Admission deadlines: Fall – April 1 (February 1 for applicants applying for assistantships/fellowships)
Spring – October 1
Applications received after the above dates will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Standardized test scores: GRE not required.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction.
Minimum scores for the program are:
- Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
- TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based; or
- PTE Academic: 53
Applicants who do not meet minimum English language requirements may be eligible for our full-time Applied English Language program.
Recommendations required: Three (3) academic letters of recommendation
Prior academic records: Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission. If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.
Statement of purpose: In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for an assistantship or fellowship, you should also describe any teaching or research experience you have had.
Writing Sample: A recent writing sample is required. Please review the department website prior to applying.
International applicants only: Please review International Applicant Information ( carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences - Office of Graduate Studies
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

For additional information about the admissions process visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

202-994-6210 (phone)

Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday

This program is a joint offering of the Department of Sociology and the Department of Forensic Sciences.

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

36 credits, including 9 credits in required methodology courses, 9 credits in required criminological and sociological theory classes, 3 credits in criminal law. Students may take 9 substantive elective classes and 6 thesis credit classes or students may take 15 substantive elective classes and a comprehensive exam. Students may substitute one or more appropriate graduate-level classes from other departments or in the consortium with the permission of their advisor or the Director of Graduate Studies. SOC 6295 may be taken once (3 credits) toward degree requirements.

SOC 6230Foundations of Research Methods
SOC 6224Criminal Law
SOC 6231Quantitative Methods
SOC 6232Qualitative Methods
SOC 6238Development of Sociological Theory
or SOC 6239 Contemporary Sociological Theory
SOC 6258Deviance and Control
SOC 6259Criminology
Non-thesis students take five graduate-level elective courses (15 credits); thesis students take three graduate-level elective courses (9 credits). Electives should be chosen in substantive areas relevant to criminology and criminal justice. These courses might be in Sociology (SOC) (see elective courses, below), in other departments (e.g. Forensic Science) and schools (e.g. Elliott School), or through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Students must have the permission of their advisor or the Director of Graduate Studies to take classes out of the department.
SOC 6260Special Topics in Criminology
SOC 6261Sociology of Law
SOC 6262Punishment, Prison, and Power
SOC 6263Race and Crime
SOC 6264Organized Crime
SOC 6266Gender and Criminal Justice
Required for non-thesis students
Successful completion of a master's comprehensive examination.
Required for thesis students
SOC 6999Thesis Research
Taken for 3 credits in each of the final two semesters for a total of 6 credits.