Sociology (MA)

Admissions Requirements

Applicants are examined holistically using the following information in the admissions decisions: GPA, quality of the undergraduate program from which the applicant graduated, two academic letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and possibly an interview with the candidate. Beginning with applicants for Fall 2021, GRE scores are no longer required, although students may submit them if they wish to have them considered. 

The Department of Sociology is committed to fostering diversity by considering factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, and social class in its graduate and undergraduate programs; as such, background factors and circumstances will be considered when reviewing applications.

While admission solely on meeting—or not meeting—certain criteria, chances are improved with the following:

  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.2;
  • Previous undergraduate course work in statistics, methods, and theory* (with a grade of B+ or better in statistics and a grade of B in methods and social theory)*; and
  • International students should also have either (a) a TOEFL score of  213 (on computer-based test) or 79-80 (on the internet-based test), (b) a IELTS score of at least 6.5 or (c) Duolingo score of 105.

*Students may be allowed to make up deficiencies or use equivalent undergraduate courses for these prerequisites. Students who have completed similar courses in these areas may be asked to provide both the course syllabus and completed course work to determine equivalency. Students should contact Dr. Jonetta Weber to discuss any questions regarding these prerequisites.  

In exceptional cases, students not qualified for regular admission may be conditionally admitted.

We encourage anyone interested in our graduate program to apply, regardless of grade point averages from undergraduate work or previous graduate work. When making our admission decisions, we holistically consider GPAs alongside personal statements and letters of recommendation (and other materials), knowing that a low GPA can be offset by other personal strengths. We do, however, prefer individuals with undergraduate GPAs of 3.2 or above, and (if applicable) graduate degree GPAs of 3.5 or above. We also encourage anyone who is considering applying to our graduate program to visit our department and meet with our faculty members and current graduate students.

Application Requirements

All applicants must submit to the Graduate Admissions Office:
• A graduate application
• Official copies of transcripts from all colleges attended (students with a foreign transcript must submit an evaluation of the transcript from World Education Services ( or Educational Credentials Evaluators (
• Two references (preferably from former instructors, and in sociology, if possible) in the form of a discursive letter of recommendation and completion of the Letter of Evaluation form
• A curriculum vitae or résumé

• TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo scores, if an international student

• A personal statement (~500-750 words) addressing the points below and giving the department's Graduate Committee a basis for evaluating the student's interest in and ability to complete the program:

  • Please explain your reasons for applying to the master's program in sociology at the University of Louisville. 
  • Discuss your professional or occupational objectives and how you envision the department’s program fitting into those objectives.       
  • Describe the areas of sociology you find especially interesting for study and/or research and identify the sociology faculty with whom you might be interested in working. 
  • Reflect on how prepared you are for a program that is relatively heavy in both quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Reflect on your ability to persist after encountering academic obstacles.                                                                                                                                                  

Students may supplement their application file with GRE scores, but GRE scores are not required for admission. 

Application Deadlines and Graduate Assistantships

The Sociology Department has available annually a limited number of graduate assistantships.

The application deadline for students not seeking funding is June 1 for fall admission and November 1 for spring admission. (Late applications may be considered on an individual basis.) The Department of Sociology does not admit students during the summer session.

The application deadline for students seeking funding (including graduate assistantshipsis January 5 of the preceding year for fall admission and October 1 for spring admission. The materials must also be accompanied by a letter of interest (a) indicating that the applicant wishes to be considered for an assistantship, and (b) elaborating why the applicant is a good candidate for an assistantship.

Accelerated BA-BS/MA in Sociology Application Procedure

Students must apply for admission to the program no later than the end of their junior year to be eligible enroll in graduate coursework in their final year of the program.  The following must be submitted to the Graduate School:

  • Graduate application
  • Two references (preferably from sociology instructors) in the form of a discursive letter of recommendation and completion of the Letter of Evaluation form
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé
  • GRE scores.

Applicants must also submit to the Department of Sociology responses to the Sociology Graduate Admissions Questionnaire (below).  Responses should be of sufficient length to give the Graduate Admissions Committee a basis for evaluating the student’s interest in and ability to complete the program, and provide a sample of the student’s writing. Responses can be submitted in four separate essays or combined in one longer essay.

Admissions Questionnaire

  1. Please explain your reasons for applying to the accelerated master's program in sociology. What are your professional or occupational objectives (including any study beyond the master of arts in sociology)? How does this department’s program fit into those objectives?
  2. What areas of sociology do you find especially interesting for study and/or research?
  3. What positions of responsibility, if any, have you had, and what, specifically, do you believe you have gained from such experience? Positions may include not only employment, but offices held in organizations, volunteer work, etc.
  4. Please summarize what you believe to be your most important accomplishments to date, including those in the academic or occupational areas.

Program Requirements

SOC 604Proseminar in Sociology-MA1
SOC 609Statistics I3
SOC 615Research Methods3
SOC 618Qualitative Research Methods3
SOC 622Survey Research and Design3
SOC 655Social Problems3
SOC 685Race and Ethnicity3
or SOC 675 Social Inequality & Stratification
SOC 690Independent Study (second course may be a graduate-level sociology elective)6
SOC 691Topical Seminar in Sociology (topic will vary from year to year but focus on a social institution)3
SOC 693Research Study Administration3
SOC 695Research Study6
Minimum Total Hours37