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Graduate Programs in Sociology



About the Program

From its founding, Brandeis University's Sociology Department has been a distinguished small department with a distinct culture.  Our culture links the key normative questions of democracy, social justice, and the good life to the critical traditions of European and American social thought and Chicago School methods of rich ethnographic fieldwork in communities and institutions. The graduate program's goal has been to oblige students to formulate questions of social and analytical importance in "big picture" terms and submit these questions to the test of rigorous qualitative research. Our graduate program strives to promote conceptual vitality, autonomous thinking, engagement with the empirical world, and critical analysis. Our program boasts four pillars of expertise: Gender and Feminist Studies, Medical Sociology, Politics and Social Change, and Theory and Methods.

Brandeis' Sociology department participates in several graduate joint degree programs.  These include joint Ph.D. programs in Sociology and Social Policy with Brandeis’ Heller School, and in Sociology and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. We also have a joint M.A. program with Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

Degree Options:

  • Ph.D. in Sociology (Students enrolled in this program may elect to earn an M.A. in Sociology or a joint M.A. in Sociology and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies along the way to the Ph.D.)
  • Joint Ph.D. in Social Policy and Sociology with the Heller School for Social Policy and Management (Applicants to this program begin in either the Ph.D. program in Sociology or the Ph.D. program in Social Policy through the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Students must apply for the joint program by April 1st during their first year at Brandeis. Students applying for the joint degree must obtain a letter of recommendation from their program director in addition to the required three letters of recommendation.)
  • Joint Ph.D. in Near Eastern & Judaic Studies and Sociology with the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
  • M.A. in Sociology
  • Joint M.A. in Sociology and Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies 

Faculty

We encourage you to explore one of the department’s greatest assets through our faculty pages.

Courses and Degree Requirements

For the most updated course listing, course descriptions, and degree requirements, please visit the Registrar.

How to Apply

Application Deadlines:

Ph.D.: December 15
Joint Ph.D. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Sociology: January 15
Joint Ph.D. in Social Policy and Sociology: April 1


M.A.: Rolling through April 16
M.A. in Sociology and Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies: February 1

Admission Requirements:

To apply for the program, you need to submit:

  • An online application;
  • An application fee (please click here for more information);
  • Transcripts from all universities and colleges attended must be uploaded to your application; do not mail official transcripts to our office. For more information, visit Frequently Asked Question page;
  • Two or three letters of recommendation, submitted online. Four letters of recommendation are required for the Joint Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy (one of which must be from the student's current program director). Three letters of recommendation are required for the joint Ph.D. program in NEJS and Sociology.
  • curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé;
  • statement of purpose indicating your reasons for undertaking graduate study. In addition, please describe your qualifications for the sociology program and your objectives in undertaking this program. Doctoral applications should clearly outline their research interests and how they would complement those of the faculty. Master's applicants should discuss their plans for their academic and professional career and how the Graduate School will help them attain their goals.
  • critical writing sample not exceeding 35 pages; the 35-page maximum may consist of a single critical essay or two shorter essays of approximately equal length.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required.  Our ETS institution code is 3092.

International students:  For additional requirements for international applicants (non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents), minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores, and important information regarding visas, please click here.

For a more comprehensive description of application requirements, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Generous scholarships and financial aid are available; for more information please visit Financial Aid.

Careers and Alumni

Students and alumni can work closely with Career Services for an array of resources, including CV/resume help, job search, and networking.