Students admitted into the graduate program are typically at the Master’s level assuming they will continue into the PhD program provided they remain in good academic standing and make satisfactory progress towards degree objectives each year, as specified in the Graduate Student Manual for Sociology.
The Master of Science (MS) in Sociology is a two-year degree program that requires a minimum of 38 semester hours beyond the BA/BS degree. The MS plan of study includes a core curriculum in theory and methods, elective coursework, and analytic project (SOC 695) credits in one area of specialization. The program culminates with each student producing an original research product, the analytic project.
The analytic project is a study/project which results in the preparation of a written document, prepared in the style of a professional journal article. The analytic project is completed over a two-semester period during the second year in residence. Three course credits in the third semester and 6 credit hours in the fourth semester are assigned for the analytic project (required coursework will continue in the third and fourth semester). The expectation is that the analytic project be a publishable paper in an academic, sociological journal or edited volume. In addition to publishing their work, students are strongly encouraged to present their research at regional and national conferences. The analytic project is carried out in close consultation with a major professor. Students are encouraged to decide on a major professor soon after they enter the graduate program and preferably before the end of the first semester in the program.
For detailed information regarding the MS degree requirements, and the required courses, please see our Graduate Student Manual for Sociology.
The PhD program in Sociology exposes students to substantive areas of specialization within the discipline and emphasizes the development of greater depth of knowledge within the area that will be the subject of a student's major research product, the dissertation.
The PhD represents a minimum of 60 hours of coursework and research credits beyond the MA/MS degree. Students complete at least 24 credits of coursework: four required courses and four elective courses. In addition, students are required to complete research hours or coursework to meet the minimum of 60 credits. A maximum of 9 hours (3 courses) may be taken toward the PhD before the MS degree is completed.
Each student writes a dissertation in an area of specialization within Sociology under the direction of a major professor (Chair of the Dissertation Committee) and in consultation with members of an advisory committee. A PhD student selects a major professor by the end of the first semester in the program, and develops a dissertation proposal during the second year in residence. Following the submission of the dissertation proposal, the student's advisory committee writes and administers the doctoral preliminary exam. This preliminary exam is designed to prepare students for independent work on their dissertation project. Students are encouraged to publish and to teach as they work toward the doctorate.
For detailed information regarding the PhD degree requirements, and the required courses, please see our Graduate Student Manual for Sociology.