The College of Liberal Arts at Temple University

Temple Sociology

Research · Teaching · Social Change


Overview ·Admissions · Master's Program · Doctoral Program · Policies · Funding · Resources · Forms

ADMISSIONS (All applicants are required to submit the application online, click here).

Application Deadline: December 15 for PhD applicants; March 1 for MA applicants.


Applications are evaluated after the deadline.


Letters of Reference:

  • Number Required: 3
  • From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with academic competence, wherever possible. If needed, letters may also come from supervisors and others who may be familiar with your skills and performance.
  • These should be emailed by the letter writer to The cover form is not required.


Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

  • A baccalaureate degree is required.



  • No specific coursework is required for admission.
  • All original transcripts should be sent directly to the department, using the address:

Sociology Admissions
713 Gladfelter Hall

1115 West Polett Walk

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA 19122

  • We encourage you to also email a scanned copy to speed up the review process in case there is a delay with having the transcript mailed. Send to


Statement of Goals (personal statement):

  • The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words and should include the following elements
    • Your interest in Temple's program
    • Your research goals
    • Your future career goals
    • Your academic and research achievements.
  • The statement of goals is submitted through the online application system.
  • You may also send the statement of goals by email to


Standardized Test Scores:

  • The GRE is required. GRE scores are evaluated competitively. Although there is no offical minimum, we do not suggest applying unless your combined verbal and quantitative scores are above 300.
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE academic scores are required (just one of the above) from
    • Individuals not born on American soil who were educated at an institution outside the United States, and
    • U.S. citizens who earned a degree abroad from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English.
      • Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 79 IBT or 550 PBT.
      • Minimum IELTS score needed to be accepted: 6.5.
      • Minimum PTE score needed to be accepted: 53.
  • Your test scores should be sent directly by the testing service.
  • We encourage you to email your test scores as well, to speed up the review process,


Writing Sample:

  • The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to conduct research and to write a scholarly paper. The writing sample may be on any topic, but no more than 25 pages in length.
  • Email the writing sample as an attachment to



  • A personal resume or curriculum vitae is required.
  • Email the resume as an attachment to


Transfer Credit:

  • Graduate coursework in Sociology may be transferred from outside the university, provided that the credits were obtained no more than five years prior to the student's matriculation at Temple and the grades are "B" or better. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 12, if the credits earned did not result in the completion of an M.A. degree.

Advanced Standing:

  • For students entering the Ph.D. program who have received an M.A. degree elsewhere, up to 19 credits may be applied to the doctoral program, provided the courses are relevant to the department's required courses. These credits must have been obtained no more than five years prior to the student's matriculation at Temple and the grades must be "B" or better. The Graduate Chair decides which courses students may transfer. As a general rule, students with transferred credits should expect that they will have to complete much of the required coursework in residence and are, further, expected to take two courses from Temple faculty in their area of focus before taking the Ph.D. Preliminary Exam in their field.




Submission Format

Application Form

Online Application Process

Personal Statement

Online Application Process. You may also send by email to

Writing Sample


Letters of Reference (3)

Emailed from the letter writer to


Send by mail to the address above. Also, scan a copy and email to

GRE scores

Sent by the testing service. Also, include the scores in an email.

TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores (if required)

Sent by the testing service. Also, include the scores in an email.


Frequently Asked Questions About Graduate Admissions

1. I don't have an MA yet, but I eventually want a PhD. Which program do I apply to?

Apply directly to the PhD program. You will obtain your MA within that program, on your path to the PhD. You can only be considered for funding if you apply to the PhD program.

2. My scores or GPA may not be good enough for the PhD program. Should I apply to the MA program instead?

No. The MA program is not a stepping stone into the PhD program. It is a professional degree and the admissions standards are the same.

3. I have been out of school for several years and no longer have contact with my professors. How do I obtain reference letters?

You may want to use the web to try to find one or more of those professors to see if they remember you or have records of your performance. In addition, you can ask supervisors and other professional contacts to write letters on your behalf.

4. I have taken graduate courses already, at other institutions. Can I transfer those credits in?

You can petition for transfer after your enrollment begins. It is not part of the admissions process. We can only consider graduate courses in sociology that directly correspond to courses that we offer. As many as 12 credits can transfer in, subject to approval.

5. My GRE scores are old. Can I still use them?

Your scores must be from the past five years, using the application deadline as the marker.If your scores will be more than 5 years old as of the appication deadline, you need to re-take the GREs.

6. What is the minimum GRE score for admission?

We evaluate GRE scores on a competitive basis, and we look at the whole application, so there is no actual minimum. As a guide, our average GRE score (focusing on the sum of the verbal and quantitative scores) is 310, and we rarely admit students with scores below 300.

7. Should I visit the department? Will that help my application?

Because many appicants do not have the opportunity to visit, we do not schedule visits for any applicants prior to the admissions process. Applicants offered admission to the PhD program will be invited for a visit to assist with their decision. Applicants offered admission to the MA program are welcome to request a chance to visit the department.

8. Should I contact individual faculty to see if they are taking new students?

No, our admissions process is run at the department level, not by individual faculty. You do not come into the program with a specific advisor and faculty do not have a set number of students they work with. Once admitted, you will have opportunities to build relationships and find an advisor.

9. Can I take courses in the program before I apply?

Yes. You can take up to 3 courses prior to being admitted to the program. You will need to identify the course you wish to take and first reach out to the professor by email for permission. Forward that to the graduate director for additional permission. Then contact Continuing Studies to schedule an enrollment appointment. They will step your through the registration process.

10. I applied. When will I hear?

PhD applicants: Applications are reviewed in January and early decisions are made in February. Initially, we will make admissions offers only to a small handful of students based on the number of funded positions we have. We will also reject applicants who are not admissable. Those decisions can be seen online. Students who do not receive an offer, but are not rejected, are on a waitlist for funded positions and will be contacted if and when a position is available. It can sometimes take until mid-April before we finalize the PhD cohort. Waitlisted students will be offered unfunded enrollment in the MA program.


MA applicants: Applications are reviewed in March and decisions are made by April 1.

department of sociology | 713 gladfelter hall | 1115 west polett walk
philadelphia, pa 19122 | (215) 204-7760 | fax: (215) 204-3352 |