Sociology Ph.D. Requirements

To be eligible for the Ph.D., students must:

  • Complete the required first year courses, or equivalent
  • Complete a minimum total of 4 graded Sociology electives
  • Submit and complete a Ph.D. Training Plan
  • Pass a Comprehensive Exam
  • Enroll in a minimum of 27 credits of dissertation hours (SOC 800) over a period of at least three quarters
  • Write and successfully defend a dissertation

Coursework for the Ph.D.:

  • Students must complete the required first year courses, or equivalent.  These include:

    • GRDSCH 501: TA/RA Preparation and Conference Attendance (Previously numbered GRDSCH 615)
    • SOC 504 and SOC 505: Applied Social Statistics
    • SOC 506: Methodology: Quantitative Techniques in Sociology
    • SOC 508: The Logic of Social Inquiry
    • SOC 510: Introduction to Sociological Theory
    • Proseminar (SOC 501) 1 credit each quarter (3 ungraded credits total in first year)
  • Students must complete a minimum total of 4 graded Sociology electives.  Electives taken while working on your MA count towards this requirement.  These electives do not include the first year required coursework.  These credits must be at the 500-level or approved 400-level coursework
    • Students with an approved MA from another institution must also complete this same requirement.
    • If you have taken advanced graduate courses in another Sociology department, at another school, you may petition to have courses taken elsewhere to count towards your 4 graded Sociology electives requirement in our program.  Petitions should include a justification for the request, as well as a syllabus and papers/assignments for the class you are requesting to be approved that demonstrate what you accomplished in the course.  Such petitions will be considered by the Graduate Program Committee and will be evaluated in terms of (a) the rigor of the course; and (b) whether the course enhances the breadth of the students' training in Sociology.  Submit petitions to the Graduate Program Advisor, who will then send the request through the Graduate Program Committee.
  • Submit and Complete a Ph.D. Training Plan
    • The Ph.D. Training Plan web page has all the details.
    • Overall the plan will consist of a minimum of 4 graded courses.
    • A maximum 2 of these four courses may also count towards the 4 graded Sociology electives requirement above.
  • Approving 400-Level Courses:
    • Particular 400-level courses may count toward the degree if they are approved by both the Graduate Program Coordinator and your Advisor.  Go here for the procedure for approving 400-level courses.
  • Rules about Special Topics Courses (SOC 581 through SOC 590):
    • Many Sociology electives are taught under our various 'Special Topics' numbers.  These courses vary substantially in content, depending on the instructor.
    • Up to 3 credits of each particular Special Topics course of a particular course topic/title (SOC 581 through SOC 590) can apply towards graduation requirements.
    • Additional repeated courses in which course number and course topic/title are the same may not be used to meet graduation requirements.
    • Multiple Special Topics courses may apply to graduation when course topics/titles are different.
  • Students may also take independent study hours (SOC 600 Independent Study or Research credits, and SOC 800 Doctoral Dissertation hours)

Tools for tracking your progress towards degree:

Degree Audit Spreadsheets for tracking MA and Ph.D. requirements:

We have developed an auditing spreadsheet to help you track your progress toward your degree.

  • Degree audits are produced each year, typically in June, as part of the annual review of students.  Students may request a current degree audit at other times by emailing the Graduate Program Advisor.  This process usually takes at least a few business days, unless your audit was very recently updated.  If you need it very urgently, please inform the GPA.