PhD in Sociology
Through coursework, directed reading, and directed research during the period of residence, candidates are expected to prepare themselves in sociological theories, methods of sociological research, and two broad substantive areas.
Candidates admitted to the postbachelor’s PhD program must complete 16 courses (64 credits), and candidates admitted to the postmaster’s PhD program must complete 8 courses (32 credits). Deficiencies are made up without credit. Additional information about the department’s admissions process and program can be found on the department’s website.
- GRS SO 701 Advanced Sociological Theory (Classical)
- GRS SO 702 Proseminar: Sociological Methods (research design)
- GRS SO 708 Contemporary Sociological Theory
- GRS PO 841 Quantitative Research Methods (or an equivalent GPC-approved advanced quantitative methods course)
- an approved course in qualitative methods in the social sciences
GRS SO 701, 702, and 708 should be taken in the first year of graduate work; so too should CAS MA 614 and MA 684 (or an equivalent course). The student’s remaining coursework should include a concentration in two subfields of the discipline.
Critical Essays and Oral Examination
After all courses are complete, students will complete a critical essay that demonstrates intellectual mastery of the ideas and existing research in two subfields within the discipline. Subfields and an Examining Committee will be identified in consultation with the student’s advisor and with the approval of the Graduate Programs Committee. After the Examining Committee has approved the essay, a date is set for the comprehensive oral exam. The Oral Examination will primarily cover the fields in the critical essay, but it may also cover other substantive, methodological, or theoretical material from the student’s coursework.
Departmental approval of the dissertation proposal is obtained through a prospectus consultation examination. Two or more members of the faculty supervise the candidate during preparation of the dissertation. This written document is to be a scholarly contribution to knowledge presented clearly, precisely, and in good literary style. Candidates are encouraged to publish selected parts of their dissertation in professional journals or the entire dissertation as a book.
Final Oral Examination
Candidates, upon completion of the dissertation, present themselves for a final oral examination before a committee of faculty and the student’s advisor. The examination is based primarily on the dissertation and related issues in its field of concentration.
Information about the graduate-level courses in Sociology is available in the Courses section of this bulletin and on the department’s Courses page. Contact the department directly for the active listings for a given academic year.