Department of Sociology

Frequently Asked Questions

PLEASE NOTE: For the 2021-22 admissions cycle (fall 2022 matriculation), the department will be waiving the GRE requirement. However, the department will continue to require the TOEFL. This supersedes the information below. 

Where do I submit my application?

Do you accept applications or recommendation letters by mail, hand-delivery, e-mail, or fax?

Is there a separate application for teaching assistant positions or to the Population Research Center?

Should I apply if I am only seeking a master's degree?
No. UT Austin Sociology currently does not admit students who do not plan to seek a doctoral degree/Ph.D. with us. A terminal master's degree in Sociology is NOT offered.

Can you tell me what courses I'll be able to waive?
No. Course waiver requests are evaluated and processed on an individual basis only after an applicant is admitted.

Can the GRE be waived?

Can I apply for an application fee waiver?

What are the equivalencies between the new and old GRE and TOEFL scores?
Refer to the ETS charts for GRE and TOEFL.

What are the minimum required scores?
There is no minimum GRE score required. An overall score of 550 (paper test), 213 (computer-based test), or 79 (internet-based test) on the TOEFL OR an overall band of 6.5 on the IELTS is considered the minimum acceptable for admission to UT Austin and the Sociology program. There are no individual section minimums for Sociology.

Do you count the Writing or Analytical section of the GRE?

Do I have to take the GRE Subject Test in Sociology?

Does UT Austin accept old test scores?
GRE scores must be 5 years old or less. TOEFL/IELTS scores must be 2 years old or less. That is through Dec 1 and when GIAC receives the scores from ETS.

I'm taking the GRE/TOEFL/IELTS a few weeks before/after the application deadline. Will my application still be considered?
The application deadline is December 1. Please do everything possible to ensure that all application materials are submitted online through the GIAC system by then.

Can the TOEFL/IELTS be waived?
The TOEFL/IELTS can be waived if applicants possess a bachelor's degree from the US or one of the countries on this list. The requirement for the TOEFL or IELTS will NOT be waived if applicants earned only a master's degree from a US institution or from an institution in another English only-speaking country. More information can be found at, which also gives information about exceptions, fee waivers, etc.

GIAC says that if my GRE Verbal score is high enough, I don't have to take the TOEFL/IELTS. Is that true?
No. The Department of Sociology requires all international students to submit valid TOEFL/IELTS scores. Exceptions are NOT made for certain scores of the verbal section of the GRE.

I submitted most of my application online before the deadline, but I know a few items are still missing. Will it be considered?

When should I expect to hear back from you?
Letters should go out by early to mid-March at the latest.

Can I call to get my application decision?
No. Admissions information can be given only to the applicant, and there is no way to verify identity via phone.

Can I apply to the Sociology Department via the internet?
Yes. Applications are now completely online at

What is the average GPA of your incoming class? What are the average GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores?
GPA: 3.68 (junior-level, senior-level, and graduate work only).
GRE: 1231 (584 Verbal, 647 Quantitative), pre-Aug 2011; 310 (159 Verbal, 151 Quantative), post-Aug 2011.
TOEFL: 624 paper, 263 computer, 107 internet.
Currently no info for IELTS.

What do the online application materials consist of?
See Instructions.

What degrees and concentrations do you offer?
Our department currently offers a non-terminal Master's and a Ph.D. in Sociology. Areas of concentration are: Crime, Law and Deviance; Demography; Education; Family; Gender; Health; Politics and Development; Race and Ethnicity; Theory; and Work, Occupations and Organizations.

I see you have several specialties I can choose from. Can I only pick one? Am I "stuck" once I commit to a specialty?
Applicants MUST pick one (their primary specialization/interest) for the purpose of the application. However in the program students are encouraged to combine several areas of Sociology in their research. They will be free to follow their research interests wherever they lead.

Do you offer degrees in Social Work?
No. See UT Austin School of Social Work.

Do you offer degrees in Public Health?
No. See UT Health Science Center at Houston.

Why don't you send paper applications anymore?
Paper applications are expensive, heavy, time-consuming, and not as secure to produce. Also, there is far more information on the website than in a brochure.

Can you evaluate my chances for admission? My GRE scores GPA is...and my major is...
No. We do not evaluate applicants until they have submitted a complete application, including the application fee.

My bachelor's degree is not in Sociology. Can I still be admitted into your department?
Yes. Many current students have degrees in other areas.

Is financial assistance available for international students?
Yes, but more limited.

What is the GRE/TOEFL code for the UT Austin Sociology graduate program?
School code: 6882. No major code. For IELTS, refer to here.

Can I defer payment of the application fee until admission or entrance into the program?
Contact GIAC.

What percentage of incoming students receive funding?

What sources fund your graduate program?
The College of Liberal Arts, the Graduate School, the Population Research Center, individual faculty grants, federal government grants (including NSF, NICHD, and DOJ), private foundations (including Mellon, Ford, and Lily), the State of Texas, and other UT Austin centers, departments, and schools. Students also find funding at other universities and colleges; local, state, and federal government agencies; and private, non-academic organizations.

What is the age range/average age of your student population?
Range: 21-50. Average: 25.

Is your department child and family friendly?
Yes. Many faculty, staff, and students have children.

What percentage of applicants get admitted?
Roughly 15%.

What's the deadline?
December 1.

I have a bachelor's degree. Can I apply directly to the Ph.D. program, or do I need to get a master's degree first?
Students can apply to the program with an undergraduate degree, earning their master's degree in the course of the doctoral program of work. If they have a master's degree, they will be encouraged to submit course waiver requests to the graduate advisor if admitted. While most students have their degrees in Sociology, there are a number who enter the program with degrees in other fields.

What's most important to the admissions committee? GRE scores, GPA, or publications?
The committee considers each applicant as a whole student. No decisions are based solely on GRE scores, GPA, or any other individual factor. There is no one part of the application considered more important than any other part.

  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086