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Graduate Program

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Graduate Program

The Department of Sociology at the University of Oklahoma is a nationally ranked graduate program. We provide rigorous training for our graduate students and cultivate a collaborative and collegial atmosphere. With a small number of graduate students, our faculty members and graduate students work closely together to develop cutting-edge research.

GRE Requirement Update

In response to COVID-19, the Department of Sociology has waived the GRE requirement for the 2023 application cycle. Applications for Fall 2023 are not required to submit GRE scores. The English Proficiency requirement has not been waived. Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency in one of the six ways outlined by the OU Graduate College:

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Our Graduate Faculty

Our graduate faculty are active in research, demonstrating a clear adherence to our department’s mission of fostering state-of-the-art research. Our faculty publish articles in top journals such as American Sociological Review, Criminology, Annual Review of SociologySocial Forces, Social Problems, and Sociological Methods & Research, as well as books from top scholarly presses. Our faculty also present at both national and international conferences and obtain external funding from top foundations including the National Science Foundation and the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Our department also offers a strong emphasis on collaborative research between graduate students and faculty members. Many of our faculty have produced co-authored publications with graduate students.

Our faculty have won numerous awards and honors at the university level including the Distinguished Teaching Award  [formerly Good Teaching Award] (Sharp 2005; Hope 2009; Bass 2010; Burns 2016), the Irene Rothbaum Award for Outstanding Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences (Bass 2004; Worthen 2013; Perry 2018; Schleifer 2020), the General Education Teaching Award (Beutel 2020), the Kinney-Sugg Outstanding Professor Award (Sharp 2010), the Robert D. Lemon Social Justice Award from the Center for Social Justice (Sharp 2012; Worthen 2013), President’s Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Program Outstanding Mentor Award (Bass 2006), the James and JoAnn Holden Teaching Faculty Award (Chapple 2022); the Longmire Prize for Innovative Teaching (Carl 2022), the Regents Award for Superior Teaching (Peck 2023); OU Provost’s Community Engagement Award on Outstanding Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (Worthen 2021, Maher 2022), Vice President for Research and Partnerships Annual Award for Excellence in Research Grants (Maher 2022), Award for Excellence in Social Science Research (Perry 2022), and the Outstanding Research Impact Award (Perry 2020). At the national level, our faculty have been recognized with the Evelyn Gilbert Unsung Hero Award from Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (Sharp 2013), the NAS Jefferson Science Fellowship (Bass 2023-24), and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Distinguished Book Award (Perry 2021).

Graduate Research and Training

The program offers an MA and a PhD. We provide rigorous training in methods, statistics, and theory as well as in the substantive areas of class, criminology/deviance, family, gender, international/macro-comparative, and race/ethnicity. The program also offers numerous research opportunities through collaborative work with faculty.

The department provides access to a host of resources for both quantitative and qualitative research. The department is a member of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) program, a membership that gives students access to numerous data sets on domestic and international issues related to the economy, education, family, gender, and health. We also house many data sets collected by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), the Bureau of the Census, and by the faculty themselves. These data sets are available to students for theses, dissertations, course papers, and independent projects. We also provide graduate students with access to a large computer lab furnished with computers that are equipped with recent statistical software packages, including Stata, SAS, R-Studio, and a number of qualitative software program.

Graduate Teaching

The graduate program also emphasizes the importance of teaching. All of our Ph.D. students receive hands-on training and experience in teaching. Our training program includes an orientation workshop for new teaching assistants, a teaching seminar for Ph.D students, and an opportunity for Ph.D students to design and teach their own courses.The university also offers extensive resources including the Graduate Teaching Academy through the University of Oklahoma Center for Teaching Excellence.


We strive to provide funding to all of our graduate students through assistantship positions. We also offer opportunities for summer funding through the Helen Riddle Fellowship Fund. To assist with travel to national and international conferences, the department and university also provide travel grants to graduate students who are presenting their own research.


Over the years, the department has placed its graduates in tenure-track jobs in universities and colleges including the University of New Hampshire, Brigham Young University, the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, the University of Wisconsin – River Falls,  the University of Louisiana – Lafayette, to name some recent examples.  Our graduates have also achieved positions in a wide variety of public and private agencies including the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

If you are interested in applying to our graduate program, please download our application packet. If you have questions about the application process or about the program, contact Dr. Cyrus Schleifer, the graduate director, at or (405) 325-3647.

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