    4202 East Fowler Avenue
    Tampa, Florida  33620-8470

  • two official transcripts from previous college work leading to the B.A. and M.A. degree.  Successful applicants typically have an a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in graduate work;
  • official  GRE scores.  Successful applicants typically have a GRE score of at least 160 verbal and 144 quantitative;
  • international students having earned their M.A. in a country whose official language is not English are required to (a) arrange to have their transcripts officially translated; (b) send TOEFL scores which should be a minimum of 79 (internet based), 213 (computer based), 550 (paper based).

3.  Send to Graduate Director, Department of Sociology:

    University of South Florida
    Graduate Director, Department of Sociology CPR 107
    4202 East Fowler Avenue
    Tampa, Florida  33620-8470

  • A statement of purpose detailing:  Research interests, reasons for seeking a Ph.D., future career goals, the fit between goals and the Sociology program at USF, a summary of scholarly and extra-curricular activities, and the names of Sociology department faculty members who would be appropriate advisors.
  • A writing sample written solely by the applicant (such as a thesis chapter or seminar paper) which demonstrates the ability to conduct research and write effectively.

  • A description of:
    • formal teaching experience (as instructor of record for a class)
    • informal or formal teaching assistant experience
    • informal or formal teaching training
    • particular teaching skills/talents
  • Also remember to attach to yout application:
    • curriculum vita
    • copies of syllabi for any courses taught previously
    • any other documentation of teacher training and/or teaching abilities

4.  Arrange to have three letters of reference from academic sources or others able to judge academic abilities and potential sent directly to the Graduate Director, Department of Sociology.

Note:  Applicants might also be asked to participate in an interview (in person or phone) with members of the Sociology Department Graduate Committee. 


1. Applicants for the Ph.D. program are required to have a Master’s Degree from an accredited institution:

    • Additional documentation (such as syllabi) may be required to determine that there is sufficient preparation to begin work at the Ph.D. level.  An outcome of this evaluation may be to require additional course work before formal admission into the Ph.D. program.  Additional courses will not count toward units needed to achieve the Ph.D. degree.
    • Although admission decisions typically are made in January-February, final decisions for students who have not yet completed their M.A. degree are contingent upon the completion of that degree before entering the program.

2. All applications are subject to a competitive review by the members of the Sociology Department Graduate Committee.  Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission into the program.

3. It is highly recommend that applicants establish contact with the Sociology Graduate Director quite early in the application process: