The Department of Sociology application deadline for enrollment in Fall 2020 is December 10, 2019.  All supporting documents should be in by this deadline.   Please note that students are admitted only for the fall term.

In preparation for your application, please review the faculty’s areas of interest and consider contacting faculty members you might be interested in working with.

All applicants for admission to graduate study are required to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE – University Code 5816).

Applicants from non-English-speaking countries also must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or  International English Language Testing System (IELTS) unless they have a degree from a university in the US or those from countries where English is the SOLE OFFICIAL language of instruction (Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada-except Québec, England, Ghana, Ireland, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad, Tobago, Uganda, and Wales). The subject test is not required.

Application Process:

Online applications are available at the Graduate School Webpage

All below required material should be submitted online with your application:

  • Transcript(s)
  • GRE
  • Statement of Purpose – Please provide a statement of purpose that describes your reasons for seeking a PhD in Sociology at UNC, your major intellectual interests and career goals, the sort of research and scholarship you hope to pursue, and the most important aspects in your background that have prepared you for graduate study in Sociology. The statement should be not more than three pages long.
  • Writing sample – Please provide a sole-authored article-length manuscript that demonstrates your ability to synthesize academic literatures, construct arguments, and evaluate evidence. We prefer an academic paper, research report, or thesis in Sociology or a related field. If you do not have an academic paper to submit, you may submit another substantial piece of professional writing. You may also submit a one or two supplementary writing samples, which may be co-authored.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Resume (optional) – You may provide an optional resume that summarizes your education and professional experience.

International Applicants

  • TOEFL  or  IELTS – All international applicants must submit acceptable, official (reported directly from TOEFL scores or IELTS (reported directly from
  • An official, completed Financial Certificate and supporting materials must be mailed to the Graduate School if offered admission. Mail to:

Admissions Office:The Graduate School
ATTN: Graduate Admissions Office
200 Bynum Hall, CB# 4010
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27599-4010

Please contact Leah Elms at or (919) 962-1528 if you have any questions.