Frequently Asked Questions

PhD in Sociology

Do I need to have a master’s degree in order to be admitted to your PhD program?  Can I directly apply to the PhD program with a bachelor's degree?

We do not require a master’s degree for admission to our PhD program. We only require a bachelor’s degree in sociology or its equivalent. You can apply to the PhD program with a bachelor’s degree and earn your master's degree in the course of getting your PhD degree. If you have a master's degree, you can transfer appropriate credit hours after satisfactorily completing a minimum of 9 semester hours of graduate coursework at TWU and filing the degree plan.

My bachelor's degree is not in sociology. Can I still be admitted to your PhD program?

Yes. We consider promising students with a bachelor’s degree in other fields. Quite a few of our current students have a degree from other disciplines.

My GPA is below 3.5. Can I be considered for admission?

If your GPA of the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework is at least 3.0 but below 3.5, you may be considered for conditional admission, assuming that you meet other admission criteria. You may be asked to submit additional evidence to demonstrate your ability to do graduate work. You may be required to take some prerequisite courses before enrolling in courses for the PhD program.

When is the deadline for application?

We do not have a fixed deadline. We admit graduate students all year long in fall, spring, and summer. However, we strongly recommend prospective students to apply at least two months before the starting date of a semester in order to ensure sufficient time to process the application and to prepare for enrollment. If you apply for graduate assistantships and/or other university scholarships, you should submit your admission application by the deadlines of assistantships and/or scholarships. New international students need to apply at least six months before the starting date of a semester because visa application takes much longer to complete. Check with the TWU Office of International Education for deadlines of graduate and visa application.

Where do I submit my graduate application?

You must submit your Graduate Application Online through Texas Common Application at

What other application materials are required?

The following materials should be sent to:

TWU Admissions, P.O. Box 425649, Denton, TX 76204

  • Official transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework from each college attended
  • GRE scores
  • Graduate application fee of $50
  • Application for Assistantship (if desired)

In addition, the following materials should be sent to:

Philip Q. Yang, PhD
Sociology Graduate Advisor
Department of Sociology and Social Work
P.O. Box 425887
Denton, TX 76204

  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose (2-3 pages)

Can I waive the GRE?


What is the minimum GRE score required for admission?

There is no minimum GRE score required.

My GRE scores are not very high. Should I still apply?


Do I have to take the GRE Subject test in Sociology?


Can I waive the TOEFL?

The TOEFL can be waived if one of the following conditions is met: 1. You are from a country where English is the primary language of instruction and is the language spoken at home and by the indigenous population. 2. You have earned a degree from an accredited U.S. college or university. 3. You submit a satisfactory GRE verbal score (500 or higher), GMAT (50th percentile or higher), or a satisfactory score on one of the other tests accepted by the Graduate School.

I submitted most of my application materials, but a few items are still missing. Will my application be considered?

No. If any of the required application materials is missing, the Graduate School will not send your application packet to the department for consideration.

What areas of concentrations do you offer?

In addition to Sociological Theory, Research Methods, and Statistics, our areas of concentration include Race and Ethnic Relations, Social Inequality, Migration/Immigration, Criminology/Criminal Justice, Social Psychology, Medical Sociology, Family Violence, Sociology of Religion, Sociology of Culture, and Urban and Community Sociology.

When are your classes offered?

Our classes are normally offered in evenings (6:00-8:50) or late afternoons (2:30-5:20) during weekdays.

Do you offer online and hybrid classes?

We currently offer at least 6 online or hybrid classes. More online or hybrid classes are offered during summers. Online courses are also available at other schools of the Federation of North Texas Area Universities.

How many credit hours can be transferred from other accredited institutions to TWU for the PhD degree in sociology?

Up to 45 credit hours.

Can I get a PhD degree totally online?

No. The majority of our courses are not online.

Do you offer financial support?

Yes. We offer graduate teaching assistantships to outstanding students who have been accepted into the PhD program. Financial support includes a monthly stipend, health insurance, and tuition waiver (out-of-state) for the time of employment. Some research assistantships are available from faculty members who have research grants. In addition, the department offers some scholarships; please visit our Scholarships page for details. Furthermore, the University provides TWU Graduate Student Scholarships (PhD) and other scholarships to qualified students. Please visit the TWU Financial Aid page to learn more.

When are the deadlines for the application of teaching assistantships?

October 15 and March 1. Visit the Graduate School Assistantships page to download the application form. You can submit the completed application to the Graduate Program Director or together with your application for admission.

When is the deadline for the application of departmental scholarships?

March 15.

Is financial assistance available for international students?

Yes. International students can apply for graduate teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and departmental scholarships. International students are strongly encouraged to provide financial support for themselves through other sources, especially for the first year. While they are not qualified for financial aid, international students are qualified to apply for TWU Graduate Student Scholarship PhD and TWU International Student Scholarship. Please visit the TWU Financial Aid page for further details. They can also seek on-campus employment.

What is important to the admission committee? 

The committee considers the whole record of each applicant rather than just one single indicator. Statement of purpose, recommendation letters, GPA, and GRE scores are among the most important factors to consider.

When can I expect to hear from you about my application?

Once your application file is complete, you will receive a notification from the Graduate School normally within one month. You can also check your application status online through However, for international students from non-English-speaking countries the process is much longer because of the need to translate foreign documents and to do the equivalency evaluation of transcripts and degrees by the Office of International Education.

Do you offer a PhD degree in social work?


Page last updated 3:31 PM, May 25, 2017