The following are areas of faculty strength:

  • Criminology
  • Cultural Sociology
  • Environment, Hazards, and Disasters
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Health and Medicine
  • Life Course, Aging, and Youth
  • Political Economy
  • Population
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Social Psychology and Emotions

Degrees Offered


Degree Details


All accepted applicants are admitted to the PhD program. However, students who are unable to meet the requirements for the doctoral degree may pursue an MA with Graduate Committee approval. In addition, PhD students may obtain the MA in the process of completing the doctoral degree. The department does not allow extra time to complete the MA while pursuing the PhD.

All MA students are required to complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate course work. There are two plans students may choose from:

Plan 1: Thesis Option

Plan 2: Non-Thesis Option

Plan 1 – Thesis Option

For the MA degree, a student must complete 30 credit hours of course work at the 5000 level or above, including four to six thesis credits and the required Theory and Methods sequence with a B or higher in addition to preparation of a written thesis and successful oral defense of the thesis.


Plan 2 – Non-Thesis Option

For the MA degree, a student must complete 30 credit hours of course work at the 5000 level or above, including the required Theory and Methods sequence with a B or higher and take a written exam in the major area within sociology. The Advisory Committee, here constituted as an examining committee, creates an exam to assess the candidate’s competence in the relevant areas of sociological knowledge.


Minimum requirements for the PhD include completion of 45 hours of course work at the 5000 level or above and 30 dissertation credit hours as required by the Graduate School. Of the required 45 hours of course work, 24 hours must be completed in the Department of Sociology at CU Boulder, and the remaining 21 hours may be taken outside the department. Additional requirements include demonstrated proficiency in the core areas of sociology, satisfactory completion of the theory and methods assessment and the specialty area comprehensive examination and a successful dissertation defense.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university.
  • Have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.25.
  • Complete the online application.
  • Submit official GRE General Test scores in at least the 60th percentile on verbal and quantitative sections. Use institution code 4841. No department code required.
  • Provide three letters of recommendation.
  • Upload one unofficial transcript for every college or university attended.
  • Submit a statement of purpose in essay form (one to two single-spaced pages).
  • (Optional) Provide a writing sample (up to 10 double-spaced pages).
  • (International Applicants) Submit TOEFL scores if English is not the native language. This requirement is waived if you have completed at least one year of full-time academic study at a US institution or at an institution in a country where English is the native language at the time you apply and within two years of the desired admission term. You may be required to submit financial statements showing proof of support if your application is accepted.

Fall Domestic Application Deadline

December 1, 2016

Fall International Application Deadline

December 1, 2016

Contact Information

University of Colorado Boulder
Department of Sociology
Graduate Program Assistant
Ketchum 195
327 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0327
Phone: 303-735-2335
Fax: 303-735-7742

Department of Sociology website