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Admissions

GENERAL INFORMATION

This section provides general information about the application process. Click these links for more specific instructions for domestic and international applicants. Answers to frequently asked questions about the graduate program are available here. Additional information about the program requirements is given at the “Graduate Program” tab on the Sociology home page.


What are the application deadlines for admission to the graduate program in Sociology?

For domestic applicants, all application materials must be received by the department no later than January 15. If your application file is not completed by January 15, you may still be considered for admission to the graduate program, but your chances for financial aid are greatly diminished.

For international applicants, all application materials must be received by the Office of International Services/International Admissions by December 1. If your application file is not complete by December 1, you may still be considered for admission to the graduate program, but your chances for financial aid are greatly diminished.

IMPORTANT: The online application system sends email requests for recommendation letters ONLY AFTER the applicant has submitted his/her application. All application materials are due December 1, 2013 for international applicants and January 15, 2014 for domestic applicants. Please make certain you have completed your online application with plenty of time to allow your recommenders to get their letters in by the deadline. If you know your application will not be complete by this time, please have your recommenders send hard copies of their letters directly to the Department of Sociology ATTN: Graduate Secretary (address below). Any missing recommendation letters will render your application incomplete and it may not be reviewed or given full consideration.

Do you accept both online and paper applications?

Yes. We highly recommend using the online system but we are happy to accept paper applications. Please be aware that, even if you apply online, GRE scores and official transcripts must be sent directly to the Office of International Services (for international applicants) or the Department of Sociology (for domestic applicants).

If you are unable to apply online, or if you have questions about the online application process, please contact the Graduate Secretary, Samantha Allen, at socgrad@indiana.edu.


Should I apply to the MA or the PhD program?

The Indiana University Department of Sociology does not offer a terminal Masters degree. All students are admitted with the expectation that they will work towards the PhD degree. Students who enter the program without an MA in Sociology (which is most of our students) will earn their MA degrees as they work towards their PhD. All applicants should apply to the PhD program even if they do not currently hold an MA degree.


What, exactly, are the supporting materials I must submit with my graduate application (whether online or on paper)?

To complete your application file, we require your application, official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities you’ve attended, your statement of purpose, a writing sample, a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and for international applicants, TOEFL scores. International students are also encouraged to submit the International Student Financial Documentation form with their applications. Further guidance on international applications is given at http://ois.indiana.edu/admissions/apply/graduate/apply.php.


Is there a form for letters of recommendation?

Yes, there is a form that should accompany your letters of recommendation. Letter writers who use the online system will be presented with the form when they submit their letters. The form is available as a PDF on the University Graduate School website (http://www.gradapp.indiana.edu/), about halfway down the page.


Is there a separate form for my Statement of Purpose; how long should it be, and what should it include?


There is no separate form for the statement of purpose.

The official University Graduate School guidelines describe the statement as “A 300-500 word Statement of Purpose regarding your current goals, plans for your professional career, and reasons for selecting a field of study.”

When reviewing applications in our department, we would more specifically like to know why you are interested in pursuing graduate study in sociology, the kinds of sociological topics and approaches that interest you, what your career goals are, and why you are interested in our department. Other helpful information you might incorporate into your statement of purpose is whether there are specific faculty members or program areas of special interest to you and, based on your knowledge and thinking now, what research problem(s) you would hope to pursue while here.

We consider 300-500 words an appropriate length for the Statement of Purpose. We do not count words but we discourage applicants from submitting statements much shorter or much longer than this.


What should I submit as a writing sample?

Most students submit papers they have written for courses, undergraduate theses, or reports they have prepared for paid or volunteer work.


What exams do I have to take to apply?

All applicants are required to take the GRE General Test. Applicants whose native language is other than English and who do not hold a degree from an institution at which English is the language of instruction must also submit TOEFL scores.

The GRE Sociology Subject Test is not required.


What are considered acceptable GPA, GRE and TOEFL scores for admission to the program?


