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About the Program

Given the disruptions caused by the pandemic, the graduate admissions committee will not accept or take into account GRE scores during the 2023-24 cycle. Students will not be required to take the exam in order to be considered for admission.

The admissions deadline is JANUARY 15 for all students wishing full consideration of their application. The Sociology Department does not accept part-time students.  We do not offer a self-standing Master's program. Students entering without a prior M.A. may earn an M.A. enroute to the Ph.D. Students entering with an M.A. will be evaluated on an ad hoc basis to determine how much of the prior transfer credit will be accepted towards the UVA degree(s).  

The Graduate Program in Sociology at the University of Virginia

The graduate program in sociology at the University of Virginia admits a small number of distinguished students each year to its Ph.D. program. Small cohorts of approximately six students per year allow us to train the future researchers and teachers of sociology via extensive time with faculty and small seminar classes. Small cohort size also allows us to provide a competitive funding package for our students.

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All admitted students are guaranteed funding for five years. Each year they receive a 10-month stipend/salary totaling $24,480, plus a summer stipend of $6,120, along with health benefits. In their first year in the program, they are on fellowship (no teaching is required); in their 2nd year, students become teaching assistants, but have two additional semesters free of teaching obligations—the fall of their 3rd year and the spring of their 4th year. This arrangement gives them more flexibility to conduct research towards the qualifying paper and, later, the dissertation. Overall, students serve as teaching assistants for 8 semesters in total. In addition, various professors and programs at UVA hire our graduate students as research assistants, usually on a competitive basis, and subject to university guidelines on total hours worked.

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Structure of the Program

The graduate curriculum is centered around a series of core course requirements and graduate electives, a first-year exam, a special fields paper, and a qualifying research paper. This is followed by the defense of the dissertation prospectus, the writing of the student’s dissertation, and the dissertation defense, leading to the awarding of the Ph.D.

At UVA, the faculty is dedicated to providing our graduate students access to a broad training in the essentials of sociology. In addition to required theory and methods courses, we offer—usually every other year—a variety of graduate seminars including, but not limited to, economic sociology, political sociology, the sociology of culture, comparative-historical sociology, the sociology of sex and gender, and the sociology of race and ethnicity. These courses are often then supplemented by various directed readings, informal reading groups, and other avenues of intellectual exploration.

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Intensive advising and preparation

At UVA  faculty work closely with graduate students on a variety of projects, and provide extensive feedback on students’ work. In addition, a series of mentoring events and programs, both formal and informal, prepare students for the academic job market. Meanwhile,  our colloquium series and potential additional funding for graduate student travel to professional meetings connects our students to trends in the discipline at large.

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A variety of foci

Although no sociology graduate program can claim to cover the entirety of the vast and varied discipline of sociology, at the University of Virginia our faculty supervise a wide variety of projects. A sense of the interests and expertise of the faculty can be gained by examining the faculty page of our website. 

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Graduate dissertations from UVA

Graduate dissertations in sociology at UVA  go on to become published books and articles, including (but not limited to) the following:

Saundra Davis Westervelt, Shifting the Blame: How Victimization Became a Criminal Defense (Rutgers University Press, 1998).

Joseph E. Davis, Accounts of Innocence: Sexual Abuse, Trauma, and the Self (University of Chicago Press, 2005). James L. Nolan, Jr. The Theraputic State: Justifying Government at Century’s End. (New York University Press, 1998) Dustin Kidd, Legislating Creativity: The Intersections of Art and Politics (Routledge, 2010).

Matthew W. Hughey, White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race (Stanford University Press, 2012).

Christina Simko, The Politics of Consolation: Memory & the Meaning of September 11 (Oxford  University Press, 2015). Benjamin H. Snyder, The Disrupted Workplace: Time and the moral order of flexible capitalism. (Oxford  University Press, 2016).

Hephzibah V. Strmic-Pawl, Multiracialism and its Discontents: A Comparative Analysis of Asian-White and Black-White Multiracials (Lexington Books, 2016).

Jennifer M. Silva, Coming up Short: Working-class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty. (Oxford  University Press, 2013).

Jeffrey S. Dill, The Longings and Limits of Global Citizenship Education: The Moral Pedagogy of Schooling in a Cosmopolitan Age. (Routledge, 2013).

Bradley Campbell, The Geometry of Genocide: A Study in Pure Sociology (University of Virginia Press, 2015).

Shannon Latkin Anderson, Immigration, Assimilation and the Cultural Construction of American National Identity. (Routledge, 2016).

Contacts and online resources

Adam Slez, Director of Graduate Studies.

Fiona Greenland, Director of Graduate Admissions.

Keisha John, Director of Diversity Programs for Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs.

NOTE: We do not offer a self-standing Masters program. Students entering without a prior M.A. may earn an M.A. enroute to the Ph.D.
Students entering with an M.A. will be evaluated on an ad hoc basis to determine how much of the prior transfer credit will be accepted towards the UVA degree(s).
Inquiries should be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies.

“The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at”