Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to questions that graduate students frequently ask.

Eligibility and Application

How many applications do you receive?

We receive anywhere from 75 to 130 applications each year.

How competitive is the admission process?

We usually make 22 to 25 offers with the hope of getting a cohort size of 8 to 12. We are not allowed to re-offer admission once students decline an offer.

What grade point average is required for acceptance?

The UC Davis Graduate Studies requires a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4-point scale. The average for students admitted into the Sociology graduate program in recent years is approximately 3.5.

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) a prerequisite for admission?

Yes, all applicants must take the GRE.

What score do I need on the GRE for admission?

In recent years, the average GRE raw score for students admitted into the program is 150 or better in Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning, and 4.0 or better in Analytical Writing. Only the general test is required.

Do you require the subject test for the GRE?

No, only the general test is required.

Is a master's degree required for admission into the doctoral program?

You do not need a master's degree to be accepted into our doctoral program. A bachelor's degree is sufficient, as long as you meet the other admission requirements.

How long do GRE scores remain valid?

If your GRE scores are less than five years old, they are still acceptable. If your GRE scores are five years old, or older, you must retake the GRE. We will NOT waive the requirement for submitting GRE scores.

I do not wish to pursue a Ph.D. degree; I want to earn only a master’s degree. Should I apply?

We do not offer a standalone master's program. Our program is exclusively designed for students who wish to pursue doctoral studies, although you can earn an M.A. degree as part of the Ph.D. curriculum.

What is the deadline for applying for admission?

The application deadline for students is December 15, for the following fall quarter.

Where should I send my transcripts?

After you have been admitted and have submitted your intent to register, UC Davis will require official transcripts from each college-level institution you have attended. You should upload scanned copies of your transcripts after you have submitted your online application. The uploaded transcripts can be unofficial copies. The UC Davis Office of Graduate Studies offers more details about transcript submission.

From whom should I seek the letters of recommendation?

The letters of recommendation should be from persons who can evaluate your scholarly potential. We suggest obtaining letters from faculty members with whom you have studied or worked. You must submit the letters electronically through the online application system. Paper copies will not be accepted.

The Program and Curriculum

Do you offer classes in the evening?

Class times are set by individual instructors. They are normally held during the morning and afternoon.

How much time is required to obtain a doctoral degree?

Graduate students typically need three years to complete course work and anywhere from 2 to 4 years to complete their qualifying paper, exams and dissertation.

Does the department have a time limit for completion of the dissertation?

Graduate students typically take two or three years to complete their dissertation research and writing following advancement to candidacy. A student who has not completed dissertation work within three years of passing qualifying examinations, however, may be in jeopardy of losing financial support from the program.

How many faculty members does the department have?

The Department of Sociology has 22 full-time tenure-track faculty members. We additionally have 5 affiliated faculty members.

How many graduate students are concurrently enrolled in the Department of Sociology graduate program?

We typically have about 68 graduate students.

What is a typical cohort size?

Approximately 8 to 12.

Student Support Resources

What types of financial aid are available to graduate students at UC Davis?

The department generally offers funding to all admitted students through a combination of employment and fellowships (see "on-campus academic employment" below). Various loans, grants and fellowships also are available through the UC Davis Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. We encourage students to contact the Department of Sociology's graduate program coordinator for answers to further questions regarding funding.

What on-campus academic employment opportunities are available?

Students in the Department of Sociology usually are offered a paying position as a teaching assistant. A limited number of graduate research assistant positions also are available depending on faculty needs. Upon advancing to candidacy, students who have demonstrated excellence in teaching may be offered the opportunity to instruct their own class.

Whom do I contact if I have a question about residency?

If you have any questions about residency status contact the .

International Students

I am an international applicant; do I need to submit TOEFL scores?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is required if English is not your native language, unless you have received or will be receiving an undergraduate degree from a university at which the primary language of instruction (through the entire school) is English. The minimum TOEFL iBT (internet-based test) score for admission is 80. Applicants may need to satisfy additional minimum requirements to serve as a teaching assistant. TOEFL scores expire after two years.

What are the Institution Codes for GRE and the TOEFL?

The UC Davis Institution Code for both GRE and TOEFL is 4834.

What are the language proficiency requirements to be employed as a teaching assistant?

Per the Office of Graduate Studies, all graduate students who have not earned a prior undergraduate degree from an institution at which English was the sole language of instruction must meet one or more of the following requirements:

  • Minimum score of 26 on the Speaking subset of the TOEFL iBT
  • Minimum score of 7 on the Speaking subset of the IELTS
  • Achieve a minimum score of 50 on the SPEAK (internal UC Davis exam)
  • Achieve a "pass" on the TOEP (internal UC Davis exam)

Download and review the language proficiency requirements for teaching assistant positions.