Admissions Procedures


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UCSB Sociology Department will not be accepting applications during the 2021 admissions cycle.

We look forward to receiving applications in the fall of 2021 for our 2022 cohort.


DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: The Department of Sociology admits for the Fall Quarter only. The deadline for receipt of the online application is December 1. AFTER THIS DATE, NO FURTHER APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

ONLINE APPLICATION: Students must submit an online application with Graduate Division. Online Graduate Application

If you are a person with a disability and require an application in other than electronic form, please contact the Graduate Division by calling (805) 893-2277.

SUPPLEMENTAL APPLICATION MATERIALS: Along with the application, students are required to submit GRE scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, personal achievements/contributions, resume or curriculum vitae and a writing sample via online application.

GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATION (GRE): Official GRE scores should be sent directly from ETS (the testing organization) to the Graduate Division of UCSB. UCSB's institution code is 4835, and the department code should be left blank. There is no minimum score requirement for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing scores on the GRE are required of all applicants. (The Advanced Sociology Test is optional). The GRE only offers computerized test formats. To insure that test scores are received by the application deadline, students should plan to take the GRE no later than November 18, but we will accept scores through January 1. GREs taken later may arrive too late to be considered for the forthcoming year and thus cause your application to be rejected. For Sociology, there is no minimum required score for the GRE for admission to our program. Information on obtaining test scores is located further down the page.

TEST OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (TOEFL): Official TOEFL scores should be sent directly from ETS (the testing organization) to the Graduate Division of UCSB. Applicants whose native language is not English must receive a score of at least 550 Paper-Based Test, 80 Internet-Based Test or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Overall Band score of 7 or higher (if applicable).

TRANSCRIPTS: Transcripts should be submitted online through the Online Graduate Application. Your GPA for admission to UCSB graduate studies must be at least a 3.0 for your upper division coursework (from your undergraduate institution(s)).

THREE (3) LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: Please note that all letters of recommendation should be submitted online through the Online Graduate Application.

Caution: if using a writing service, make sure that service knows all letters must be postmarked on or before the December 1 deadline. In the past, some services held letters and mailed when all had been received, missing the deadline.

These letters should contain the following kinds of information:

  • circumstances under which referee has known the student.
  • the referee's evaluation of the student's overall intellectual ability (e.g., analytical power, critical facility, theoretical skills); independence of thought (e.g., insight, imagination, creativity); effectiveness of communication, oral and written; motivation, persistence, self-discipline, thoroughness, etc.
  • the referee's assessment of the student's long run, overall probable contributions to sociology, to society, and to UCSB's graduate program.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Give a brief statement outlining your reasons for undertaking a graduate program, your particular area of specialization within the major field, your past academic work, and your plans for future occupation or profession. Please include information about yourself, your goals, and anything else you feel will help the admission committee understand who you are and why you want to attend our program. Also include any additional information that may assist the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study at the Sociology Department at UCSB.

Please put your name on each page of your Statement of Purpose, Personal Achivements, CV, etc.; recommended length for the statement is 2-3 pages (preferably 2) with normal font size and line spaced at 1.5 spacing.

PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS/CONTRIBUTIONS: UC Santa Barbara is interested in a diverse and inclusive graduate student population. Please describe any aspects of your personal background, accomplishments, or achievements that you feel are important in evaluating your application for graduate study. For example, please describe if you have experienced economic challenges in achieving higher education, such as being financially responsible for family members or dependents, having to work significant hours during undergraduate schooling or coming from a family background of limited income. Please describe if you have any unusual or varied life experiences that might contribute to the diversity of the graduate group, such as fluency in other languages, experience living in bicultural communities, academic research interests focusing on cultural, societal, or educational problems as they affect underserved segments of society, or evidence of an intention to use the graduate degree toward serving disadvantaged individuals or populations. The recommended length for the personal achievements/contributions is 1-2 pages.

RESUME OR CURRICULUM VITAE: List your positions of employment or volunteer work/community service since high school, either full or part-time, including the hours per week worked and the nature and dates of employment or service.

WRITING SAMPLE: A sample of written work in sociology or in a closely related field must be submitted with the online application. If a writing sample is submitted in excess of 15 pages, please designate which 10-15 pages of your work the Admissions Committee should read. All written work should include a bibliography, footnotes, or references, if applicable. All writing samples must be written in English or translated into English by a certified translator.



Official GRE and TOEFL scores should be sent directly from Educational Testing Service. Enter UCSB's institution code (4835), and the department code should be left blank.  GRE scores are valid for 5 years.

TOEFL or IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. Scores cannot be older than 2 years from the day you submit your E-app to Graduate Division.

Please note: TOEFL scores must be sent electronically through the ETS, and UCSB is no longer accepting computer-based TOEFL scores.

No application can be processed without the nonrefundable $105 (domestic) and $125 (international) application fee by credit card or check.  Checks should be paid to the order of: Regents, University of California. Payment details are on the Graduate Division E-Application. Payment must be received by the application deadline of Dec. 1.


Students who are reapplying for admission to the Department of Sociology must submit another application and application fee.


Arrangements for taking the GRE and TOEFL (for non-English speakers) are made through the Educational Testing Service which has facilities throughout the world. Students should consult the GRE booklet (either the Domestic Edition or Foreign Edition) for the most convenient test center. Booklets may be obtained from:

Educational Testing Service
Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000

(609) 771-7670

Official GRE and TOEFL scores should be sent directly from ETS (the testing organization). UCSB's institution code is 4835, and the department code should be left blank.


The Department of Sociology does not have a fixed schedule of dates for acceptance or denial. The burden of responsibility rests with the applicant to see that all supporting materials are submitted by the Dec 1 deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Students are encouraged to check their online application throughout the application submission and review process should the department have a question regarding application materials.

Although the Admissions Committee does not interview applicants, prospective students are cordially invited to visit the Department of Sociology to talk with current graduate students and faculty in their area of interest, or contact faculty through email. Please do not contact faculty concerning admission requirements, housing, or administrative items concerning admissions. Those questions should be directed to the Graduate Program Advisor at


UCSB Graduate Division:

Further information on UCSB's graduate studies can also be found at the Graduate Divison's website { }. This page includes links to financial aid, housing, campus visits, etc.