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Sociology and Criminology Graduate Program

Overview | Important dates | Research Centers | Student Activities | Financial Aid | Admission Requirements | Deadlines | Policy Handbook | Current Students| Graduate Conference

See a list of our graduate students' publications here

Forms & Information for Current Graduate Students

Memorial Hall in the summer


The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice offers Masters of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy degree program in both sociology and criminology. The primary focus of the program is the preparation of members of the next generation of sociologists and criminologists by emphasizing systematic training in theory and research methodology as well as teaching. These advanced education degrees are intended for persons interested in careers in academia, public service, or private enterprise. The Department has a large number of full-time distinguished faculty (28) from the disciplines of Sociology, Psychology, Law, Criminology, History, and Criminal Justice. This allows students to work closely with faculty members while preserving a reasonable breadth of interests. Thus, while both the Sociology and Criminology degrees rely on strong theoretical and methodological foundations, they also allow students to tailor a program that meets their individual needs.

Both the Sociology and Criminology programs are organized around course work, seminars, research, teaching opportunities, and other related work.. Our goal is to provide students with a wide range of professional experiences.

For new applicants, please see Graduate Office webpage for applicants

For Foreign Students, please see Office of Foreign Students

For more information, please see our Graduate Policy Handbook

Click here to view Graduate course descriptions

Click here to view Course Search.

Click here to view new changes to GRE 2011.

Important Dates

The Department Offers Fall Admission Only
February 1 - deadline for application to M.A. and Ph.D. program.

If we receive your online application first, it will take 2 weeks after your paper documents are received for them to be processed.

If we receive your paper documents first, it will take 2 weeks after your application is received for your paper documents to be processed.


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Research Centers

There are two internationally recognized research centers associated with the Department.

Disaster Research Center The Disaster Research Center (DRC), established in 1963, was moved to the University of Delaware in 1985. DRC is one of the world’s leading centers for social science research on disasters and hazards. Since its inception, the Center has conducted field studies in over 520 communities that have sustained the effects of large-scale emergencies, in particular, natural and technological disasters. The Center’s research program focuses on group, organization, and community preparations for, responses to, mitigation of, and recovery from various hazard agents. Current and past sponsors of the Center’s research activities include the National Science Foundation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the NOAA Sea Grant College Program, the U. S. Geological Survey, the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, and the Public Entity Risk Institute. DRC has conducted field and survey research in numerous communities in the United States and has been involved in studies of the major disaster events of our time, including the 1964 Alaska, 1971 San Fernando, 1989 San Francisco, and 1994 Northridge earthquakes; major hurricane, flood, and tornado events, and mass-casualty disasters such as explosions and plane crashes. The Center has also carried out research on significant civil disturbances, including the 1960s urban riots and the 1992 Los Angeles unrest. Although its main focus has been on disasters and other community crises in the United States, DRC is also involved in international research, and Center personnel work closely with members of the international hazards research community. Current projects include large-scale studies of flood evacuation in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, impediments and incentives to the adoption and implementation of loss-reduction measures, definitions and measures of social resilience, and research on the organizational and community response following the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies. The Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies (CDAS) was established at the University in 1991 and has been awarded a series of multi-million dollar research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Locally, CDAS has offices in Newark and Wilmington. CDAS was instrumental in setting up and evaluating a national model of Therapeutic Community treatment in criminal justice. Recently, CDAS was included in a small group of Research Centers nationally that will be leading research in treating criminal justice substance involved clients. In addition to evaluating treatment programs in criminal justice settings, other ongoing studies include: The relation of school experiences to adolescent substance abuse, studies examining the efficacy of AIDS education and awareness programs, and studies which examine the epidemiology and etiology of substance abuse in general. CDAS also has major AIDS prevention initiatives in Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean. With two offices in the Miami area and a new center opening this year in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the focus of these initiatives is the development and evaluation of culturally specific HIV prevention programs for hard-to-reach and under served populations.

Both Centers offer opportunities for research training for graduate students including stipends for research assistants and use of data sources.

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Graduate Student Activities

Our students engage in many activities and projects in addition to the usual course work.

A number of students have published papers, and annually some of our students are on the program at the national meetings of the American Sociological Association, the American Society of Criminology, and the Eastern Sociological Society.

All relevant departmental committees have graduate student representatives.

Through the Disaster Research Center, the Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies, and other faculty research grants, students have the opportunity to work on various research projects and to write articles with the faculty.

Advanced graduate students also have the opportunity to teach regular courses in the department.

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Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to graduate students in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, tuition scholarships, and University fellowships. Awards are competitive and merit-based. Assistantships and fellowships consist of tuition plus a stipend for the September - May academic period.

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Admission Requirements

Admission requirements are established by the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and the College of Graduate Studies The decision to admit an applicant to the graduate programs in Sociology or Criminology is primarily based on the applicant's performance on the verbal and math GRE's (ideally a total of 1100 is favorable for combined scores), application, official transcript containing GPA, three letters of recommendation, and statement of objectives (why you want a M.A. or Ph.D. and what you plan to do with it), TOEFL or IELTS for foreign students, writing sample is strongly encouraged. Also, if you are graduating with your B.A., do not apply as a Ph.D. student. You have to apply for your Master's first and then when that is completed you can go on to receive your Ph.D. Apply for Ph.D. only if you have your Master's Degree, or if you will be graduating with a Master's Degree before attending our program. Recommended GPA is atleast 3.5 and above. Application deadline is Feb. 1.

Please note: The University of Delaware's Graduate Program Application Form is now available online.

You can go back to the Application Form page to find out the status of your application.

If you have further questions or request additional information please write to:

    Dr. Karen F. Parker Director of Graduate Studies Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice University of Delaware Newark, DE  19716 *e-mail:  likeen@udel.edu

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The deadline for applications for Fall admission is February 1. The Department offers Fall admission only. GRE's should be taken in October for admission for the following Fall. (Keep in mind that all materials have to be recorded by the Graduate School before our office receives them, so allow extra mailing time)

Current Graduate Students

Defense Notification Form

Supervisory Committee Notification Form

Comprehensive Exams: Areas and Courses

National/International Research Travel

Purpose: to support travel to conferences at both the national and international level when presenting research papers in Criminology and related areas (such as topics covered by Sociology students including the areas of deviance, delinquency, substance abuse, domestic violence, etc.)

Awards: Travel awards will be awarded every academic year. The intent is offer at least two travel awards each year, where one award is devoted to conference travel at the national level (maximum funding available is $1000) and the other for conference travel at the international level (maximum funding available is $2000). However, the number of awards may vary annually. Applications will be considered by the GPC until the total annual budget of $3000 is allocated.

How to Apply:

Student must provide the following in items in the application:

1. The name of conference and conference website. Be sure to provide some information about how the conference receives paper submissions and its selection/acceptance process.

2. Evidence documenting participation on the conference’s annual program. Participation must be in the form of a paper presentation. Co-authorship is appropriate but student must document significant contribution to the research.

3. Statement of how conference attendance will: a) increase the visibility of our graduate program at the national or international level and b) advance the student's professional development and/or enhance student's research objectives/goals.

4. Budget statement covering:

a) estimated total cost of conference attendance (e.g., supporting documents showing flight cost, conference registration fee, accommodations, etc are warranted);

b) information about other financial support received for conference attendance (e.g., department monies, grant support, etc); and

c) specific dollar amount requested by this award.

Travel awards are competitive and require review by the Graduate Policy Committee. Applications will be reviewed until the annual budget is exhausted.

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