How to Apply to the PhD Program

The deadline for application to the MA or PhD program is January 10th for admission to the program beginning the following fall. The Graduate School recommends that you begin the application process one year before the Fall semester you plan to start.

Online Application

International Applicants

Please see the Center for International Education's International Student Admission page.

Prospective & Incoming Students provides a glimpse into graduate study at UWM and life in Milwaukee.

 

Degree Admission Requirements for the PhD Program

Please read the following information before you apply online. You must meet Graduate School and Sociology Department requirements for admission. Please be aware of recommended and required deadlines.

Graduate School
  1. Grades: A minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75.
  2. 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.
  3. Reasons/Cogent Personal Statement: An essential part of your application, the Reasons/Cogent Personal 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.
  4. Fee/s: a $56 base application fee is required of all applicants, and an additional $40 evaluation fee is required for applicants with college-level work from non-U.S. colleges.

    Note: If you are applying to a doctoral program and already hold a UWM master's degree, you do not need to pay the application fee again.

Sociology Department
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, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI  53201-0413 or electronically as a pdf attachment to grad-sociology@uwm.edu
  1. 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 PhD program. Students without a MA degree in sociology are eligible for admission to the PhD 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 PhD, 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Provide three letters of recommendation (with Department Cover Sheets ).  The letters should be from persons, preferably faculty, familiar with the applicant's scholastic achievement and potential.
  4. Submit a reasons/cogent personal statement detailing the individual's reasons for pursuing doctoral study in Sociology.
  5. Beginning for Fall 2015 admission, official score reports from the Graduate Record Examination.
  6. Optional: Teaching Assistantship Interest Form (pdf).

Admission on Probation

If your overall undergraduate grade point average is under 2.75, you may be considered for admission on probation by presenting evidence of ability to succeed in graduate-level work. The following conditions must be fulfilled before you will be considered for admission.

Applicants with GPA of 2.50-2.74 must present at least one of the following:

  • A grade point average of 3.0 or above during the final 60 semester credits of your baccalaureate degree program.
  • Completion of 6 or more credits of program-approved, post-baccalaureate coursework in an academic area directly related to your chosen graduate program. The grades earned must be a "B" or better (B- not acceptable).
  • Submission of official score reports from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), or Miller Analogies Test, that indicate a high probability of success in graduate school. Official is defined as having been sent directly from the testing service to UWM.
  • An advanced degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Applicants with GPA below 2.50 must present at least TWO of the following conditions to be considered:

  • A grade point average of 3.0 or above during the final 60 semester credits of your baccalaureate degree program.
  • Completion of 9 or more credits of program-approved post-baccalaureate coursework in an academic area directly related to your chosen graduate program. The grades earned must be a "B" or better (B- not acceptable).
  • Submission of official score reports from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), or Miller Analogies Test, that indicate a high probability of success in graduate school. Official is defined as having been sent directly from the testing service to UWM.
  • An advanced degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Admission with Course Deficiencies

You may not be admitted with more than two course deficiencies, and they must be removed within three enrolled semesters. Deficiencies are monitored by the Graduate School and your graduate program unit. No course credits earned in making up deficiencies may be counted as program credits required for the degree. If the deficiencies are not removed within three enrolled semesters, a hold will be placed on your record and you must show sufficient cause for continuation of graduate status.