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Admissions Criteria

PhD Applicants: Previous scholarship record from BA or MA program of 3.3 or better (based on a 4.0 system), and strong verbal, analytic, and quantitative GRE scores. Applicants are NOT required to find an advisor before applying.

Master's Applicants: A grade-point average above 3.0 (based on a 4.0 system). GRE scores are not required for MA applicants who do not plan to apply to the PhD program.

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

Application Deadlines

  • January 15: All PhD applicants 
  • March 1: MA applicants from P.R. China 
  • June 1: All other MA applications are reviewed on a rolling basis through June 1 preceding fall matriculation.

Please note: The UB Department of Sociology does not admit 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:  

  • GRE Scores. Request an official electronic score report from Educational Testing Service (ETS). Use Institution Code: 2925 and Department Code: 2102. While there is no minimum GRE score required to apply for PhD admission, competitive GRE scores in the Department of Sociology are typically in the 150-170 range for PhD applicants. GRE scores are not required for MA applicants.
  • 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, such as a term paper, research paper or report. Writing samples are generally 10-30 double-spaced pages, and should reflect your best work, even if it is not sociology. Your application will NOT be considered without a writing sample.
  • Personal Statement. Please submit a 500-1000 word personal statement that outlines the questions, topics and/or methodologies that are of interest to you, your short- and long-term goals, and reasons why you are applying to the program. This is also an opportunity for you to discuss any particular strengths or weaknesses in your record. Personal statements from MA applicants are often shorter, 300-700 words.
  • 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.

Additional TOEFL/IELTS Information

  • The test must be dated within two (2) years of anticipated enrollment at UB.
  • A minimum official score of 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based) is required to register for academic study.
  • The new Internet TOEFL Test Score minimum requirement of 79 must be met.
  • A score between 500 and 549 (paper) or between 173 and 210 (computer) requires satisfactory completion of the SUNY/Buffalo Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) before academic registration. Your score determines the length of time needed for study (6-week or 12-week summer or full semester).
  • IELI will issue an I-20, valid for the study of English only, after your acceptance into its program. You may not register for course work while attending IELI.
  • There is no financial assistance for the study of English.
  • For more information about tests of English proficiency acceptable to UB, see the UB Graduate School website.
  • 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.

Additional Financial Documentation Information

Proof of Financial Support: Photo copy of bank statement must be sent to department; proof of liquid assets will also be accepted. Please indicate the value in U.S. dollar equivalent. Official bank statement, or a certified copy verifying that you or your sponsor have the first year’s funds on deposit will be required if you are admitted and choose to matriculate to a Graduate Program at the University at Buffalo.

Affidavit of Support: Photocopy of affidavit of support must be sent to department. Original or certified copies with an official bank statement verifying funds on deposit will be required if you are admitted and choose to matriculate to a Graduate Program at the University at Buffalo.

All documents (Financial Statement form, affidavits of support, and bank statements) must be dated within one year of enrollment at the University at Buffalo. (Please note: The University at Buffalo reserves the right to rescind admission and revoke the I-20 Certificate of Visa Eligibility if it learns that any fraudulent documents were submitted, or if any false or misleading statements were submitted, or if any required information or documents were omitted as part of your application.)

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. (payable online or by check or money order made payable to the University at Buffalo). After you formally submit your application, you will receive an email with additional instructions for submitting your payment. Currently, UB accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

ePay Links:

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.