Application materials are submitted online through the Graduate Admissions Office.

The Sociology Department at Rutgers University offers a Ph.D. degree (with an M.A. degree earned along the way). The deadline for receiving applications for our Ph.D. program is December 1. Applications will only be considered if they are complete by the December 1st deadline.

A complete application consists of:

  • Application form
  • TOEFL scores for international students. You are exempt from submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores if you are a Permanent Resident, US citizen, or an international applicant with a minimum of three years undergraduate studies or a masters degree with the mode of instruction being English.
  • Official transcripts from each institution attended. Please request transcripts early so they are delivered by the application deadline. Instructions for the submission of official transcripts are available through Graduate and Professional Admissions.
  • Personal statement (approximately 2 single-spaced pages)

   Please include the following:

a. Why do you wish to pursue a graduate degree in sociology?

b. What kind of scholarly work in sociology most interests you?

c. Why do you wish to join the graduate program at Rutgers?

d. How do you hope to use your PhD degree?


  • Writing sample (approximately 10-20 double-spaced pages; paper should show sociological thinking)
  • Resume
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation


In the application form, you will enter your personal information, self-report your GRE/TOEFL scores, and enter your personal statement. 24 hours after you submit the application and pay the application fee, you will have access to upload the required supporting materials (Writing Sample, Resume). Additional information is available on the Graduate Admissions website.

The Department of Sociology at Rutgers University has offered a Ph.D. degree in sociology for almost fifty years. We currently have more than 35 faculty members and over 50 students in our program. We admit only students wishing to pursue the Ph.D. degree although we offer the M.A. degree as a stepping-stone toward the Ph.D. We do admit students who already have Master's degrees from other institutions and these students can apply some of the credits from that degree to their Ph.D. from Rutgers.

Admissions decisions are quite competitive. Only a small portion of applicants are accepted. Students who are admitted to our program have a strong record across all aspects of the application materials and show an excellent fit with the areas of specialization in our program. Prior coursework or practical experience in sociology is not required for admission.  However, candidates must demonstrate a clear understanding of the sociological approach to research in their personal statement and writing sample. We make every effort to fund all admitted students, usually in a package consisting of up to two years of fellowship followed by up to three years of teaching assistantship. 

If you are ready to apply for admission, go to the University's online application page

If you would like to learn more about our faculty, students, areas of specialization, degree requirements, and accomplishments before deciding whether or not to apply, read the materials posted on the rest of our website. If you have additional questions, about the application process or the graduate program, please contact the graduate program coordinator, Marie Ferguson, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or the director of graduate studies, Steve Brechin, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you are interested in job placements of our recent alumni, please review the Recent Placements and Alumni pages.