Admission deadlines: Fall - February 1: Priority consideration for admission and funding; April 1: Guaranteed review for admission and consideration for funding, if available. (Applications for admission will continue to be accepted after April 1, when space remains available in the program.)
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.
Prerequisite: A bachelor's degree with a major in criminal justice, criminology, sociology, or in an approved related field.
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.

Thesis option—36 credits, including 21 credits in required courses, 9 credits in elective courses, and 6 credits in thesis. Non-thesis option—36 credits, including 21 credits in required courses, 15 credits in elective courses, and successful completion of a master’s comprehensive examination.

SOC 6230Foundations of Research Methods
SOC 6231Quantitative Methods
SOC 6232Qualitative Methods
SOC 6238Development of Sociological Theory
or SOC 6239 Contemporary Sociological Theory
SOC 6257Criminal Law
SOC 6258Deviance and Control
SOC 6259Criminology
Thesis students take 9 credits in three graduate-level elective courses. Non-thesis students take 15 credits in five graduate-level elective courses. Electives must be relevant to the student's program of study. Such courses might be in Sociology (SOC) (see preapproved elective options, below), in other departments (e.g., Forensic Science) and schools (e.g., Elliott School of International Affairs), 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 courses outside 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
SOC 6295Research (May be taken once for 3 credits toward degree requirements with the permission of their advisor or the director of graduate studies.)
Required for thesis students:
SOC 6999Thesis Research (Taken for 3 credits in each of the final two semesters for a total of 6 credits. The permission of the advisor or the director of graduate studies is required.)
Required for non-thesis students:
Successful completion of a master's comprehensive examination.