Applying for Graduate Study
The admissions process is competitive. Prospective MA or PhD students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with our faculty. We welcome applications from individuals whose academic interests match our expertise.
- The application deadline for Fall admission is January 15.
- The application deadline for Spring admission is August 1.
Prospective MA and PhD students must complete two separate applications:
1) UH Mānoa Graduate Division
Prospective students must complete the online application as provided by Graduate Division. All questions concerning the application and associated requirements should be directed to Graduate Division. There is an application fee. The following materials should also be submitted directly to Graduate Division:
- Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE) scores. GRE scores are optional, and not required for admission into the program. If they are submitted, the scores will be incorporated as part of a holistic admissions process, and there is no formulaic weighting or minimum cutoff score. If an applicant chooses to submit GRE scores, they should be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service by designating UHM as a recipient during or after test registration.
- TOEFL or IELTS scores, from within the last two years, are required from international students who are not exempt according to Graduate Division rules for standardized testing. Those applying for graduate teaching assistantships must meet Graduate Division-designated minimums.
- Any additional materials specified in the Graduate Division Documentation Requirements.
2) Department of Sociology
The following materials, specific to our graduate admission process, are required:
- Statement of purpose - While there is no standard form, this document should describe the applicant's research interests and explain why they want this degree program and to study in this particular department of sociology.
- Three letters of recommendation - There is no official form for letters of recommendation. Please have recommenders write their letters on their official letterhead. If the recommendations are to be confidential, letters should be sealed in envelopes with the recommender's signature across the flap.
- Academic writing sample - A writing sample is required for PhD applicants but optional for MA applicants. In either case, samples should be chosen appropriately to show readiness of the applicant to engage in graduate-level work in sociology.
Please submit the above items through the Graduate Division Supplemental Materials Upload Site. All questions on Department of Sociology requirements should be directed to the Graduate Chair.
Possessing an undergraduate degree in sociology is not required for admittance into the graduate program. However, those who do not have appropriate prior coursework (ex. sociological theory) will need to make up for these deficiencies, in addition to the usual degree requirements, if they are admitted and enrolled.
On a similar note, an MA degree is not required for admittance into the PhD program. In fact, if a student is planning to pursue a PhD eventually, it is recommended that they apply directly to the PhD program. Those admitted will be eligible to receive an MA degree as part of the program en route to a PhD.