How to Apply to the PhD Program

Thank you for your interest in the PhD Program in Sociology here at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM).
To learn more about the graduate education, please visit the Graduate School at http://www.graduateschool.uwm.edu/students/prospective/

International students should visit: http://www4.uwm.edu/cie/futurestudents/69/

The graduate application is available at: www.gradschool.uwm.edu/apply. The Graduate School recommends that you begin the application process one year before the semester you plan to start. Please note that new students are admitted to the PhD Program in Sociology for the fall semester only. Completed applications must be received by the Department no later than January 10th of the year that you intend to start.

You must meet both Graduate School and Sociology Department requirements for to be considered for admission.

Graduate School Requirements

Minimum Qualifications

Applicants for admission to the UWM Graduate School must have the following:

  1. A baccalaureate degree, or its equivalent as determined by the UWM Center on International Education, from a regionally accredited institution, completed before the first term of enrollment in the Graduate School. Students applying to approved integrated bachelor’s/master’s programs are exempt from this requirement.
  2. Proficiency in the English language.
  3. A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale, or an equivalent measure on a grading system that does not use a 4.0 scale.

    Those whose undergraduate GPA is below 2.75 must provide evidence of ability to succeed in graduate study through at least one of the following:

    • GPA of at least 3.0 during the last two years of the baccalaureate program (calculated on a minimum of 48 credits).
    • Completion of six or more credits of program-approved post-baccalaureate courses. These courses must be at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level, taken with the last five years with a grade of B or better (B- not acceptable).
    • Submission of official score reports from the Graduate Record Examination, the Graduate Management Admission Test, or the Miller Analogies Test that indicate competencies in areas related to the proposed graduate program. To be considered official, these scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to UWM, and must be received prior to admission.
    • Scores on tests developed by the proposed graduate program that demonstrate potential for success in that program. These scores must be submitted prior to admission.
    • Evidence of professional certification or licensure in a relevant area as determined by the proposed program and the Director of Graduate Education.
    • A graduate degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA

    Prospective students should consult with Sociology Director of Graduate Studies Prof. John Roberts to determine which type of evidence is appropriate and sufficient. Completion of additional coursework and/or submission of test scores, or other types of evidence of ability is a requirement to be considered for admission, but is not a guarantee of admission.

    All of an applicant’s undergraduate coursework completed before award of the first undergraduate degree is included in the GPA computation. For courses that were repeated for credit, each attempt is included.

Items to submit to the Graduate School as part of the application

The following items must be submitted for your application to be considered complete.

  1. Transcripts: One official transcript sent directly to the Graduate School from each undergraduate and graduate school attended. If you attended UWM as an undergraduate, the Graduate School will obtain transcripts from the UWM Undergraduate Records Office.
  2. Reasons Statement: An essential part of your application, the Reasons Statement is used to determine the appropriateness of your educational and professional goals and serves as an example of your ability to express yourself in writing. In the statement:
    • Explain your reasons for pursuing graduate study.
    • Describe specific interests and your background in the field.
    • List any relevant skills or training you have acquired.
    • List relevant academic awards or honors you have received.
    • If your program requires recommendations, list the names of those individuals who will write on your behalf.
  3. Fee/s: A non-refundable, $56 base application fee is required of all applicants, and an additional $40 evaluation fee, also non-refundable, is required for applicants with college-level work from non-U.S. colleges.

Sociology Department Requirements

Minimum qualifications

Possess a MA degree in Sociology or be in the process of completing a MA degree at the time of application, with the expectation of completion of the degree prior to beginning of the Ph.D. program.

Students without a MA degree in sociology are eligible for admission to the Ph.D. program if (a) they have a bachelor’s degree in sociology or a related field and they show exceptional preparation for graduate school or (b) they have a master’s degree in a closely related field. In addition to the requirements for the Ph.D., all students must (a) complete the required courses for the master’s degree in sociology or comparable courses from other institutions and (b) earn or transfer 24 credits in sociology or a closely related field. If fewer than 24 credits are ruled acceptable for the doctoral program, the student will have to make up those credits.

Items to submit to the Sociology Department as part of the application

The following documents should be submitted directly to the Sociology Department. The documents may be sent via US Mail to Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, PO Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413 or electronically as a pdf attachment to grad-sociology@uwm.edu.

  1. Submit a copy of the applicant’s MA thesis or paper, or, if an applicant did not complete a thesis/paper, scholarly writing sample of original sociological research.
  2. Three letters of recommendation with Department Cover Sheets (see Appendix A or available at: http://uwm.edu/sociology/wp-content/uploads/sites/151/2014/10/LOR-Cover-Sheet2014.pdf). The letters should be from persons, preferably faculty, familiar with the applicant’s scholastic achievement and potential. Please note that letters of recommendation must be on official letterhead, be signed and submitted directly by the letter writer.
  3. Submit a cogent personal statement detailing the individual’s reasons for pursuing doctoral study in Sociology.
  4. Submit official score report from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  5. Optional: Teaching Assistantship Form (see Appendix B or available at: http://uwm.edu/sociology/wp-content/uploads/sites/151/2014/10/TA-Interest-Form.pdf )

If you would like to talk with someone about the MAProgram, please feel free to contact the Sociology Director of Graduate Studies, Prof. John Roberts at jmrob@uwm.edu, 414/229-6944. We look forward to reading your application and hope you will considered joining our program.