How to Apply to the Sociology Graduate Program

Thank you for your interest in our graduate program. Our department offers students a wide range of areas of study in a friendly and supportive environment. The graduate program generally has around 40 students in-residence at any given time. 

Virtual Open House

Interested in our PhD program? The Department will hold a Virtual Open House in November. Return here for more details.

Application Deadlines

Completed applications submitted by January 15th will receive priority consideration for admittance. We do not review applications before this date.

Applications recevied after Janaury 15th may be considered on a rolling basis through April 15th, as long as spots remain. However, there is no guarantee that we will have space remaining after the priority deadline.  Thus, to ensure the highest likelihood for admission, applicants are encouraged to submit their materials by the January 15th priority deadline.

Application Deadlines


Priority Deadline

Secondary Deadline 

Fall Term only 

January 15th

April 15th (no second deadline for 2024)


Applications are assessed holistically. In addition to a strong academic record, we pay particular attention to departmental fit when assessing applicants.  We want to ensure that a students' interests align with our department's core areas of expertise, so that we can adequately mentor students. Please review our faculty profiles for a better sense of our research and areas of specialization. 

We accept students with a Bachelor's or Master’s degree in a field other than Sociology, as long as they indicate how their current interests led them to apply. However, we do expect candidates to have some coursework in Sociology (or related social science discipline) and/or evidence of familiarity with sociological theories and methods. Demonstrated familiarity with statistics is also a plus.


Our graduate students receive a full funding package that includes a graduate assistantship (GA) stipend, full tuition, and health insurance. The GA position requires work up to 20 hours per week with one or more faculty members or instructors.

How to Apply

APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED ONLINE VIA THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS: Step by step instructions can be found here  If you area of interest is not on the drop down menu, please indicate under “other interests.”

You will need to upload the following materials to the online application.   Note: These materials include unofficial transcripts. Students must also submit official transcripts separately (see instructions below)    

1. Applicant Demographic Form: Fill out the form found here and upload under the special requirements on the online application. (Your response to these questions is voluntary).

2. A resume or curriculum vitae. Please include your contact information at the top and all relevant information regarding the following:

  • Degrees earned and in progress;
  • Academic research experience;
  • Teaching or grading experience;
  • Work experience;
  • Publications;
  • Awards, honors, or professional memberships

3. A letter of intent that clearly and concisely describes your academic background and interests. The letter should be approximately 2 to 3 single-spaced pages in length.

Please ensure the letter touches on the following topics:

  • Your professional and academic experience, and/or any other factors bearing upon your qualifications for graduate work in Sociology;
  • Your reasons for applying to the Sociology PhD program;
  • Your research interests and which of the department specialties these interests best align with:
    • Crime, Law, and Social Control
    • Gender
    • Race & Ethnicity
    • Sociology of Health & Medicine
  • Your reasons for seeking a graduate degree in sociology and career objectives;
  • Any experiences or aspects of your personal background that have shaped your character and how those may contribute to the diversity, equity, and inclusion of UNM;
  • If there are any weaknesses in the application file, such as poor grades, you should address them.

4. Three letters of recommendation from academic references that address your past academic performance, including analytical abilities and potential for success in graduate studies. If you request a letter from a professional reference, the letter should address analytical abilities and professional qualifications relevant to Sociological areas of study. The online application system will automatically contact your recommenders so that they can confidentially upload the letters.

5. One Writing Sample of approximately 10-15 pages in length. The sample may be a previously submitted term paper or an original essay. This requirement provides the applicant with the opportunity to demonstrate research and analytical abilities.

 6. Unofficial Transcripts (from each academic institution attended). For the purpose of reviewing applications, we accept unofficial transcripts.

Official Transcripts

In addition to the unofficial transcripts submitted on the online application, all accepted applicants must submit official transcriptsElectronic transcripts can be submitted directly to Paper copies should be sent to:

UNM Sociology Department
Attn: Sociology Graduate Committee
MSC05 3080
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Office of International Admissions

There are additional university-wide admissions requirements for international students (see here). For questions regarding these requirements please contact their office directly at

Please see the links below for more information on our graduate program. You may contact the Graduate Director, Dr. Owen Whooley (, or the Coordinator of Graduate Academic Advisement, Shoshana Handel (; 505.277.2501) with questions.

Useful Links