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Application Materials Checklist

Note: GRE Scores are no longer considered in our admissions process.

Applicants must submit the following to be considered for admission to graduate study at the University of Michigan's Sociology Department:

  • Subplan(s) - Subplans are not required, but if you do know which area you are interested in, please select it in your application (Program Selection cont'd) and statement of purpose.  Subplans are mapped onto the department's Area Exam topics. Students' intellectual interests often evolve and change after they begin graduate school; identifying a subplan does not restrict a student to that area once they arrive, but instead gives the admissions committee as sense of the intellectual breadth of the incoming cohort.
  • Official transcripts (SCANNED COPY) - Upload a scanned copy of your official transcripts when you complete the online application. We only require official transcripts be sent from an institution's registrar's office once a student is admitted. Please check the Rackham Graduate School's website regarding Transcripts for the most up-to-date information on this process. 
  • Academic Statement of Purpose - The Statement of Purpose is the single most important item in your application. The purpose of this essay is to give the faculty a clear idea of a) why you want to pursue a career in sociology; b) what questions or problems interest you; c) how you want to address these questions; d) your subplan interest(s), if applicable; and e) why you want to pursue your graduate degree at the University of Michigan. This statement should be 1-3 pages long.
  • Personal Statement - Tell us about yourself. How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were either especially plentiful or especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree.  This statement should be no more than 500 words long.  Please do not repeat your Academic Statement of Purpose.
  • Sample of written work - This sample (senior thesis, term paper, etc.) should provide evidence of creative and critical thinking, quality of writing, and potential independent research. The sample should be 10-20 pages double-spaced.
  • Three letters of recommendation which evaluate the applicant’s past academic performance and potential for graduate study. Our application system does not accept letters of recommendation through Interfolio. Once you get to the letter of recommendation portion of the application, you will enter the email addresses for your recommendation letters and a confidential link with instructions will be sent to your recommenders for submission. Letters of recommendation are due on December 1st and must be submitted through the online application system.


*International students please see additional information listed here.


Please be sure to confirm your materials are correct and finalized before submitting your application, as we are unable to accept changes to application materials after they have been submitted.


Application Technical Difficulties

If you or your recommender need technical assistance regarding the application or recommendation systems please email ApplyWeb at Include the following information: user name, full name, email address, and phone number. Please allow 24 hours for a response.