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California State University, Long Beach
Master's Program In Applied Sociology
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Frequently Asked Questions

(Please note: THE MA PROGRAM IS CURRENTLY CLOSED TO NEW APPLICANTS. Application information will be restored once recruitment for future cohorts resume.)

  • What must I do to be considered for admission to CSULB for graduate study?

Students applying for graduate study must apply for admission to both the University and the Department: these are separate processes. Admission to the department of Sociology MA Program is contingent upon admission to the University by Enrollment Services. Please apply to the University first.

  • How do I apply to the University?

You apply to the university online at

  • Is there an application fee?

Yes, your online application to the University requires a $55.00 fee in order to be processed. There is no application fee for the Department of Sociology. Note: fee waivers are available for eligible applicants.

  • Can I submit my Department Application online?

No. Applications to the Department must be submitted by mail or delivered in person no later than the deadline.

  • Where can I access the Department Application?

In Program Application or click on this link: Soc Application.

  • What is the minimum GPA for admittance?

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for admittance into the M.A. Program in Applied Sociology.

  • Where can I take the GRE exam?

The GRE General Test is offered year-round at computer-based test centers in the U.S., Canada, and many other countries. To find computerized testing locations, visit the ETS Test Center Listing web site ( )

  • What is the minimum GRE requirement?

Analytical Writing Score: A score of 4.0 or higher (out of a maximum possible score of 6.0) with scores of 5.0 or higher strongly preferred. Verbal and Quantitative Scores: Scores of at least 146 on the verbal and 140 of the quantitative sections of the GRE are highly recommended. Combined scores of 300 or higher are strongly preferred.

  • How do I submit GRE scores?

Official GRE scores (General Test Scores) must be sent directly to CSULB from Educational Testing Service (ETS).

  • How old is too old for the GRE scores?

Scores must be from within three (3) years of the date of application and they must be received by CSULB before the application deadline. Exceptions may be made under rare circumstances.

  • How many sets of transcripts do I need and where do I send them?

You need to submit one official transcript to the University.

  • If I attended CSULB before, do I still need to send CSULB transcripts to the Sociology Department?


  • How long should my statement of purpose be?

No more that 3-4 page (typed, double-spaced) pages. Please note: The CSU Mentor asks for your personal statement; please indicate that you are submitting your statement directly to the Sociology Department.

  • What should be included in the Statement of Purpose?

Your personal statement should say something about your experiences (academic, work: volunteer, and personal) and how they relate to your interest in applied sociology. You should also specifically address your interest in applied sociology, your professional or personal goals in seeking this graduate degree, how your interests relate to your concentration of choice, and any special skills or experiences that you feel are relevant. In your essay you should strive to address the following:

  • What motivates you to apply for a graduate degree in Applied Sociology?
  • What relevant research and practical experiences do you bring to the program?
  • What are your specific areas of interest in applied sociology in general and social justice in particular?
  • With whom on our faculty you would like to work and why?
  • What are your personal goals and objectives for earning a master’s degree in applied sociology?
  • Experience: Although experience in community organizations is desirable, we do not require prior experience in social justice or community work for admittance into the program.
  • What type of writing sample is appropriate to submit with my application?

Appropriate writing samples include research papers, academic reports, program evaluations or anything that demonstrates your analytical and/or theoretical skills. Applicants should submit a sample that best reflects the applicant’s abilities consistent with the goals and mission of the MA Program.

  • Do letters of recommendation need to be sent directly to the department, or can they be sealed and submitted in my application packet?

Letters of recommendation can be sent directly to the department, but we prefer that they are included in your application packet. In either case, letters must include the form from the application and be on official letter in sealed envelopes signed across the back.

  • Can I submit more than 3 letters?

Yes, you may, but there is no guarantee more than three will be read so carefully choose referees that know well.

  • When does the Sociology Department accept applications?

We accept applications for the fall semester only. The deadline is April 15th for applications.

  • When are applications decisions made?

Unless notified otherwise, decisions are made by June 1.

  • Does the Department review incomplete applications?

No, we will not review incomplete applications. Be sure the check list on the application form is complete and that everything is included prior to submitting the application packet.

  • If I am applying to the program after having completed some graduate training at another school, will my course work count toward the M.A. degree at CSULB?

Past graduate work will be evaluated by the graduate committee in the spring prior to enrolling in the program. If you wish to have any graduate course work applied toward the degree at CSULB, you will be required to submit additional information, such as syllabi and assignments. The Graduate Committee will evaluate these on a case by case basis. Be aware that you must complete at least 24 semester units in residence at CSULB.

  • How should I package the material that I send?

Do not put material in folders or plastic coverings. Use staples for long documents. Please submit all application and supporting material in one packet to the following address: California State University, Long Beach Director, MA Program in Sociology Department of Sociology 1250 Bellflower Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90840-0906

  • Should I study for the GRE’s?

Yes! It is strongly recommended that you prepare thoroughly for the GRE’s. Typically, serious applicants study for at least 2 months for the exam. Information about ways to prepare for the test can be found at the Educational Testing Services GRE website:

  • I applied to the MA Program but was not accepted. Can I apply again?

Yes! We welcome repeat applicants if they have made efforts to improve their application. Some suggestions for doing this include: retaking the GREs and improving your score, taking any required classes that you had not previously completed, engaging in community work related to your interests and the program, improving your writing skills and rewriting your personal statement and/or writing sample.