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transitioning into sociology


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So I am a foreign lang. literature major at a small liberal arts college, and I have some experience with the social sciences: 3 courses in economics, 1 in political science, and 2 in sociology. My background is all over the place, because as a scatterbrained, indecisive person, I decided to major in STEM, fucked up (enough to graduate, but not impressive),  and was unable to continue my previously serious interest in sociology and had to settle for a foreign language literature major with the minimal requirements. I really like academic life, particularly writing my undergraduate thesis, and would like to stay in it as much as possible. I don't think I want to get a PhD in literature, as I feel somewhat limited to have to center my work around literary texts, and because of the job market, I'm unwilling to go to PhD programs in literature at non-top schools. Even though my foreign language lit. admissions is far less competitive, even at top schools, I think it will be wise to move on to something that has positions outside of academia as well.

So here I am, considering the transition into sociology. I am planning to enroll at an English-speaking sociology of education program in Europe next year, which will last two years. (Also feel free to point out other masters programs to me -- preferably in Europe, with no tuition). I was wondering what you all think I could do to have a robust application to graduate schools for the Fall 2020 cycle. I don't know if I would have the capacity to get into top programs, but I'd definitely like to go somewhere decent. Let me know!

Thank you so much!

Edited by transition99
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Research experience and GRE scores. For now, research experience. Doing some RA work besides your thesis and class projects will be a strong signal for adcomms and further help you figure out if you really want to go into academia. It could also show you areas of research you might be interested in. Decent grades during your master's shouldn't hurt either. Especially if your undergrad GPA wasn't all that great. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I also transitioned into sociology, although from history and political science. Amassing research experience was key, as @European Lumpi suggested, and I mainly gained these through research internships offered through the exchange offices and policy-oriented centres at my BA and MA schools. Being able to demonstrate how my history and political science training prepared me for a sociology PhD was helpful too. Thankfully, my interest is in historical sociology, so I mentioned that studying history taught me to value archives and language training and political science taught me to approach questions like a social scientist and gave me the tools to learn quantitative methods. If you can articulate on the statement of purpose why your previous training makes you a good fit for sociology and especially to study your particular topic, I think it will make you a stronger candidate.

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