The UB Graduate School offers estimates of annual cost for attendance for New York State residents and non-resident (including international) students for master’s and PhD students. A full time load is considered 12.0 credits per semester (four courses).
Many UB students self-finance their graduate education, using their own resources and financial aid. Although the department wishes to help all students reach their educational goals, financial resources are limited. Funding opportunities within the Department of Sociology take four primary forms: teaching assistantships, research assistantships, department scholarships, and adjunct teaching positions. There are also a range of opportunities for motivated students to seek funding around campus or teaching positions with other colleges.
The department offers a very limited number of Teaching Assistantships (TAships) to incoming students. Teaching assistants work with faculty to teach one or more courses. Duties can vary, but frequently involve working with and tutoring students, leading recitations sections, grading, and sometimes delivering lectures. TAs who already have a master’s degree may be invited to teach their own courses.
TAs work about 20 hours per week and receive a tuition waiver, health insurance and a stipend for the nine-month academic year. Students are responsible for university fees. The value of the TAship is the entire financial package that includes all of those resources—stipends and benefits together—in return for an expectation of 20 hours of work during the specified period. Students are expected to be available, in residence, during the entire nine-month period that is covered by the stipend.
PhD students, and MA students who intend to continue on to the PhD, will be considered for a TAship if their applications and GRE scores are submitted by January 15. International students are eligible for TAships if they meet minimum standards for English Proficiency (see below). Please note, however, that funding decisions are made on a yearly basis and renewal is not automatic. The department has many more applicants than funded positions and typically funds only one or two incoming students per year. Terminal MA students are not eligible for TAships.
Applicants who are offered TAships might also be eligible for a Presidential fellowship. These fellowships are based on GRE scores (315 combined or higher plus 4.0 or higher on analytic writing) and GPA (3.4 or higher). Applicants who meet the cutoffs and complete their application before the January 15 deadline are automatically nominated for these fellowships by the department. These fellowships increase the amount of stipend money associated with TAships. We currently have five Presidential fellows in the department.
All international students who have been awarded assistantships must meet the university’s English language proficiency requirement (79 on the TOEFL), and must take the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) test with a score of 55 or higher upon arrival on campus. Registration for classes is only possible after passing the SPEAK test.
Faculty research projects supported by external funding (or internal grants) sometimes employ graduate student assistants to perform essential research functions. The number of these awards varies greatly from one year to the next. RA positions may also be available with faculty members in other UB departments, usually in the social sciences. Some RAships carry tuition waivers and stipends, others come with hourly pay. There is no standard RAship; they vary according to funding source, faculty member, and research needs.
Most faculty seek research assistants who show high levels of interest as well as competence in their sociology coursework, often asking for recommendations from other faculty. Since faculty typically prefer to work with students whose skill sets and work habits are familiar to them, research assistantships are not often awarded to first year students.
The department has several small one-time scholarships available only for UB undergraduate students who are accepted into the master’s program and meet GPA standards. The department will consider a student with an overall GPA as low as a 2.8, but only if the student also has at least a 3.1 GPA in sociology. To be considered, students must submit their applications to the master’s program by January 15.
The department also makes a small number of $7,500 one-time scholarships available for UB-SIM graduates who are accepted into our master’s or PhD program. Applications must be submitted by January 15 to be considered.
For students who have earned an MA in Sociology, the department may have adjunct teaching opportunities during regular semesters (on north campus and occasionally in Singapore) and summer/winter semesters, usually on north campus). Summer teaching opportunities are announced in the fall of each year, along with an application process for consideration for an adjunct appointment. If an eligible student is interested in teaching for the department during the academic year, they should contact the Director of Graduate Studies and/or the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
What is it like to teach in Singapore, and how do you potentially get the opportunity to teach as an adjunct instructor there? The first hurdle is to become an advanced PhD student with superior classroom skills. Read what three students have to say about the experience!
Sociology graduate students have been successful finding graduate assistantships and other paid positions outside of the department. Whenever the department learns of a position, the information is submitted to the graduate student listserv. Students are also encouraged to look for opportunities through Bullseye, the job search website maintained by UB's Career Services office, as they frequently post on-campus and off-campus positions. Successful students rarely wait for opportunities to present themselves--they work hard to seek out such opportunities, and they also make sure to market themselves appropriately for units that are hiring.
Examples of graduate assistant positions current students have found outside the department include:
Sociology graduate students have also found teaching positions outside the department, and adjunct positions may be available at other area institutions of higher education. Recent sociology graduate students have found adjunct teaching positions at a number of other local colleges and universities, including:
Social Innovation Fellowship
Sociology graduate students may also have the opportunity to participate in the new Social Innovation Fellowship summer program. After taking a week-long course in the business school on social innovation, sociology graduate students work on a team with an MBA student and an MSW student at a mission-driven community organization, where they collaborate to address pressing social issues to make an impact.
The Adeline Gordon Levine Excellence in Teaching Award is a competitive award given to an outstanding graduate instructor of at least two undergraduate sociology courses.
To be eligible, a graduate student must be enrolled full-time (or its equivalent) in the program, have taught at least two North Campus classroom-based sociology courses (one of which must be a semester-long course, and at least one of which must have been taught since in the past two years), receive a nomination from an undergraduate student, and submit supporting materials.
Eligible graduate students must be nominated by an undergraduate students. Undergraduate students should submit their nomination and a brief rationale for consideration to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. No self-nominations are accepted.
Members of the Undergraduate and Graduate Studies Committees will evaluate the nominees based on evidence of excellence in teaching activities. The recipient will receive a student membership to ASA; a membership to the ASA Teaching & Learning Section; a subscription to Teaching Sociology, and a cash award bestowed by Adeline Gordon Levine. Please note: The awardee is expected to attend the department’s graduation ceremony in May to receive the award.
The Nathalie Devine Howe Graduate Award is given annually to recognize outstanding work by master's- or doctoral-level sociology graduate students. Judge Barbara Howe, PhD, adjunct associate professor, and former associate professor in the UB Department of Sociology, established this award in 2009 in honor of her mother.
Submissions must be emailed as a Word or PDF file to the Director of Graduate Studies by 5 p.m. on the second Monday in April (April 13, 2020).
All submissions will be evaluated by the Graduate Studies committee. The winner(s) is required to receive the award in person at the department’s graduation ceremony in May. Upon submission, you must state that you will attend the ceremony to receive the award if your manuscript is selected as the outstanding paper. The award includes a monetary grant toward travel expenses to attend a professional meeting.