FAQs for Applicants

We address here some of the regular questions posed by applicants to our Emory Sociology Graduate Program. 

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.

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.

Students for whom English is not a first language will, in most cases, need to take either the TOEFL or the IELTS.

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

We also are committed to fostering and upholding diversity among our students, staff and faculty. To that end, we strongly agree with the 2018 statement offered by the Laney Graduate School regarding diversity and admisions. 

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 about four new students each year.

Of course, there is some variation that occurs from year to year. For example, seven new students entered in 2013, and three entered in 2019. But, over the long run, it averages out to four 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 2020-21 academic year, the standard stipend level is $31,775 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 three floors in Tarbutton Hall on the main campus of Emory University.

You can find Tarbutton Hall on campus with this map.

The campus itself is 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 is 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 25-30 students at various stages in the program. This number stays stable because, while we consistently enroll about four students per year, we also see about four completing their PhDs each year.

Comparative data about our graduate student 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 and staff. Hence, we strongly agreemee with the 2018 statement offered by the Laney Graduate School regarding diversity and admisions.  

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

How many faculty do you have?

We currently have 19 regular faculty in Emory Sociology and an addditional 4 gradaute faculty. 

We have experienced remarkable growth in recent years: we have added 9 regular faculty members over the past seven years.

That trend not only shows that Emory Sociology is dynamic but also that it has been 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.

For instance, 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. 

Does the program provide resources for research?

Yes. Students have access to computing resources, 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 encounter.

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

Yes. Many of our students have taken courses in areas such as anthropology; history; political science; public health; business; religion; and gender, women's, sexuality studies.

Several students have conducted research with faculty in disciplines others than sociology and/or worked on dissertations linking sociology to other disciplines.

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 affiliations with other department and units on campus.

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


Our faculty have been very involved in initiatives dealing with

  • Religion and health
  • Digital media
  • Contemporary China
  • The nature of evidence across the disciplines
  • Quantitative methods in the social sciences
  • Race and difference. 

We also maintain strong ties with sociology colleagues who are found on campus but located in such places as

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

Placements at tenure-track and research-track positions include such universities as

  • John Hopkins University
  • Rutgers University, Camden
  • University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • University of South Carolina

Placements at teaching colleges include such liberal arts institutions as

  • Davidson College
  • Holy Cross College
  • Morehouse College
  • Oberlin College

Placements at applied research include such settings as

  • American Institutes for Research
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Health Resources and Services Administration
  • Google
  • IFC International
  • National Opninon Research Center (NORC)
  • Tennessee Department of Health
  • Texas Department of State Health Services

A growing number of our students also pursue post-doctoral fellowships before taking on permanent positions. We have had students do so at such places as

  • Columbia University
  • Emory University
  • Georgia Tech
  • Harvard University
  • International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria
  • University of Hong Kong
  • University of New Hamphsire
  • University of Virginia
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung in Germany.

A full listing of our PhD alumni earning their degrees since 2000 (and their locations) can be accessed here