Frequently Asked Questions

Who Should Apply?

Our programs are interdisciplinary; you can apply with any major. Most of our students have undergraduate degrees in sociology, psychology, political science, criminology, criminal justice, or education.

Yes. Transfer requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

We do not offer a terminal masters degree. All of our students earn a masters degree as they fulfill the requirements for the Ph.D..

Five years for those entering with a bachelors degree; four years for those entering with a masters degree.

Most of our graduates obtain academic positions. Others work as researchers in government agencies, in the private sector, and for think tanks and nonprofits.

How Are Decisions Made?

Admissions decisions are made by a committee of faculty and advanced graduate students. Most admissions decisions are made by the end of February.

By April 15.

Who Gets Admitted?

The vast majority of students admitted to the program score above 310 on the GRE (verbal and quantitative combined). Most students admitted to the program have GPAs above 3.7.

There is no cut-off. We weigh GRE scores and GPA against other qualifications and achievements.

The department will admit about 25 students each year to its graduate programs. About 175 students apply.

Although most students start immediately, a delayed admission is possible. Such requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

What About Funding?

All students admitted to the program receive research assistantships or teaching assistantships. This funding package includes a stipend and a tuition waiver. We also have a strong record of providing summer support.

Yes, for those with outstanding qualifications and/or achievements. See the Penn State Graduate School for more information: http://gradschool.psu.edu/graduate-funding/