FAQ

When is the application deadline?
Do I need to submit any materials directly to the department?
Do you require a writing sample?
Are the applications reviewed as they come in, or are they considered all at once after the application deadline?
Do you have a terminal MA program?
What happens if I already have an MA in sociology, or some other field?
Is the GRE required?
What are the preferred scores for the GRE?
What is the school code for the GRE?
Is there a minimumTOEFL score?
What is the median GPA for admission to the Sociology graduate program?
Do you have a form for the letters of recomendation?
How many letters of recommendation are required?
Could I schedule a visit sometime soon to talk with someone in the Sociology Department?
Can I still be admitted if I am residing outside the U.S. and cannot attend the "Visit Day"?
Do you admit part time graduate students?
How long does it take to get a Ph.D. in Sociology at Notre Dame?
Can I take any or all of the Ph.D. Sociology program on-line as part of a distance learning program?
Does the program admit students without funding?
How many students apply to your program, and how many are admitted?


1)  When is the application deadline?   
January 4, 2017. Please note that administrative offices are closed from 12/23/16 - 1/1/17 for the holidays. Any queries received during this time will be answered beginning on 1/2/17.

2) Do I need to submit any materials directly to the department?   
No. All application materials should be submitted through the online application system found on the Graduate School website. 

3)  Do you require a writing sample? 
Yes, a writing sample is required. 

4)  Are the applications reviewed as they come in, or are they considered all at once after the application deadline? 
The admissions committee reviews all of the applications after the January 4th deadline. The committee will begin notifying applicants about admission decisions in early February.

5) Do you have a terminal MA program?
No, our program does NOT admit students who are only seeking an MA. The MA program is nested within the Ph.D program.

6) What happens if I already have an MA in sociology, or some other field?
Students who enter the program with an MA degree can ask to have the thesis requirements waived. They may also receive waivers and/or credit for prior coursework associated with an MA degree. Details are spelled out in the department's "Sociology Graduate Guide." However, these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Graduate Studies, in accordance with what s/he thinks is in the student's best interests.

7) Is the GRE required?
GRE scores ARE required. Test results more than five years old will not be accepted. The subject test in Sociology is neither required, nor recommended.

8) What are the preferred scores for the GRE?
The department does not impose minimum standards for GRE scores.  The Graduate Admissions Committee looks at all of the information in each applicants' file, and judges a students' GRE scores accordingly.  Based on data from recent cohorts, students who are admitted to our program generally score 160 for Verbal, 155 for Math, and 5.0 for Writing.  Again, these are not "cut-offs," and the range of scores among admitted students falls both above and below these averages. 

9) What is the school code for the GRE? 
School Code: 1841, Dept. code:  2102

10) Is there a minimum TOEFL score?
Yes, the minimum score for the TOEFL is a total of 80, with a minimum of 23 in the speaking section.

11) What is the median GPA for admission to the Sociology graduate program?
Most students who are admitted to our program have GPAs of 3.5 or higher. Students with GPAs below 3.0 are rarely admitted.

12) Do you have a form for the Letters of Recommendation?
No.  Letters should be on letterhead from the recommender's university. 

13) How many letters of recommendation are required?
Applicants should submit three letters of recommendation.

14) Could I schedule a visit sometime soon to talk with someone in the Sociology Department?
We do not schedule individual visits for applicants. Each February, we invite selected applicants to our “Visit Day.”  Invited applicants receive numerous presentations on our program, and attend formal and informal meetings with current faculty members and graduate students.  The admissions committee makes decisions about offers of admission after evaluating feedback from faculty about our visitors.

15) Can I still be admitted if I am residing outside the U.S. and cannot attend the "Visit Day"?
Applicants residing outside of the U.S are evaluated on the exact same criteria as all other applicants.  If you cannot attend the visit day, we will set up a series of Skype interviews with selected faculty members in the department, for both evaluative and informational purposes.

16) Do you admit part time graduate students? 
No, all students in our program are full time students who recieve a stipend for their work as a graduate student assistant during the academic year.

17)  How long does it take to get a Ph.D. in Sociology at Notre Dame?
On average, students take six years to complete our program. Some students with prior experience in graduate school can finish in four or five years as a full time student.

18) Can I take any or all of the Ph.D. Sociology program on-line as part of a distance learning program? 
No, we do not (and will not) have an on-line program.

19) Does the program admit students without funding?
All students who are admitted to our program will be given a full tuition scholarship and a stipend to work as a Graduate Assistant in the department.

20) How many students apply to your program, and how many are admitted?
We receive well over a hundred applications in a given year, and we typically admit around 10% of applicants to our program.