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IMPORTANT NOTES: Our new application deadline is December 1. GRE scores are no longer required to apply to our program.


Thank you for your interest in the PhD program in Sociology at the University of Kentucky.  Please note that we are not currently accepting applications for a terminal master's degree.

We have an excellent department composed of internationally recognized faculty both within our department and in other colleges affiliated with our program. Our program emphasizes preparing graduate students for a variety of career options in academic and applied settings by building foundational sociological knowledge and skills and providing many professional development opportunities.

New full-time students are admitted only for the fall semester. Financial assistance is available in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and university fellowships. All applicants are considered for funding and there is not a separate application for funding.

All application materials, including letters of recommendations and required test scores, must be received by December 1 for consideration for the following fall semester. Admission and funding decisions are announced by March. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are no longer required for admission. International students must submit English language scores. Please see the University of Kentucky Graduate School website about minimum scores for various tests.

All application documents must be submitted to the online system. Additional information about applying to the University of Kentucky can be found at the Graduate School website.


Materials required for Application

Below are the materials you need to upload to the Apply Yourself after you fill out the Online Application Form:

  • Statement of purpose: There is no required length for the personal statement. They are typically 1.5-2 pages long. It is important that you demonstrate a clear understanding of the purpose of a PhD, your research interests, and your career goals. You also want to be sure that your research interests fit well with the expertise of our faculty.
  • Writing sample: A seminar paper or thesis is acceptable.
  • Undergraduate/graduate transcripts: Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the initial application review.
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores: See the Graduate School website for up-to-date information on the language requirement.
  • Curriculum vita or resume
  • Three recommendation letters


Frequently Asked Questions

Can the department waive the application fee?

No, the fee is charged by the UK Graduate School, not the department. We do not have the ability to waive the fee.

Can I apply for an M.A. degree only?

No, the UK Department of Sociology only offers M.A. degrees for Ph.D. students. In other words, applications are only accepted for Ph.D. students.

Do I need to have an M.A. or M.S. degree before applying to the Ph.D. program?

No, we accepts students who have earned either a bachelor's or master's degree.

Are the program requirements different for students entering with a bachelor's vs. master's degree?

No, but master's students may be able to transfer up to 9 credits from their M.A./M.S. program upon approval of the Sociology Graduate Committee.

Do I need to have a faculty member sponsor my application?

No, you do not have to be formally sponsored by a member of our faculty. We consider each student's research areas as part of the application process and you should highlight how your interests fit with our areas of expertise in your personal statement.

Does the department offer funding for graduate students?

Yes, all full-time Ph.D. students are offered a teaching or research assistantship, which includes a stipend for 9 months, a tuition scholarship, and health insurance.

Are TOEFL/IELTS language test scores required for students from English-speaking countries?

The UK Graduate School regulates this requirement. Students should contact them directly to learn about the most up-to-date requirements.

What if my English language skills need improvement before undertaking a Ph.D.?

The UK Graduate School allows programs to award a conditional admittance while the student participates in ESL training.


For further information, please contact:

Dr. Janet Stamatel, Ph.D. (

Director of Graduate Studies