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. You will join a collaborative, supportive community of faculty, staff, and peers committed to your professional development. Department 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 Deadlines

Spring 2024 entry: 

      ❱  No spring entry

Fall 2024 entry: 

      ❱  Dec. 1, 2023 (priority deadline)

      ❱  Jan. 15, 2024 (final deadline)

Applicants should submit their applications as early as possible for earlier consideration of departmental funding opportunities. Applicants have until the final deadline to apply. However, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the admissions cycle. 


Dr. Marie-Claude Jipguep

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 not required
  • Official transcripts sent to GradCAS
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Master's degree from an accredited college or university or the international equivalent
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae 
  • Autobiographical statement (500-750 words)

GRE Required?

  • No

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

Statement of purpose/ Statement of academic interest (500-1,000 words)

This statement should detail the applicants’ personal, intellectual, and other motivations and their reasons for pursuing graduate study in Sociology, particularly at Howard University, as well as their proposed areas of study, their alignment with specific faculty members based on mutual and or related research fields of interest, and career goals.

Autobiographical Statement Guidance (500-750 words)

The autobiographical statement provides the admissions committee with additional information about an applicant's history and life experiences. The Autobiography allows applicants to provide the committee with a detailed account of their personality, allowing them to better understand who they are based on their experiences and points of view. Applicants can give a chronological account of the significant events in their lives, such as where they were born and raised, their academic accomplishments, personal interests, and professional experiences. Applicants are encouraged to reflect on their experiences and describe how they influenced who they are today.

Additional Guidance

Successful completion of undergraduate coursework in sociological theory, research methods, and statistics is highly recommended. Successful applicants are required to make up for deficiencies by taking undergraduate courses before enrolling in the graduate program. Applicants should contact the Director of the Graduate Program with any inquiries about these courses.

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.