Sociology (SO75)

The Department of Sociology at the University of California San Diego offers training in a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches, from the humanistic to the computational. We have particular concentrations of expertise in the study of international migration; the sociology of science, knowledge, and medicine; political sociology and social movements; and the study of social inequalities. The department is particularly strong in international and comparative scholarship, with specialists using case studies from most regions of the world, including Europe, East Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, alongside the United States. It also pioneers a cultural approach to the study of social problems that spans many subfields by focusing on the process of meaning making and identity formation. Our program is designed to prepare students for two main goals: to contribute to the development of knowledge about societies and thereby advance the discipline of sociology; and to teach sociology at the graduate and undergraduate levels. The majority of graduates from the program find teaching and research positions in colleges and universities; many also work in nonacademic research and social policy positions.

Program Info

Area of Study Division of Social Sciences
Department Sociology
Major Sociology
Degree Doctor of Philosophy
Admissions Terms Fall
Additional Notes

While the master of arts degree may be awarded as a step toward the completion of the PhD, applicants seeking only an MA degree are not accepted. Students admitted for a PhD with a master’s degree in Sociology or a related discipline may not be candidates for a second master’s degree.

Application Deadlines January 5, 2022 (Fall 2022)

Basic Requirement

Admissions Tests

GRE General is recommended.

**The GRE will not be required for the Fall 2022 Admissions cycle.**
English Proficiency Exams

(international applicants only)

A test of English language proficiency is required for international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not studied full-time for one uninterrupted academic year at a university-level institution in which English is the language of instruction and in a country where English is a dominant language.

The following test(s) are accepted by this department:

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
PTE (Pearson Test of English)

English Language Requirement for International Teaching Assistants (TA):

International students whose native language is not English will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency before they may serve as teaching assistants.

International graduate students who are nonnative speakers of English must be certified as having requisite language skills before they can serve as teaching assistants (TAs; UC San Diego Graduate Division policy in compliance with Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 41).

Evidence of English Language Proficiency: Certification as Teaching Assistant Recommended Scores

Students may be certified either on the basis of their score on one of the following:

• have a TOEFL iBT Speaking subscore of 28-30
• have an IELTS Speaking subscore of 8.5
• have a PTE Speaking sub-score of 83,
• be an international graduate student who serves as a language assistant in courses conducted in their native language.

Those students with TOEFL speaking scores of 23 – 27, IELTS speaking scores of 7-8, or PTE speaking scores of 65-82 are required to take the English Language Certification Exam.

Students who do not pass the English Language Certification Exam are given the opportunity to improve their language skills.
Letters of Recommendation

Minimum of 3 recommendations required.

Statement of Purpose


Online Statement of Purpose only; 2500 word limit



Contact Info

Campus Office 401 Social Science Building
Phone (858) 534-4626
Fax (858) 534-4753
Mailing Address
University of California, San Diego
Department of Sociology
9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0533
La Jolla, CA, 92093-0533