Department of Sociology

Message from the Chair

Dear Applicant:

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin. We are a diverse community of faculty and graduate students with a wide range of substantive interests and methodological orientations. Our department was ranked #1 among schools in Texas, second in the Southwest, and tenth among publicly funded universities nationwide.

We currently have 39 faculty (tenured or tenure-track) and a ratio of about two students per faculty member. On average we have a new cohort every year of 12-15 students from about 200 applicants.

Please examine our areas of specialization, faculty interests, and program requirements. The University of Texas at Austin houses numerous programs with links to, for example, the Population Research Center, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the Department of Human Ecology, the School of Social Work, the Institute of Latin American Studies, and the Department of Asian Studies. We invite you to also learn more about Austin and Central Texas, which provide a very attractive setting for the University. Most of our faculty and graduate students are non-native Texans who have found Austin a wonderful place to live.

Note that applications for admission and funding should be received by December 1. Applications are completely online, and the procedures are carefully described on our website. If you have any questions, please contact the graduate program administrator.

Currently, most students in the program receive funding as a teaching assistant (TA), assistant instructor (AI), research assistant (RA), trainee, or as a fellowship recipient. Due to the high demand for our undergraduate courses, the Department is able to support approximately one-third of our graduate students through TA and AI positions. In addition to being a major form of student support, these positions provide valuable preparation for academic careers. A high proportion of successful applicants are offered multi-year TA positions, and most students who are initially unfunded will move into TA positions within a year. Before becoming a TA, international students whose native language is not English must pass an examination in spoken English.

Successful applicants may be offered a University Fellowship or support from one of our several training grants. With a few exceptions, RA positions are negotiated with faculty researchers only after a student has been here for at least a semester, and are not available to new students.

I encourage you to become familiar with our program, and if it seems right for you, to apply. We look forward to hearing from you.

Pamela Paxton, Professor and Chair

  • Department of Sociology

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