Admissions Procedures


The UCSB Sociology Department will be accepting applications in the fall of 2023 for our fall 2024 admissions cohort.


DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: The Department of Sociology admits students for Fall Quarter admission only. The deadline for receipt of the online application, submission of all required supplemental application materials, and payment of the application fee is December 1st by 11:59 PM PST. After this date, no further applications will be accepted under any circumstances.

ONLINE APPLICATION: Students must submit an Online Graduate Application with Graduate Division.

If you are a person with a disability and require an application in another form other than electronic-format, please contact the Graduate Division by calling (805) 893-2277.

REQUIRED SUPPLEMENTAL APPLICATION MATERIALS: In addition to the submission of the Online Graduate Application and payment of the application fee, applicants are required to submit the following materials (all electronically within the online application):

  • Statement of Purpose, Personal History & Diversity Statement, and a Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Unofficial or official transcripts and a grading scale (transcript legend) for each post-secondary institution attended
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicable)
  • Writing Sample (10-15 pages in length)

Applicants are no longer required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

Additional information regarding each of the required supplemental application materials and admissions processes are located below:

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Give a brief statement outlining your reasons for undertaking a graduate program, your particular area of specialization within the major field, your past academic work, and your plans for future occupation or profession. Please include information about yourself, your goals, and anything else you feel will help the admission committee understand who you are and why you want to attend our program. Also include any additional information that may assist the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study at the Sociology Department at UCSB.

Please put your name on each page of your Statement of Purpose, Personal Achievements/Contributions, Resume or Curriculum Vitae, etc.; recommended length for the statement is 2-3 pages (preferably 2) using a legible font (preferrably size 12) and 1.5 line spacing.

PERSONAL HISTORY & DIVERSITY STATEMENT: UC Santa Barbara is interested in a diverse and inclusive graduate student population. Please describe any aspects of your personal background, accomplishments, or achievements that you feel are important in evaluating your application for graduate study. For example, please describe if you have experienced economic challenges in achieving higher education, such as being financially responsible for family members or dependents, having to work significant hours during undergraduate schooling or coming from a family background of limited income. Please describe if you have any unusual or varied life experiences that might contribute to the diversity of the graduate group, such as fluency in other languages, experience living in bicultural communities, academic research interests focusing on cultural, societal, or educational problems as they affect underserved segments of society, or evidence of an intention to use the graduate degree toward serving disadvantaged individuals or populations.

A minimum word count of at least 250 words is required for the Personal History & Diversity Statement, although 1-2 pages is the recommended length using a legible font (perferrably size 12) and 1.5 line spacing. This statement should be written in narrative format (essay) form without duplicating content from the Statement of Purpose.

RESUME OR CURRICULUM VITAE: List your positions of employment or volunteer work/community service since high school, either full or part-time, including the hours per week worked and the nature and dates of employment or service.

THREE (3) LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: Please note that all letters of recommendation should be submitted online through the Online Graduate Application.

Caution: if you are using a Letter Service (such as Interfolio or a university career center) make sure the service knows that all letters must be postmarked on or before the December 1st deadline. In the past, some Letter Services held letters and only mailed them once all letters had been received, resulting in a missed deadline.

Letters should contain the following kinds of information:

  • circumstances under which referee has known the student
  • the referee's evaluation of the student's overall intellectual ability (e.g., analytical power, critical facility, theoretical skills); independence of thought (e.g., insight, imagination, creativity); effectiveness of communication, oral and written; motivation, persistence, self-discipline, thoroughness, etc.
  • the referee's assessment of the student's long run, overall probable contributions to sociology, to society, and to UCSB's graduate program

Information on how to add, modify, or re-send the letter of recommendation request to your recommender(s) can be found here.

TOEFL or IELTS scores: Official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores should be sent directly from ETS (the testing organization) to the UCSB Graduate Division. Applicants whose native language is not English must receive a TOEFL score of at least 550 Paper-Based Test, 80 Internet-Based Test, or an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Overall Band score of 7 or higher (if applicable). Computer-based TOEFL scores are no longer accepted.

TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. Scores cannot be older than 2 years from the day you submit your Online Graduate Application to the Graduate Division.

TOEFL Reporting: Applicants taking the TOEFL must make arrangements directly with the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Instruct ETS to report scores to UCSB at institution code 4835 (the department code should be left blank). The online application requires you to enter the Test Date and sixteen digit Registration Number found on your official Report of Scores from ETS.

IELTS Reporting: Applicants taking the IELTS must make arrangements directly with IELTS for testing and score reporting. Scores may be mailed from IELTS or sent electronically. If sending paper test reports, please have your score report sent to the Graduate Division:

UCSB Graduate Division
Attn: Graduate Admissions
3117 Cheadle Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2070

TRANSCRIPTS: Official or unofficial transcripts along with the grading scale (transcript legend) should be submitted within the Online Graduate Application for each post-secondary institution attended. Applicants need to ensure that all transcripts and grading scales (transcript legends) are legible before uploading them within the online application.

To be considered for admission, you must have receceived a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited university prior to the quarter for which you seek admission, and have at least a B average (3.0 GPA) in your undergraduate coursework. However, satisfaction of minimal standards does not guarantee admission, since the number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of admit spaces available. As a consequence, many well-qualified applicants cannot be accomodated.

WRITING SAMPLE: A sample of written work in sociology or in a closely related field must be submitted with the online application. If a writing sample is submitted in excess of 15 pages, please designate which 10-15 pages of your work the Admissions Committee should read. All written work should include a bibliography, footnotes, or references, if applicable. All writing samples must be written in English or translated into English by a certified translator.

Applicants should upload the writing sample as an "Other Document Type" within the "Statements & Supplmental Documents" tab of the online application.


No application can be processed without the nonrefundable $120 (domestic) or $140 (international) application fee, payable by credit card or check. Checks should be paid to the order of "Regents, University of California." A limited number of fee waivers are available for qualified US citizens and permanent residents, excluding international applicants. Additional application fee information is located within the Graduate Division's website. Payment must be received by the December 1st application deadline.

Students who are reapplying for admission to the Department of Sociology must submit a new online application and pay a new application fee. Contact the Graduate Program Advisor at if requesting to re-use any previously submitted materials (e.g. letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc.).


The burden of responsibility rests solely with the applicant to check their application status page (within the Online Graduate Application) to verify completion of their online application, receipt of all the required supplementary application materials, and payment of the application fee - ALL must be completed by the deadline: December 1st by 11:59 PM PST. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Students are encouraged to check their application status frequently throughout the application process. The Department of Sociology will not notify applicants about any missing application materials.


Graduate Division

The Graduate Division also provides additional information and resources regarding UCSB graduate admissions:

The Graduate Division website includes links to financial aid, housing, campus visits, etc.

Cost of Attendance Calculator

A cost of attendance calculator is available to provide an estimation of the expenses you will most likely incur as a student while attending the University of California, Santa Barbara. The calculator can be accessed here:



The Department of Sociology does not have a fixed schedule of dates for acceptance or denial. You will be notified by email when a decision has been made on your application, and your Application Status Page will be updated with a decision letter. Please note we are unable to reconsider or provide feedback on denied applications.