How to Apply
Degree admission is granted jointly by the Graduate School and the graduate program. Each program has its own procedures for evaluating applications. An applicant must apply for admission to a particular program of study. Applicants may apply to only one graduate program at a time. The Graduate School will not consider concurrent applications for admission to more than one program and does not act upon an application without a program's recommendation.
- U.S. applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution to apply for admission.
- International applicants must have a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year U.S. bachelor's degree to apply for admission. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.
- You may only apply to one graduate program and campus at a time.
- If you currently hold a doctorate, you are not encouraged to apply for a second doctorate.
Degree Application Process
Applying for graduate admission is a two step process. Applications must be submitted to the Graduate School and the program. When the Graduate School receives your degree application, your information will be made available to the program to which you are applying. The program reviews your program application and supporting documents and makes a recommendation to the Graduate School. Upon receiving the nonrefundable application fee and a recommendation from the program, the Graduate School reviews your file to verify that the minimum admission requirements have been met. The Graduate School does not act on your application without a recommendation from the program. Questions regarding the completeness or status of your application should be directed to the program.
Applications for Sociology are accepted until December 15th and for Criminology until January 10th for admission the following fall semester. Selection is based on transcripts, three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic performance, a statement of goals, a sample of written work such as a term paper or thesis, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. International applicants must also submit TOEFL scores. Please do not submit information with your application that cannot be used in the admission decision process, e.g. Individual Education Plans (IEPs), medical records, statements from physicians or psychologists, or legal documents. Such information will be returned.
The Graduate School Online Application
- If you have read the Graduate School requirements and are ready to apply, you may proceed to the application at http://www.gradschool.psu.edu/index.cfm/apply/.
- Three letters of recommendation are required for admission. Your references will be contacted electronically to complete a recommendation for you. In addition, they should either copy and paste a formal letter of recommendation into the comments section of the electronic form OR mail a formal letter directly to the program. The mailing address is given below.
- A personal statement and at least one writing sample should be uploaded when completing the online application.
- Transcripts: Applicants are required to electronically upload copies of transcripts (or equivalent documents for institutions outside the U.S., e.g., degree/study certificates, diplomas, etc.) from all post-secondary institutions attended, in the language of instruction (and copies of an official English translation if English is not the language of instruction). Applicants recommended for admission who accept an offer through the online graduate admission system will be notified by the Graduate School that official/original transcripts/documents must be sent from the originating institutions in the official language of the institution(s) attended (and if the language of instruction is not English, an official English translation must also be sent). The Graduate School will review all official documents to finalize the offer of admission. An offer of admission will be revoked if official/original documents are not received by the Graduate School within specified deadlines, or if official/original documents differ from the copies uploaded by the applicant prior to the offer of admission. For applicants whose degree conferral is in progress at the time of uploading copies, the deadline specified for receipt of official/original documents will allow for the passage of the reported date of degree conferral, and that conferral must be confirmed on the official/original documents received by the Graduate School, in order for the offer of admission to be finalized.
- Official GRE and TOEFL (International Applicants Only) scores should be sent electronically from ETS to the Graduate School.
- Dual-Degree in Demography: If you wish to apply to the dual-degree program in Sociology and Demography, please complete the final four questions on our Graduate School application pertaining to the Dual-Degree Demography Program.