Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy

The doctoral degree program in sociology is designed to give the candidate a general background in sociological theory and methodology as well as training in a major substantive area of the discipline.

The graduate program is a doctoral program and the formal awarding of a master’s degree is not required for the Ph.D. Students seeking only an M.A. degree are not ordinarily admitted to the program.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Social Science, students must meet departmental requirements specified below:

  • Attendance at the teaching assistant workshop offered the first two days prior to the beginning of fall semester.
  • Attendance at the sociology graduate pro-seminar through the first year of study. (This requirement is fulfilled through attendance of the Globalization Proseminar, which involves presentations by several faculty members).
  • During the second year of study, students will prepare a professional research paper suitable for presentation at a professional meeting or publication in a professional journal. Students must give a presentation of the paper at a department colloquium.
  • Satisfactory completion of required courses in theory, methods, statistics, Graduate Teaching and Professional Development, and the Globalization Proseminar (total of eight courses).
  • Satisfactory completion of a program of study in one or more of the areas of specialization designated by the Department. Each student must complete a program of 5 substantive courses (i.e., courses in addition to those meeting the theory, statistics and methods requirements) approved by her/his guidance committee.
  • Successful completion of comprehensive examinations.
  • Successful defense of the dissertation.

There is no language requirement. Where acquaintance with a foreign language is necessary for advancing the special interest of the student, the student, in collaboration with the guidance committee, may decide upon the study of a foreign language appropriate to his/her research and career development.

Summary of Requirements for Doctor of Philosophy


  • Take SOC 816 Contemporary Social Theory
  • Take Graduate Teaching and Professional Development Course
  • Take at least one of the following:
    • SOC 882 Analysis of Social Data II

OR one of the following courses (choose one which has not been taken previously:

  • SOC 954, SOC 985, SOC 986 SOC 989
  • At least two additional courses in major specialization for a total of at least five (individual committees may require more)
  • Comprehensive examination
  • Dissertation