We restrict admissions to students with strong academic records. In recent years, about 150 applicants have competed for 10 to 12 openings in the first-year cohort. As a very rough rule of thumb, the chances of admission are improved if: (1) your undergraduate grade point average is at least a 3.3 on a 4.0 scale; (2) your GRE scores are above the 70th percentile in each of the three categories—verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing; (3) your letters of recommendation indicate a strong aptitude for graduate study in sociology; (4) your personal statement suggests an awareness of the professional demands and rewards of a career in sociology. If you are an international student, your chance of admission improves with a TOEFL IBTTO score of 100 or above. Please bear in mind that we examine each application carefully and idiosyncratic or unusual circumstances are taken into consideration.


What are the institution and department codes for GRE and TOEFL reporting?


The institution code for Indiana University is 1324; the department code for the Sociology department is 2102.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE GRADUATE PROGRAM

What funding packages do you usually offer your graduate students?


We offer five-year financial packages to all admitted students. Funding comes in the form of graduate assistantships or associate instructor positions which provide a stipend, health insurance, and a tuition remission. Most first- and second-year students assist a faculty member with an undergraduate class, as a “graduate assistant.” The stipend for the 2013-14 academic year (two semesters) is $15,250. All entering students awarded graduate assistantships or university fellowships also are provided financial support in the summer after their first year of residence, as part of their participation in the Sociological Research Practicum. Most students in the third year and beyond serve as instructors for their own courses or receive support in the form of grants or fellowships.

Some applicants may qualify for university fellowship support (including the McNair or Graduate Scholars Fellowships), which provides a fee remission and a “top-off” amount that is added to the stipend. More information about those fellowships is available on the University Graduate School website (http://www.indiana.edu/~grdschl/internal-awards.php).

Advanced graduate students are eligible for several fellowships offered through the Department of Sociology, including Advanced Departmental Fellowships, the Lindesmith-Mullins Fellowship, and the Stewart Family Fellowships. These fellowships provide full stipend support for one or two semesters of concentrated research or scholarly work. Information about these fellowships is available here: http://www.indiana.edu/~soc/gr_opps.html

Our advanced graduate students fare well in competitions for grants and fellowships, both through the University and from external sources. During recent academic years, we have had graduate students supported by the National Science Foundation, the American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship Program, the Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright Program, the Spencer Foundation, The American Educational Research Association, The American Association of University Women, and the Sloan Foundation. Advanced students are also provided financial assistance by faculty members’ research grants; during the past few years, students have been supported by grants from the NIMH, National Institutes of Aging, National Science Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and others. Our faculty’s reputation for outstanding sociological research makes it likely that these (or other) external sources of funding for graduate students will continue in the years ahead.


What resources are available for international study or research?


Indiana University is renowned for its extensive offerings in international studies and interdisciplinary programs. (Click here for more information: http://www.indiana.edu/~ovpia/ovpia/academic/). Specifically, IU has several outstanding area studies programs, including African Studies, East Asian Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Polish Studies, the Russian and East European Institute, Central Eurasian Studies, and West European Studies. These programs are wonderful resources for students interested in comparative sociology, and many offer fellowships for students to take language classes. Advanced students in our department also have the opportunity to teach and conduct research at the University of Mannheim for one semester through a long-standing exchange program.

If you are interested in applying for a Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship, you should contact the appropriate department for application materials; the phone numbers are listed on the back page of the application packet. Because these programs have deadlines in February or March, you need to apply for FLAS fellowships as soon as you find out about your admission to the Sociology Department. In addition, sociology graduate students with strong backgrounds in German language and culture may compete for a fellowship offered by the Department of Germanic Studies. If you believe you might qualify for this fellowship, please indicate your background in German in the personal statement of goals that is part of the application materials.


What kinds of courses will I take in the first year of graduate study?

During the first year of graduate study, students typically take six courses, many of them required for the PhD. During the Fall semester, most students will take S558 (Research Methods) and either S540 (Sociological Theory) or S530 (Introduction to Social Psychology). During the Spring semester, most will take S554 (Statistical Techniques in Sociology I) and S510 (Introduction to Social Organization), and will participate in the Sociological Research Practicum – which offers an opportunity to work hands-on with a faculty member on a continuing research project early in your graduate career. Students also typically select other courses in their areas of interest during the first year. Entering students who have already earned their M.A. degree will pursue a slightly different program of study, depending upon their previous coursework.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR DOMESTIC APPLICANTS

Domestic Applications:

Deadline: January 15, 2014.
For American citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
Note: Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered only after all applications received before the deadline have been processed.


