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Sociology Department> Admission

Applying to the Sociology Department

Undergraduate Major and Minor

In order to declare an undergraduate sociology major, you must be a registered student at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. If are not yet a UHM student, you can find information on admission procedures and requirements at UHM Admissions and Records.

For those who are already enrolled at UHM and are considering sociology, you can find information on how to declare a major in the advising information and resources provided by the College of Arts and Sciences, and find descriptions of courses on the UHM catalog sociology course page. Requirements for the major and minor can be found at the catalog sociology department page.

Wondering what kind of careers you can pursue with a degree in Sociology? The Americian Sociological Association has some useful information about Careers in Sociology and Preparation for Careers.

Graduate MA and PhD Degrees

Information on our Masters and PhD programs can be found on the graduate degrees section of this website.

To enter one of our graduate programs, you should apply to the UHM Graduate Division Admissions Office. University-wide graduate admissions requirements are listed in detail here:

The Sociology Department requires the following documents for admission, in addition to those required by the Graduate Division:

  • GRE General Test (required of ALL applicants to both the MA and PhD program; no exceptions)
  • A statement of purpose (no standard form, but it should explain why the applicant wants this degree program and why this particular program)
  • Three letters of recommendation (no standard form and they should be sent directly from the recommender, not by the applicant)
  • Writing Sample (required for PhD program, optional but recommended for the MA program)

GRE Test scores may be sent directly to the Graduate Division. All of the other items listed should be sent directly to the department at:

Sociology Department
247 Saunders Hall, University of Hawaii
2424 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822

For further information on admission deadlines and TOEFL requirements review the special sociology department admissions requirements.

Please read the requirements on the above linked pages very carefully and in detail before proceeding further.

Here are a few additional tips:

  • Admissions materials that are required by the Graduate Division should be delivered to the Graduate Division's Admissions Office, 2540 Maile Way, Spalding 354, Honolulu, HI 96822, while other materials (including transcripts and also GRE and TOEFL scores) should be sent to us at: Graduate Admissions, Department of Sociology, 2424 Maile Way 247, Saunders Hall, University of Hawai`i, Honolulu HI 96822.
  • There is no official UHM form for letters of recommendation. Please have recommenders write their letters on their official letterhead. If the recommendations are to be confidential, they should be in sealed envelopes with the recommender's signature across the flap.
  • Academic writing samples are required for PhD applicants, and optional for MA applicants. In either case, your samples should be chosen appropriately to show your readiness to engage in graduate-level work in sociology.
  • You are not required to be an undergraduate sociology major in order to apply to the graduate program. However, those who do not have appropriate prior coursework (such as undergraduate sociological theory and methods) will need to make up these courses in addition to the usual degree requirements if they are admitted and enroll in the graduate program.
  • You are not required to have an MA degree to apply to the PhD program. In fact, if you are planning to pursue a PhD eventually, you should apply directly to the PhD program. Those admitted will be eligible to receive an MA as part of the program "en route" to their PhDs.

Financial Aid

For an overview of graduate financial aid at UHM, see the Graduate Division pages on financing. Also look at the website for Financial Aid Services, which includes, among other things, a list of graduate scholarships. International students should also look at information at the International Student Services site.

Our department has a limited amount of internal financial aid and employment funds that it offers to incoming students. Students who are accepted into the department graduate program are eligible for tuition waivers (usually partial), and to work at the department on an hourly basis as course assistants. We may also offer full graduate teaching assistantships, which include a full tuition waiver, health benefits, and salary, to one or two incoming students who are judged to have particularly strong qualifications.

For incoming students from the Asia-Pacific region, or with interests in that area, the East-West Center is the by far the main source of extra-departmental financial aid. A large number of scholarships are offered; and you should peruse the requirements of each individual scholarship carefully. Please do so early, since such scholarships usually have application deadlines well in advance of that of the sociology department or graduate division.

Additional scholarships, including some open to graduate students, are administered by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity. To find fellowships that are administered by sources outside the University, there are a number of publicly accessible databases available. One might start by doing a web search on the phrase: graduate fellowship database.

In addition to graduate teaching assistantships administered by the department, many sociology graduate students have been successful in finding graduate research and teaching assistantships that are administered by other units or by individual University professors. Research assistantships are generally linked to specific extramural grant projects, and usually offer full tuition waiver, salary, and health benefits. Students with strong technical or methodological skills are particularly in demand. Though it is more typical for such jobs to go to graduate students already on campus, incoming students who have received admission can also apply. One can get an idea of the kinds of positions available by looking at the UH jobs website.

Finally, there are numerous hourly jobs for students (including those specifically for graduate students) available on the UH campus. Once you have committed to attending UH, you may be able to start your search using the online job database of Student Employment and Cooperative Education. However, if you are not already taking classes, you should contact SECE first to determine your eligibility.