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Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Students Questions

Must I have a Sociology major in order to be considered?
NO. Though a background in Social Sciences is desirable, a Social Science major, including Sociology, is not a condition for admission. Students with majors as diverse as Chemistry and the Fine Arts have graduated from the program. However, you do need to have had an undergraduate statistics course in order to be considered. (Admission without the required statistics course is conditional and on a non-matriculated basis only; see below.) Research methods is a useful class to have taken, but not a requirement.

Do I have to take the GRE Examination?
YES. Hunter College requires that all applicants to nearly all graduate programs take the GRE examination. However, keep in mind that the GRE scores are only one of several elements making up your application. Other important factors are your reference letters, personal statement about your career plans, and of course your GPA. On occasion, applicants with particularly strong records may be admitted on a conditional basis with the requirement that they take the GRE examination during their first term of studies.

Do I need extensive computer skills in order to be considered?
NO. Computer skills are a necessity in the current research environment, but we don't assume that students entering the program have mastered all of computer skills they will need. Students will be trained in basic computer skills in the Statistics I course, and the Workshop on Information Technology.

What are the deadlines for the application?
In order to be considered for the fall term your application should be filed by April 1st; the deadline for admission to the spring term is November 1st of the preceding year. Note that the application does not need to be 100% complete by that date, --e.g. a transcript, GRE scores or a letter of recommendation can be provided later. But delays in completing the application can affect your chances of being accepted, as spaces might fill.

Is financial aid available?
YES. Graduate students in the program have a variety of sources of financial aid available to them including scholarships, tuition waivers based on financial need, and loans. In order to be considered for financial aid you should file for admission as early as possible and submit a financial statement to the Financial Aid Office.

Is it possible to enter the program as a non-matriculated student?
YES. In some cases applications have been filed too late; in others, students want to try out some course work first before committing themselves to the Graduate Social Research Program. Please note that the deadline for non-matriculated students is July 1st (fall semester), and December 1st (spring semester). Extensions may be possible in some cases. You may obtain the short application forms from the Hunter College Admissions Office or the Welcome Center on the 1st floor of Hunter North. Credits earned as a non-matriculated student are counted towards the MSSR Degree once you enter the program as a matriculated student. Feel free to contact the program office if you have more questions and arrange for an appointment with me before you file your application.

What are these requirements?
Applicants for admission must have a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher or a track record which compensates for having a somewhat lower G.P.A., such as excellent scores on the GRE, excellent grades in research and research related course work, practical experience outside the academic setting in research, etc. Policies covering retention criteria stipulate that you cannot have more than one incomplete on your record while in the program. If this should happen you are placed on probation and do not have permission to take additional courses until the excess incomplete(s) have been removed.

General Questions

Can my current work serve to meet the internship requirement?
YES, it is sometimes possible, depending on the nature of the job. Work in a bona fide research setting, if it is consistent with our internship criteria, can often be tailored to the requirement. Check with the internship advisor in your area of specialization. Students using their existing jobs must still write an internship proposal describing the internship project, supervision, skills, etc., and must go through the same project approval process as any other students.

What are the prospects for employment with a professional research degree?
Excellent. Keep in mind that this program leads to the only Master of Science in Social Research Degree currently granted in the US The demand for professional social researchers generally exceeds the supply of qualified applicants.

Will the M.S. in Social Research help me to get into a Ph.D. program?
YES. Alumni have been admitted to top-ranked doctoral programs at schools such as the Universities of Wisconsin, Maryland, Columbia, UCLA, Michigan, NYU, Rutgers and SUNY Stony Brook, in fields as varied as Sociology, Psychology, Law, Epidemiology and Communication. Depending on the institution or field between 21 to 30 credits from the program are accepted. Incidentally, many of our graduates who entered programs in the social sciences or related areas received financial aid for their doctoral work.

How big is the program?
There are about forty graduate students in the program; courses and seminars are small and intensive.

What is the drop out rate?
This varies. The number of students dropping out of the program has been low compared to other graduate programs. It is likely that more stringent admission and retention requirements have been part of the reason.