Prospective Ph.D. FAQ


I am interested in a specific area (or areas) of study.  Is NYU's Sociology program an appropriate place for me?
NYU's Department of Sociology emphasizes both theoretical scholarship and substantive empirical research. It encourages a range of different analytic perspectives and is strong in both quantitative and qualitative methods. The graduate program complements contemporary American research -- including that focused on New York City -- with international and historical studies. Among its areas of strength are gender studies; political sociology, including social movements and social policy; crime, law and deviance; organizations and economy; culture; urban sociology; education; and social inequality.  If your primary areas of interest fall within these broad categories, NYU would be an excellent place for you to do graduate work in sociology. Another way you might examine this issue is by looking at the written work and areas of interest listed by our faculty on the webpage.  

Is it feasible for me to apply directly to the Ph.D. program with my B.A.?
Yes. This is the situation of most applicants. We do not require that you have previously earned a Master's Degree or even that you have a background in sociology. We are interested in finding the most talented candidates who fit well with our strengths as a department and will excel here.  

Do you offer a Master's Degree?
Yes, the NYU Department of Sociology does offer a Master's Degree in Applied Quantitative Research (AQR), however the AQR program is a separate program entirely and does not lead to the Ph.D. program.

I have not taken any courses in sociology. Are my qualifications enough to meet the requirements of your program?
It is not particularly important whether you have taken sociology courses before applying.  We evaluate each student's application according to their (1) GRE scores, (2) grades, (3) letters of recommendation, (4) statement of academic purpose, and, if applicable, (5) any work or research experiences that seem like a good preparation for graduate training in sociology.  If you are strong in most of these categories and IF we think there is a strong fit between your interests and our strengths as a department, then your application will be competitive.

Will my application be automatically rejected if my GRE scores fall below a certain level?
No.  We have no "cut off" level for GRE scores.  We weigh the merits of each application on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration all of the factors noted in the answer to the previous question. Obviously, strong GRE scores will make your application more competitive, but they alone do not guarantee admission, nor does any particular GRE score result in an automatic denial of admission.

I definitely need financial assistance.  How is financial aid awarded?
The NYU Department of Sociology only accepts students whom we can fully fund for a minimum of five years. The funding generally covers full tuition, fees, student health insurance plus a fellowship stipend. In addition, students have the opportunity to teach. Teaching is separate from the funding package, and any teaching compensation is above and beyond the fellowship support.

I am a foreign student, am I still eligible for financial aid?
All students who are accepted to the sociology department receive financial aid, regardless of nationality.

How many students are admitted to the program each year?
The amount of students admitted every year varies, but, typically, we offer admission to about 15-20 students in an effort to have an entering cohort of approximately 8-10 students.

How many people apply?
We typically receive approximately 400 applications.

How do I schedule an interview?
We do not schedule interviews for prospective graduate students before admissions decisions are made. Students who are accepted will be invited to an open house in the spring.

What is the school code for application to NYU's sociology department?
The school code is 2596.

What is the application deadline?
The deadline is January 4th.

When can I expect to hear back about my application?
The graduate admissions department expects to mail out decisions by mid-March.

What are the program-specific requirements for sociology?
GRE and TOEFL: GRE general test required. WE will now accept either the IELTS or the TOEFL as a test of English language proficiency. See test score requirements.

Statement of Academic Purpose: In a concisely written statement, please describe your past and present work as it relates to your intended field of study, your educational objectives, and your career goals. In addition, please include your intellectual and professional reasons for choosing your field of study and why your studies/research can best be done at the Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU. The statement should not exceed two double-spaced pages.

Writing Sample: A writing sample is required. It should demonstrate the applicant's ability to construct a coherent argument and could be either a paper for an undergraduate class or a publication. It is preferable that the sample be 5-20 pages long and double-spaced.

What is the average GPA and GRE score of students admitted to the Sociology Ph.D. program?
We do not keep track of the average GPA or GRE score of admitted students. GPAs and GREs are one of several factors we consider when making admission decisions. We also consider research experiences, statement of research interests, fit with the graduate program, and other factors.

I have a fellowship (such as a Fulbright) that will fund my graduate studies. Does this guarantee that I will be admitted?
No. You should indicate that you have a fellowship on your application. But all applicants are reviewed on the basis of their academic qualifications and their fit for the program, and having a fellowship does not guarantee admission.

If I am not offered a fellowship, can I pay my own way into the program?
No. All students admitted into the Ph.D. program are offered full funding from NYU. We do not offer additional slots for students who are able to pay for tuition on their own.

Am I a good fit for NYU?
This is always a hard question for us to answer. We are a relatively large department with faculty and graduate students working in many areas of sociology, but not all. You should look at the department website to see if there are faculty members who are working on subjects that interest you or using methods that you would like to learn. If you find them, then you are probably a good fit.