Sociology (Ph.D.)

Sociology (Ph.D.) | Graduate

We seek to understand the social world to transform it. With its focus on the study of race, inequality, and the Black experience, the graduate program in Sociology is committed to preparing students for careers and lives in service to their communities. We do this by providing students with the theoretical, methodological, and substantive training needed to critically analyze conditions of oppression, exploitation, and injustice to overcome them.

The Ph.D. in Sociology at Howard's Graduate School prepares students for academic careers and senior-level positions as social scientists in applied research and policy, social services, government, the public sector, and private industry. Recent program graduates have landed faculty positions at top colleges and research universities, including Georgetown University, George Washington University, Rosemont College, Alabama A&M University, and Bowie State University. Others have landed postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University, the University of Washington, and Albany State University, to name a few institutions. Our program is theoretically, empirically, and analytically rigorous. As a Ph.D. in Sociology student, you will learn to integrate sociological theory with quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches to conduct policy-relevant research and hone your ability to present your research results to multiple audiences. You may specialize or take courses across interdisciplinary programs in African studies, economics, history, political science, psychology, and other areas.  As a student in Washington, D.C., you will have access to a vast network of top government agencies, NGOs, and research institutions. In addition, you will join a collaborative, supportive community of faculty, staff, and peers committed to your professional development. Department colloquia and seminars allow you to share your early-stage research and learn about new methodological approaches in the field. Our graduate faculty are widely published, with a broad range of expertise in Africana/black feminist theory and intersectionality, social determinants of health, environmental racism, reproductive and sexual health injustice, transnational, global, and postcolonial sociology, coloniality and resistance in the Global South, and penal confinement and economic systems, among other areas.

Program Snapshot

      ❱  72 credit hours 
      ❱  Full-time
      ❱  On-campus format
      ❱  Degree: Ph.D.

Application Deadline

    ❱  Fall entry: December 1, 2022

Hard deadline with rolling admissions decisions


Dr. Christopher Gunderson

Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Carolette Norwood

Department Chair

Program Details

  • Degree Classification: Graduate
  • Related Degrees: Ph.D.

Program Documents

Admission Requirements

Application for Admission 

  • Online GradCAS application
  • Statement of purpose/ Statement of academic interest (500-1,000 words)
  • Critical writing sample demonstrating your best academic writing (i.e., graded critical paper, capstone paper, M.A. thesis, and/or a published paper; 5-10 pages; 5,000 words max.)
  • GRE scores required
  • Official transcripts sent to GradCAS
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae 
  • Autobiographical statement (500-750 words)

GRE Required?

  • Yes

GRE Preferred Minimums

  • GRE Verbal Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Quantitative Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Analytical Writing: N/A

GPA Required Minimums

  • Overall GPA minimum: 3.0
  • Undergrad GPA minimum: 3.0

Reference Requirements

Evaluator type accepted:

  • Professor (2 Required)

Evaluator type not accepted:

  • Supervisor/Manager
  • Clergy
  • Friend
  • Family Member
  • Coworker
  • Other

Personal Statement Guidance 

The autobiographical statement should detail the applicants’ personal, intellectual and other motivations and their reasons for pursuing graduate study in sociology particularly at Howard University. 

Additional Guidance

Students applying for admission to the Ph.D. program are strongly encouraged to simultaneously apply for financial support. Those decisions are made separately and earlier applications for such support are more likely to be successful.