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FAQ for Prospective Doctoral Students

PhD in Sociology of Education

About the Academic Program

How long does it take to complete the doctoral program?

The median time to completion at Steinhardt is 6.7 years, and most Sociology of Education PhD students tend to finish in 5-7 years.

Is funding available?

We offer a competitive funding program for full-time PhD students that supports tuition and living expenses. See more information about the funding program. More information about the funding package is provided at the time of admission. 

Do you offer online courses?

We do not currently or plan to offer courses online.

Do you offer summer courses?

We do not offer exclusively summer graduate programs, but some of our courses are occasionally offered in summer. With careful planning in conjunction with their adviser, students could fulfill certain program requirements during the summers.

Do you offer job placement assistance after graduation?

NYU's Wasserman Career Center provides assistance to all graduate students and alumni from NYU Steinhardt.

About Visiting Campus, Information Sessions, and Getting More Information

What events can I attend or how can I meet with faculty and advisors?

We host several opportunities to get to know students and answer questions each year. Open House is hosted in the fall semester of each year, and we also host online Information Sessions in the fall and spring.  Please see the Steinhardt Graduate Admissions website for more information, as well as how to RSVP.

I am planning to visit campus and would like to attend a class. When is the best time for me to do this?

We encourage students to attend Open House in the fall, where you can meet faculty, advisers, and current students in the program, as well as attend a class.  Typically, most of our classes are offered in the late afternoon or early evening, Mondays through Thursdays.

If you are unable to align your plans with Open House, please email us at least three weeks prior to your visit to request to attend a class. We encourage students to also contact the NYU Gould Welcome Center to arrange for a campus tour, and watch the recorded Information Session prior to their visit to have many of their questions about the program answered.

Is an interview required?

Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend one of the on-campus or online events to get to know program faculty, their research, and to look for alignment in research interests. Due to an overwhelming number of requests, and to keep our responses equitable, we do not schedule individual meetings with faculty and prospective students.If you have questions about the program and cannot attend an event, you may also email our staff to ask questions or set up a phone appointment. These meetings do not influence admission decisions.

I cannot attend the on campus information session.  How can I find out more?

After carefully reviewing our website and FAQ, if you have additional questions, you may email us to request a phone or virtual appointment with an advisor or ask question. We host online Information Sessions in both fall and spring. Check the Graduate Admissions Events website for more information; we typically post the dates and RSVP information for events in late August. 

About Admissions

What is the deadline for applying to the PhD program in Sociology of Education?

December 1.

Where can I find the application?

See the Application Guide for the PhD in Sociology of Education.

Are there different admissions requirements for international students?

Yes. Detailed Special Instructions for International Applicants are available in the Graduate Admissions Guide.

What are the English proficency exam requirements for international students?

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to take one of the following English proficiency exams and submit the score: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic. See more information on English proficiency testing.

Is the GRE required?

The GRE is not a part of the application process this year.

Is an MA required to apply for a PhD?

No, an MA is not required. 

What is the GPA requirement?

Successful candidates for admission will demonstrate a strong record of academic achievement at the undergraduate level and from any previous graduate-level coursework from accredited institutions (if applicable, previous graduate coursework is not required). Students with anomalies in their academic records should consider addressing this in their statement of purpose. The admissions committee also looks carefully at your entire transcript, not just the overall GPA, such as reviewing what kinds of classes you were taking and your grades over time.

I do not have a background in education or sociology - am I still eligible to apply to this program?

Yes, absolutely. The program imparts methodological and theoretical knowledge, and gives students the opportunity to gain specialized knowledge in their area of interest. Undergraduates from a variety of backgrounds and majors are encouraged to apply.

Do I need to submit letters of recommendation?

Yes, three letters of recommendation are required for the PhD program. Please note that these should be academic references who can speak to your academic strengths, to your potential to undertake rigorous academic work at an advanced level, if possible, to your interests in education and sociology.

What should I include on my statement of purpose?

Your statement of purpose should describe why this is the perfect next step for you. It should  demonstrate what personally and professionally has led you to decide you would like to enter this program. Although you don't need to demonstrate knowledge of sociology, you should be able to articulate how your interests align with the type of research our faculty does and the strengths of the program.

Your statement does not need to identify a mentor, but you should research the school as a whole and see if there are some faculty who you would be excited to work with and could support you in your research.

What should I submit for my writing sample?

The writing sample can be any academic paper which you feel demonstrates your ability to write well and make academic arguments or critically analyze an issue. It does not have to be for a sociology course or focused on sociology.  It should be no longer than 10-15 pages.

Do I need to have a fully developed dissertation topic when I apply?

Absolutely not, the first two to three years of the program are about figuring this out. You should have an idea of what you care about and some broad ideas about areas you are interested in researching, such as urban education, diversity in education, social justice issues, etc.

Can I have the application fee waived?

Application fee waivers are available in some circumstances. The NYU Steinhardt Office of Graduate Admissions handles fee waiver requests. Please review the Policy on Application Fee Waivers to determine how to properly request a fee waiver.

Where do I send supplementary materials, such as letters of recommendation and transcripts?

Letters of recommendation and scanned transcripts are submitted through the online application.

If absolutely necessary, other materials can be sent directly to the admissions office, with the required cover sheet:

Office of Graduate Admissions
NYU Steinhardt
82 Washington Square East, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-6680

When will I receive a decision from NYU?

Decisions are typically mailed out from Graduate Admissions beginning in mid to late March. If you have not received a response within this time frame, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office directly at (212) 998-5030 or .