FAQs for Applicants

--A scene from Ponce City Market in Atlanta

We address here some of the regular questions posed by applicants to our Emory Sociology Graduate Program. Click on each question below to see the answers that we provide.

The answers below complement the information found elsewhere -- including a detailed discussion of Emory Sociology and its identity, as well as an overview of the graduate program itself.

If your question and/or answer is not found below or elsewhere on our website, feel free to contact us directly with additional questions about our Graduate Program.You may contact our Director of Graduate Admissions (Dr. Roberto Franzosi, rfranzo@emory.edu) the Director of Graduate Studies (Dr. Ellen Idler, eidler@emory.edu) or the Graduate Program Coordinator (Patricia Hamilton, phamil2@emory.edu).

What are the main criteria for admission?

We consider a number of different factors in combination, including undergraduate GPA and record, GRE scores, research experience, interests that fit with department strengths, and scholarly potential. We do not require any minimal scores but admissions are typically very competitive.

Information regarding the number of applications versus the number of graduate students admitted can be found here.

Do you invite applicants for interviews?

We usually invite top applicants to a recruitment weekend in early February. Due to funding constraints, we are not able to host all outstanding candidates for admission, such as applicants who are in other nations. We therefore consider a pool broader than the applicants who visit during the recruitment weekend.

How many students do you admit and enroll each year?

We typically admit about ten students per year and eventually enroll about five new students each year. Of course, there is some variation that occurs from year to year.  For example, seven new students entered in 2013. But, over the long run, it averages out to five new graduate students per year.

Statistics regarding our admissions and enrollments can be accessed here

Is funding guaranteed to all admitted students?

Yes, we provide each admitted graduate student with five years of funding. That funding covers the costs of tuition while also providing a monthly stipend. For the 2017-18 academic year, the standard stipend level is $24,000 plus 100% coverage of health insurance premiums

There is also a variety of competitive fellowships available on campus that has allowed a fair number of our graduate students to secure sixth year funding.

Where are you located?

We are located on four floors in Tarbutton Hall on the main campus of Emory University. You can locate Tarbutton Hall on campus by referring to this map.

The campus itself is located in a beautiful enclave in the Druid Hills area, an inner neighborhood of Atlanta with ample housing, dining, and other facilities in close vicinity. As the photo below shows, Atlanta itself -- and especially the neighborhood in which we are located -- is incredibly lush with foliage. Tarbutton Hall on the right of the photo, and the skylines of Atlanta midtown and downtown are in the distance.

How many students are active in your program?

At any one time, we have approximately 35 students at various stages in the program. This number stays stable because, while we consistently enroll about five students per year, we also see about five completing their PhDs each year.

Information about these numbers can be found here.

How diverse is your student body?

While our overall diversity varies depending on incoming cohorts, we typically admit a good number of both domestic minority and international students each year. We also are strongly committed to enhancing further the diversity of our graduate student cohorts and the diversity of our faculty.  

Statistics addressing the gender, ethnoracial and nationality composition of our graduate students can be accessed here.

How many faculty do you have?

As of October 2017, we have 19 regular faculty in Emory Sociology and an additional 3 Visiting Assistant Professors. 

Our numbers will increase in the coming year because we will also be hiring an Assistant Professor specializing in the Sociology of Race and a Lecturer specializing in Criminology. Those hires are part of a larger trend: Emory Sociology will have added 7 new faculty members over the past six years. That trend not only shows that Emory Sociology is dynamic but also that it is supported by the administration in terms of funds for new faculty.

Information regarding our faculty can be found here.

How is student advising arranged?

Students are assigned an advisor upon enrollment but are free to change advisors at any time.  We take pride in a record of strong mentoring, and two of our faculty have won university-wide mentoring awards.

How does the department support professional development?

In many ways. We require presentation or publication of at least one research paper, encourage and facilitate regular attendance at conferences, conduct in-house seminars on professional matters, etc.  The Graduate School provides Professional Development Support funds to all students. We also have an ongoing seminar devoted to our graduate students who are currently on the job market.

Does the program provide resources for research?

Yes. Students have access to a computer lab, various data sets and statistical packages, a large university library, extensive journal databases, support for conference travel, etc. 

We also have sufficient funds in Emory Sociology to cover the occasional, unexpected costs that accompany those serendipitous opportunities that our graduate students sometimes encounter.

Can students take courses in other programs and do interdisciplinary research?

Yes. Many of our students have taken courses in areas such as political science, public health, business, religion and gender/women's/sexuality studies, among others. Several students have conducted research with faculty in other fields or worked on dissertations linking sociology to such fields. Given that we also require students to have a dissertation committee member drawn from outside Emory Sociology, our students regularly make connections with professors across campus.

This connection to other disciplines on campus is also facilitated by our Emory Sociology faculty: many of whom share connections and affiliations with other disciplines and units on campus.

Is the program connected to other units or initiatives in the university?

Yes. Our faculty have been very involved in initiatives dealing with religion and health, digital media, contemporary China, quantitative methods in the social sciences, and race and difference (including the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference). We also maintain strong ties with sociology colleagues who are found on campus but located in such places as Candler School of Theology, Emory School of Medicine, Goizueta Business School and Rollins School of Public Health.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Time to completion is about six years, shorter from some students who enter with extensive prior training, longer in some cases due to personal factors or complex projects.

You can inspect these times to completion by looking here.

What do graduate students do after graduation?

About a third of graduating PhDs take jobs at research universities, a third do so at teaching colleges, and a third take positions in applied research.

Recent placements including tenure-track positions at such research universities as University of New Mexico, University of Nevada, Reno, University of South Carolina, and Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as at such liberal arts institutions as Davidson College, Holy Cross College, Morehouse College, and Oberlin College. Recent applied positions include such settings as American Institutes for Research, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and IFC International.

A growing number of our students also pursue post-doctoral fellowships before taking on permanent positions. In recent years, we have had students do so at Georgia Institute of Technology, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, University of Hong Kong, University of Virginia, and Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung in Germany.

A full listing of our PhD alumni and their locations can be accessed here. A perusal of it will reveal that Emory Sociology PhDs have ended up at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Indiana University, Skidmore College, Texas A&M, Towson University, University of Delaware, University of Georgia, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of New Hampshire, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and University of Toronto, to name some.