Graduate Application Process

Ph.D. Application Instructions: (Deadline for Fall 2017 admissions is December 5th, 2016.)

Carefully read this and all other materials regarding  your online application before filling out any forms or submitting any materials.

The online application will be available early September 2016. 

Complete the Sociology Graduate Application which includes the Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement.  The GPA we request is for after your 1st two years of undergraduate work.  That is, for most, your last two years of university.  If you attended a university outside of the U.S., the GPA calculation is not necessary.

Submit names and email addresses for your three Letters of Recommendation on your Graduate Division Application.  The letters, preferably from social science faculty familiar with your recent work, can be easily uploaded onto the online system by the recommender.  You can confirm their submission by checking online.

One Writing Sample of your work in English (e.g. term paper, thesis, publication).    Written work should be nonfiction and conducive to evaluation on its own merits. Thus, short stories and take-home examinations are poor choices. Admission committee members are especially impressed with writing samples that attempt to link theoretically informed arguments with empirical evidence.  The average length is 15-30 pages.  You can upload your document in.pdf form only.

A complete pdf set of official transcripts for all post-high school education (whether or not you got a degree). You will need to obtain an official transcript from your institution(s), create an electronic copy (please black out your Social Security Number) and upload it as a .pdf file. Please ensure that your electronic transcript is less than 2.5MB in size. If you are creating your own pdf file you may need to try a few times to ensure you get a readable copy while keeping the file size within the 2.5MB limit. Unofficial transcripts, often accessed independently through your institution’s registration system, are not acceptable.  We will not require an official hardcopy of your transcripts unless you are admitted in to the program.

Your electronic scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) will be available to link to your application if you listed Berkeley as one of your requested institutions. The institution code for UC Berkeley is  4833. You will need this so your scores can be delivered electronically to the Berkeley database.

On the Berkeley application, you will input your 7 digit Registration Code from ETS that you got when taking the GRE exam.  If you took the GRE multiple times, you can select your highest scoring exam and submit the Registration Code for these scores.   When reporting GRE scores, you may not mix and match the highest quantitative and verbal scores from different exams. 
Also note:

Pay application fee at time of submission, which is $90 for U.S. citizens/residents and $110 for international students or request an application fee waiver, which is available for domestic applicants.

The deadline for all applications is December 5th, 2016

That means that all documents required for your file should be here by then or your application may not be considered.

You are responsible for the completion of your application file.  You can check the online Graduate Application  to confirm that your electronic documents are uploaded and your letters are here.  We cannot always notify applicants about any missing materials. You may email us at, or call the department's Graduate Admissions Advisor at (510) 642-1445.

Applicants will be notified of department action by late February. Applicants for fellowships may hear from the department earlier about the outcome of the fellowship competition.

No application materials can be returned to the applicant nor can copies of materials submitted be provided to the applicants or other parties. Applicants do not have access to faculty evaluations of their application files and do not have access to letters of recommendation written for their applications.

If you have more questions after reading the Handbook and the FAQs, please email the Sociology Department Graduate Office.