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Admission Information for Prospective Students


*** UCR Sociology is not currently accepting applications for admission to its graduate program.
Please check back in Fall 2026. ***

Applying to our program

New students can enter the program only in the Fall quarter. The application deadline for complete applications (online application and recommendation letters and a hard copy of official transcripts) is December 15. You may encounter different deadline dates on the UCR Graduate Division website, but they do not apply to our department.

Transcripts should be mailed to the department address, Attention: Graduate Assistant. We recommend that you give your letter writers a deadline prior to December 15th. We encourage you to use the online application system to request letters from your recommenders via email and have them submit electronic copies of their recommendations through that system.

Your application must include a Statement of Purpose. Ignore the instructions regarding the required Statement of Purpose listed on the Graduate Division application website. Instead, follow the instructions below.

  • The PhD. is a research degree suited for basic and applied research in the academic, private, and not-for-profit sectors. In light of this, and in 500 words or less, describe your research interests and career goals. In particular, identify (1) at least one empirical question you’d like to pursue in graduate school and the theoretical and methodological tools best suited to answer it and (2) your ultimate career goal (i.e. what you would like to do, professionally, upon completion of the PhD.).
  • In 350 words or less, describe your academic and research experiences that prepare you for this doctoral program (e.g. coursework, research experience, presentations, publications) and the tangible skills (e.g., computer programming, statistical software, qualitative data-analytic software, foreign language, etc.) you have acquired that will advance your research agenda.
  • In 350 words or less, explain why the UC Riverside Sociology Department is a good fit for your research agenda and professional aspirations. In particular, (1) describe how your preparation, experiences, and interests match the scholarly expertise of faculty in the department, (2) identify two department faculty in each of two specializations with whom you would like to work and explain how their interests match your own.

You must also include a Statement of Personal History, which is distinct and SHOULD NOT contain the same information as the Statement of Purpose. Follow the instructions regarding the Statement of Personal History on the Graduate Division application website, which can be found here: https://graduate.ucr.edu/admission-requirements#statement_of_purpose_and_personal_history_statement.

Be sure to include in your application the Supplemental Form; it will enable you to be considered for the various funding opportunities (e.g., Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship).

A degree in sociology is not required for admission. An undergraduate GPA above 3.5 is desirable. Some funding sources have a minimum GPA to be considered for an award.

Applicants must provide a writing sample (e.g., published research, academic paper, or thesis) as part of their online application, ideally a piece of sociological research or work produced for a sociology course.

Funding Opportunities

We typically fund graduate students for four years through a combination of fellowships and teaching assistantships (via contract). Students who need funding for additional years get it through research grants, awards, (non-contractual) teaching assistantships, instructorships, research assistantships or other employment on campus. Funding options typically include:

  • Graduate Division Stipend: Usually awarded as part of a larger fellowship package, these dollars go directly from Graduate Division to the student. The student receives quarterly disbursements at the beginning of each quarter of their award.
  • Teaching Assistantships (TAs): The Sociology Department offers numerous TAships to qualified first and second-year graduate students. TAs lead discussion sections and provide assistance to faculty in undergraduate courses.
  • Research Assistantships: Graduate Students Researcher positions (GSRs) are available periodically to assist faculty with research. GSRs work with faculty in a variety of research areas such as theories of race and power, cultural politics and production, and the state, law, and social transformation.
  • Employment Awards – PFR & GSHIP: Students who are appointed at 25% or more during an academic quarter as an ASE employee are entitled to Partial Fee Remission (PFR) and Graduate Student Health Insurance Premium (GSHIP) remission. This entitlement pays the entire health insurance premium, and most, but not all, of a student’s mandatory university fees.
  • Federal Government Loans: Federal Loans are available to domestic graduate students through the Financial Aid Office. Applicants must complete FAFSA online. We encourage you to complete your FAFSA as soon as possible, even if you are only considering applying for graduate school.
Before entering our program

We believe all students can and should become quantitatively literate even if they plan to do qualitative research. One way to prepare for the required courses prior to program entry is to take a refresher course (e.g. one of our undergraduate level statistics courses, SOC 005 or SOC 110) or review an undergraduate level stats text, such as Hart. (2008). Statistics: A very short introduction, New York: Oxford or Salkind, (2008). Statistics for people who (think they) hate statistics. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

For assistance, please contact the Sociology Graduate Assistant, Tiara Caldwell, at tiara.caldwell@ucr.edu.