We are now accepting applications for those starting graduate study in the Fall Semester 2014. The deadline for U.S. citizens and permanent residents is JANUARY 15, 2014. In order to be considered for admission and for financial aid, your completed application--including GRE scores--must be received by this deadline. If you wait until December to take the GRE, your official scores will probably not be reported to us before the January 15 deadline. TOEFL scores are required of students for whom English is not the native language unless you have completed four years of undergraduate study and received a baccalaureate degree in the United States, and these are also required by January 15, 2014. If your complete application is not received by January 15, 2014, you may still be considered for admission to the graduate program, but your chances for financial aid are greatly diminished.

We encourage applicants to submit their applications through Indiana University's on-line application site. If you are unable to apply online, you may request printed application materials electronically or by writing to:
Graduate Secretary
Department of Sociology
Indiana University
1020 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47405-7103

Be sure to provide your name and complete address with your request. State that you need a domestic application (not international).

We will send you a packet that includes all materials required for an application for a domestic student (that is, an American citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S.). If you are an American citizen or a permanent U.S. resident, and if you completed some or all of your post-secondary education (college or university) outside the U.S., we provide an additional form that must be included in your application materials. If you are not an American citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S., do not fill out these forms; notify us and we will send you the necessary application.

Application materials will include your application (on-line or paper), copies of your official undergraduate transcripts, statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, writing sample, and your official GRE scores.

Please send completed application materials to:
Graduate Secretary
Department of Sociology
Indiana University
1020 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47405-7103

Should you need additional information about the application process, please e-mail the Graduate Secretary, Samantha Allen (socgrad@indiana.edu), or telephone her at 812-855-2924. For more information about the graduate program, contact Professor Ethan Michelson, Director of Graduate Studies, or telephone him at 812-856-1521.


INSTRUCTIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS
International Applications:

Deadline: December 1, 2013.
Note: Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered only after all applications received before the deadline have been processed.


We are now accepting applications for those starting graduate study in the Fall Semester 2014. The deadline for international students is DECEMBER 1, 2013. In order to be considered for admission and for financial aid, your completed application--including official GRE and TOEFL scores--must be received by this deadline. TOEFL scores are required of all international students for whom English is not the native language. The TOEFL requirement is waived for students who have completed four years of undergraduate study and have completed their baccalaureate degree in the United States. You must take the GRE and TOEFL examinations no later than October 2013 in order for the scores to be reported to us by December 1, 2013. If your complete application is not received by December 1, 2013, you might still be considered for admission to the graduate program, but your chances for financial aid are greatly diminished.

International applicants should initiate their application on-line with the Office of International Services (link to http://ois.indiana.edu/admissions/apply/graduate/apply.php)
Application materials will include your application, copies of your official undergraduate transcripts, statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and your official GRE and TOEFL scores.

Please send application materials you do not submit online, including transcripts and test scores, to:

Office of International Services, International Admissions
Indiana University
Poplars 221
400 E. Seventh Street
Bloomington, IN 47405

Phone: 812-855-9086
Fax: 812-855-4418

Email for Applicants and Prospective Students: newtoiu@iu.edu
Email for Currently Enrolled Students: ois@iu.edu

International Admissions will forward your application to the Department of Sociology after it has completed its processing. Recommendation letters may be sent directly to the Department of Sociology if letter writers are not able to use the online system.

Graduate Secretary
Department of Sociology
Ballantine Hall 744
Indiana University
1020 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47405-7103

Should you need additional information about the application process, please e-mail the Graduate Secretary, Samantha Allen (socgrad@indiana.edu), or telephone her at 812-855-2924. For more information about the graduate program, contact Professor Ethan Michelson, Director of Graduate Studies, or telephone him at 812-856-1521.