Considering Graduate School in Sociology?
Approximately half of our majors go on to graduate training in sociology and related fields. Majors have found that Kenyon's program has prepared them well for graduate school in general and for sociology in particular, and many have obtained graduate degrees from the top-ranked programs in the country. Some pursue graduate training immediately after college, others (probably the majority) wait a year or two before continuing their education.
Applying to graduate school is a complex and time-consuming process. If you are thinking about graduate school immediately following Kenyon graduation, you should begin the application process in the summer before your senior year. Write to programs in which you are interested to obtain catalogs, entrance requirements, and application forms. You'll spend much of the fall semester completing the necessary forms and arranging for faculty to send letters of recommendation. If you are applying for financial aid as well, additional materials will be required. Application deadlines are typically in January and February.
There are over 100 graduate programs in sociology in the United States, so selecting the one that's right for you can be difficult. A number of resources exist to help you in your search. The annual Guide to Graduate Departments in Sociology, is located in Ralston House, Room 102, includes up-to-date information on degrees offered, resident faculty, program areas of expertise, number of graduate students, program costs, and application procedures. The Chronicle of Higher Education publishes a ranking of the top graduate programs in sociology, posted on the bulletin board. Top-ranked departments have a good general reputation in the profession and often have more resources than their lower-ranked counterparts. But do not take these rankings as definitive: The criteria on which they are based are arguable. Moreover, any particular program--no matter how highly it is ranked overall--may offer little in terms of your particular intellectual interests. And of course, be sure to talk to the department faculty, who have personal familiarity with many programs across the country.
Some programs require test scores on the Graduate Record Examination among their application materials. A minority of programs require that you take the test in sociology as well as the general test. If you are applying to a school that requires these tests, you'll want to look at the file on this exam, which includes general information as well as sample test questions. Contact the Career Resource Center to find out specific dates and locations for the test in this area.