Sociology and Anthropology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD in Sociology

The doctoral degree in sociology provides rigorous training in public and applied social research, including skills in research design, data analysis, and substantive areas that are pertinent to various sectors in the Washington, D.C. area. Graduates have the theoretical, analytical, and professional skills that prepare them for academic positions in teaching or research. They are also well-qualified for nonacademic positions in the many settings that rely on the expertise of sociologists including human service agencies, marketing research firms, educational systems, nonprofit foundations, and law enforcement agencies.

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see Academic Policies.

Reduction of Credit

Students who enter the program with a master’s degree may be allowed a reduction of credit up to 30 credits subject to the approval of the graduate director and the dean.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements (Catalog Year 2016-2017)

Students pursuing this degree must complete a minimum of 72 graduate credits. The requirements include foundation courses in theory and methods, course work in a specialization, and electives. Following completion of all required course work and passing a candidacy exam, students are advanced to candidacy by the dean and complete a dissertation, an original and independent research project.

Nine foundation courses (27 credits)

One required foundation course (3 credits)

SOCI 601 - Proseminar in Public and Applied Sociology Credits: 3

Two courses of theory (6 credits)

SOCI 711 - Classical Sociological Theory Credits: 3

SOCI 712 - Contemporary Sociological Theory Credits: 3

One course in writing (3 credits)

SOCI 602 - Writing for the Social Sciences Credits: 3

Two required courses of methodology and analysis (6 credits)

SOCI 620 - Methods and Logic of Social Inquiry Credits: 3

SOCI 636 - Statistical Reasoning Credits: 3

One elective course of methodology and analysis (3 credits) chosen from:

SOCI 633 - Special Topics in Sociology Credits: 3, when topic is Critical Theory or Feminist Theory, may substitute for this requirement or for one course under the statistics/methods requirement.

SOCI 730 - Analytic Techniques of Social Research Credits: 3

SOCI 634 - Qualitative Research Methods Credits: 3

Two courses of statistics/methods (6 credits) chosen from:

SOCI 633 - Special Topics in Sociology Credits: 3, when topic is Critical Theory or Feminist Theory, may substitute for one course under this requirement or for the elective methodology and analysis course.

SOCI 631 - Survey Research Credits: 3

SOCI 632 - Evaluation Research for Social Programs Credits: 3

SOCI 634 - Qualitative Research Methods Credits: 3

SOCI 655 - Ethnography Credits: 3

SOCI 660 - Historical and Comparative Sociology Credits: 3 or SOCI 860 - Historical and Comparative Sociology Credits: 3

ANTH 650 - Methods in Anthropology Credits: 3

WMST 610 - Feminist Approaches to Social Research Credits: 3

WMST 611 - Feminist Research Practice Credits: 3

Two proseminars (6 credits)

SOCI 803 - Institutions and Inequality Credits: 3

SOCI 804 - Sociology of Globalization Credits: 3

Three courses (9 credits) in a specialization

Students specialize in either institutions and inequalities or sociology of globalization. Depending on the topic, special topics courses SOCI 633 and SOCI 833 (or others) may be applied to the specialization with prior written approval of the director. Up to two courses (6 credits) may be from outside sociology, chosen in consultation with (and with approval of) the student’s advisor or the graduate director.

Institutions and inequalities specialization

Students complete 3 courses (9 credits) toward the degree, chosen from:

SOCI 605 - Gender and Social Structure Credits: 3

SOCI 608 - Juvenile Delinquency Credits: 3

SOCI 614 - Sociology of Culture Credits: 3

SOCI 623 - Racial and Ethnic Relations: American and Selected Global Perspectives Credits: 3

SOCI 624 - International Migration in the Age of Globalization Credits: 3

SOCI 635 - Environment and Society Credits: 3

SOCI 641 - Micro Sociology: Inequality and Everyday Life Credits: 3

SOCI 670 - New Media and Social Inequality Credits: 3

SOCI 840 - Work Organizations and Social Inequality Credits: 3

SOCI 844 - Youth, Schooling, and Popular Culture Credits: 3

SOCI 845 - Society and Education Credits: 3

SOCI 853 - Cities in a Global Society Credits: 3

SOCI 857 - Sociology of Human Rights Credits: 3

SOCI 633 - Special Topics in Sociology Credits: 3(with prior written approval of director)

SOCI 833 - Special Topics in Sociology Credits: 3(with prior written approval of director)

Sociology of Globalization specialization

Students in this specialization must demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language at an advanced level of reading and comprehension. Students complete 3 courses (9 credits) toward the degree, chosen from:

SOCI 614 - Sociology of Culture Credits: 3

SOCI 623 - Racial and Ethnic Relations: American and Selected Global Perspectives Credits: 3

SOCI 624 - International Migration in the Age of Globalization Credits: 3

SOCI 635 - Environment and Society Credits: 3

SOCI 670 - New Media and Social Inequality Credits: 3

SOCI 850 - Sociology of Development Credits: 3

SOCI 851 - Globalization and Social Movements Credits: 3

SOCI 853 - Cities in a Global Society Credits: 3

SOCI 857 - Sociology of Human Rights Credits: 3

ANTH 631 - Refugees in the Contemporary World Credits: 3

ANTH 632 - International Migration in Comparative Perspective Credits: 3

ANTH 655 - Nationalism, Transnationalism, and States: Local and Global Perspectives Credits: 3

SOCI 633 - Special Topics in Sociology Credits: 3(with prior written approval of director)

SOCI 833 - Special Topics in Sociology Credits: 3(with prior written approval of director)

Six elective courses (18 credits)

Electives may include up to two courses (6 credits) from outside sociology, chosen in consultation with and approval of the graduate director.

Research Proficiency

Students must demonstrate proficiency in a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods prior to taking the qualifying exams for candidacy. Proficiency is determined by satisfactory course work or an exam.

Advancement to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, students must complete all course work required on their approved program of study. Students must also successfully pass one written qualifying examination. The comprehensive exam tests students' mastery of the foundations of sociological inquiry, linking research methods and sociological theory to public concerns, as well as material in the student's area of specialization. It is administered by a faculty committee appointed by the graduate program director. Additionally, students must have an approved dissertation committee. Evidence of completed requirements must be on file in the Dean's Office before a student can advance to candidacy.

Dissertation (12 credits)

Once enrolled in 999, students must maintain continuous registration each semester (excluding summers) until the dissertation is submitted to and accepted by the University Libraries. Once enrolled in 999, students must follow the university's continuous registration policy as specified in the Academic Policies section of the catalog. Students who defend in the summer must be registered for at least 1 credit of 999.

Students complete a minimum of 3 credits of 998 and 3 credits of 999. They may apply a maximum of 12 dissertation credits (998 and 999 combined) to the degree. Because of the continuous registration policy, students may be required to register for additional credits of 999. Because students cannot register for credits of 999 until they have advanced to PhD candidacy, they may choose (but are not required) to register for additional credits of 998.

SOCI 998 - Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Credits: 1-9(minimum of 3 credits)

SOCI 999 - Doctoral Dissertation Credits: 1-12(minimum of 3 credits)

Total: 72 credits

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