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Admissions Criteria

PhD Applicants: Previous scholarship record from undergraduate or Master's program of 3.3 or better (based on a 4.0 system), strong fit with department areas of specialization, and strong letters of recommendation. Applicants are NOT required to find an advisor before applying. GRE scores are not required for PhD applicants.

Master's Applicants: A grade-point average above 3.0 based on a 4.0 system (or an explanation in your personal statement about why your grades were below 3.0), good fit with department areas of specialization, and strong letters of recommendation. GRE scores are not required for Master's applicants.

Applicants should note that the undergraduate grade point average required for admission to the sociology graduate programs may be higher than those set by the Graduate School at UB.

Application Deadlines

  • December 15: All PhD applicants and Spring Criminology MS Applicants
  • March 1: Master's applicants from P.R. China 
  • August 1: All other Master's applications are reviewed on a rolling basis through August 1 preceding fall matriculation.

Please note: The Criminology MS program is the only UB Department of Sociology program that accepts applications for spring enrollment.

Application Instructions

Use the link to access our online application system. You should begin by creating an account. Once created, you will be promoted to choose an application, select your term year and program. Please read the directions on your College of Arts and Sciences application carefully. Returning users can use this link to log in to their existing application(s).

Supplemental Materials

The following supporting materials must be included as part of the online application. Please read the instructions on the online application for further details. Your application will not be considered complete and will not be reviewed until you have submitted: 

  • Academic Transcripts. Upload scanned copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts, including the English translation, if applicable. An official transcript and Proof of Degree, in English, certified will be required if you are admitted and choose to matriculate to a graduate program at the University at Buffalo.
  • Writing Sample. Please submit a writing sample, ideally a research paper or research proposal (but a term paper or report may suffice if you do not have a research paper). Writing samples are generally 10-30 double-spaced pages, and should reflect what you believe to approach graduate-level work, even if it is not sociology. Your application will NOT be considered without a writing sample.
  • Personal Statement. While these may change throughout your time in graduate school, please submit a personal statement that outlines the questions, topics, and methodologies that are of interest to you, your short- and long-term goals, and reasons why you are applying to this program, including your fit with departmental areas of specialization. This is also an opportunity for you to discuss any particular strengths or weaknesses in your record. The length of personal statements vary, and there is no required minimum or maximum word count. In general, personal statements from PhD applicants tend to be about 1000 words, while those from Master's applicants are often shorter, in the 500-700 word range.
  • Letters of Recommendation. Request letters from three current or former faculty. These letters must be submitted electronically and should be written on institutional letterhead. Further instructions are included in the online application. 

Instructions for International Applicants

UB requires international applicants to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam. In addition to the above application materials, international applicants must also submit the following: 

  • TOEFL Scores. No international application is processed without a TOEFL or other accepted English Proficiency Exam. Attach a photocopy of your results, which has been certified as a true copy by your registrar, to your application and request an official copy from ETS. Use Institution Code: 2925 and Department Code: 96. Official electronic scores will be automatically linked to your online application.
  • Passport Bio-Page.
  • International Applicant Financial Form (IAFF) 
  • Financial Documentation (Per the IAFF instructions). Indicate in the boxes provided the amount available for each year of study (MA – two years; PhD – three years). You and your sponsor, if applicable, must sign and date the form.

Schomburg Fellowship

In order to be eligible for the Schomburg Fellowship, you need to be either a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident and have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above. 

If you would like to be considered for a Schomburg Fellowship, please upload a written statement to your online application (maximum of 500 words) describing how you will contribute to the diversity of the student body in your graduate or professional degree program, including by having overcome a disadvantage or other impediment to success in higher education.

Please note that such categorical circumstances may include academic, vocational, social, physical or economic impediments or disadvantaged status that students, as evidenced by their performance as undergraduates, have been able to overcome, or other characteristics that constitute categorical underrepresentation in their particular graduate program such as gender or racial/ethnic status.

Application Fees

The graduate application fee is $75 U.S., and must be paid online through the Slate application portal.

Fee waivers are only available to students in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars program (anywhere in the United States), Educational Opportunity Program in New York State (EOP), Higher Education Opportunity Program in New York State (HEOP), Percy E. Sutton SEEK Program in New York State (SEEK), TRIO, Upward Bound, GRE Fee Waivers, AmeriCorps Program, certain categories of sponsored, university recognized and approved exchange programs applicants, or applicants with that have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 on their Fee Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA). If you fall into one of these categories, please contact us to request an application fee waiver to be submitted on your behalf. In all cases, you will need to provide official supporting documentation. 

Contact Us

Please contact us with any questions about the application process.