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PhD, Sociology of Education

Use a sociological approach to solve problems such as educational equity. This doctoral program will train you to analyze educational problems and issues using research methods of sociology. You’ll be prepared to work as an educational sociology professor or as a researcher, conducting basic and applied research in public and private institutions. 

Prospective applicants are encouraged (though not required) to schedule an in-person meeting with members of the program faculty. For applicants who live away from New York City, you may arrange a telephone meeting. We always welcome e-mail communication from prospective students at

Academic Plan Code: SOED

Degree: PHD

Credits: 48 credits for students who matriculate with an MA in a related field and 65 credits for students who matriculate with a BA only.

Academic Load: The time it takes for you to complete this program will vary, based on if you study full-time or part-time and the number of credits you register for each semester. Please be aware that some programs do not offer a part-time option.

Application Deadlines
Fall: December 1

Program Information

Program website | 212-992-9475


How to Apply

These instructions and requirements are for all applicants. If you are not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, please read the special instructions for international applicants.

1. Prepare Your Application

Your application will require the following items. The following are acceptable document types for uploads: .pdf, .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .tiff, .png, .doc, .docx, and bitmap.


You are required to upload a copy of your most recent résumé or curriculum vitae as part of your application.

Statement of Purpose

You are required to upload a typed, double-spaced, two- to three-page statement explaining your purpose in undertaking graduate study in this particular program as part of your application. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and to inform the admissions committee about your goals, interests, and career plans as they relate to your intended academic pursuits.

Writing Sample

As part of your application, you are required to submit an academic writing sample - a course paper or its equivalent - that demonstrates your writing and analytic abilities. The sample should be no more than 20 pages and does not need to display a knowledge of sociology or sociology in education.

Letters of Recommendation

Submit three letters of recommendation. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline. Read detailed instructions.


Upload one official copy of transcripts from every postsecondary school you have attended or are attending. Make sure to request them in advance of the deadline. See detailed instructions.


Required. See testing requirements.

Proficiency in English

2. Apply


Start your application now

After you fill in and upload the required information, you can submit your completed application. Your application must be completed, dated, electronically signed, and submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST of the stated deadline.

Application Fee

You will be prompted to pay a $75 application fee, payable by major credit card only. After submitting your payment, you will see your application status change from “saved” to “submitted.” Please print this screen for your records, as it confirms that your application has been successfully sent to our school. If you have problems submitting your payment, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions. Learn more about our fee waiver policy.

Mailing Additional Items

If any remaining application materials need to be mailed to our office, mail the materials together in a single mailing using this document cover sheet. Items received without the cover sheet take longer to process and match to your application. Please do not mail your materials in binders or folders. Any mailed materials must be received by, not postmarked by, the stated deadline. Only completed applications will be considered and reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Due to high volume, we are unable to confirm receipt of mailed materials.

Application Policies


Application deadlines are "in-office" deadlines, not postmark deadlines. It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are in the Office of Graduate Admissions by the appropriate deadline, and we reserve the right to return any application that arrives after the deadline. Only completed applications will be considered. Should a deadline fall on a weekend, the in-office deadline will be the next business day. We advise you to apply early.

Please check the online system to confirm that you have successfully submitted your application. Due to the volume of applications and related materials received, the Office of Graduate Admissions will only contact you if your application was successfully submitted and is deemed incomplete because of missing required materials. Otherwise, you will hear from us when the admissions committee has made its decision.

Deferral policy: NYU Steinhardt does not allow deferrals. Applicants who wish to be considered for a future semester must reapply by submitting a new application with all supporting materials, including letters of recommendation, by the application deadline.

3. Receive Your Admission Decision


You will be notified about your decision by email. Typically, decisions will start going out in late March or early April for fall enrollment. You may learn of your decision before or after this timeline.

Steinhardt Fellows Program and Research Assistantships

We offer a competitive funding program for full-time PhD students that supports tuition and living expenses. The Steinhardt Fellows program is designed to help PhD students undertake full-time study and research, to participate in superior academic and scholarly experiences, and to complete their studies in a timely manner. Students in the PhD in Sociology of Education receive three years of fellowship (full tuition and fees, student health insurance, and a living stipend of $23,000) and one year of scholarship (scholarship stipend of $15,000). In addition, each of the School's academic departments has developed a set of benchmarks and milestones, such as conference presentations, exhibitions, authored manuscripts, grant submissions, and sample syllabi, that faculty mentors help their students achieve in order to prepare them academically and professionally for post-doctoral work.

All admitted full-time PhD students are awarded a full funding package and are assigned to a faculty mentor. There is no special application for this funding program.

See more information about doctoral funding

Selected doctoral students may alternatively be appointed to a Research Assistantship. Research Assistants are funded by external grants and work with a principal investigator on a funded research project. Unlike Steinhardt Fellows, RAs agree to work 20 hours per week on an ongoing research project, typically with a team of faculty and other students. Steinhardt Fellows may become Research Assistants when Steinhardt faculty win funding for projects that require research assistance.

Other Important Admissions Matters

The program considers applications once during the year in the spring for enrollment the following summer or fall. Meeting the School's application deadlines is especially important for students seeking financial assistance.
Even though the above basic criteria may be met by a student, admissions each year are also limited by the extent to which the faculty members are able to take on new doctoral students, and the number of qualified students who apply. Given the availability of open slots, the most qualified students will be admitted.

Applicants who are rejected and who wish to appeal the decision have that option by written request to the program faculty. Reason(s) for the appeal and supporting documents must be included.