Sociology and Anthropology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD in Sociology

The sociology doctoral degree 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.

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

Total credits: 72

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

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.

Foundation Courses

Required Foundation Course  
SOCI 601 Proseminar in Public and Applied Sociology 3
Courses of Theory  
SOCI 711 Classical Sociological Theory 3
SOCI 712 Contemporary Sociological Theory 3
Writing  
SOCI 602 Writing for the Social Sciences 3
Required Courses of Methodology and Analysis  
SOCI 620 Methods and Logic of Social Inquiry 3
SOCI 636 Statistical Reasoning 3
Elective Course of Methodology and Analysis  
Select one from the following: 3
Special Topics in Sociology (when topic is Critical Theory or Feminist Theory, may substitute for this requirement or for one course under the statistics/methods requirement.)  
Analytic Techniques of Social Research  
Qualitative Research Methods  
Statistics/Methods  
Select two from the following: 6
Special Topics in Sociology (when topic is Critical Theory or Feminist Theory, may substitute for one course under this requirement or for the elective methodology and analysis course.)  
Survey Research  
Evaluation Research for Social Programs  
Qualitative Research Methods  
Ethnography  
Historical and Comparative Sociology  
Historical and Comparative Sociology
Methods in Anthropology  
Feminist Approaches to Social Research  
Feminist Research Practice  
Total Credits 27

Two Proseminars

SOCI 803 Institutions and Inequality 3
SOCI 804 Sociology of Globalization 3
Total Credits 6

Three Courses in a Specialization

Students specialize in either institutions and inequalities or sociology of globalization. Depending on the topic, special topics courses SOCI 633 Special Topics in Sociology and SOCI 833 Special Topics in Sociology (or others) may be applied to the specialization with prior written approval of the director. Up to two courses 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

Select 3 courses toward the degree from the following: 9
Gender and Social Structure  
Juvenile Delinquency  
Sociology of Culture  
Racial and Ethnic Relations: American and Selected Global Perspectives  
International Migration in the Age of Globalization  
Environment and Society  
Micro Sociology: Inequality and Everyday Life  
New Media and Social Inequality  
Work Organizations and Social Inequality  
Youth, Schooling, and Popular Culture  
Society and Education  
Cities in a Global Society  
Sociology of Human Rights  
Special Topics in Sociology (with prior written approval of director)  
Special Topics in Sociology (with prior written approval of director)  
Total Credits 9

Sociology of Globalization Specialization

Students in this specialization must demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language at an advanced level of reading and comprehension.

Select 3 courses toward the degree from the following: 9
Sociology of Culture  
Racial and Ethnic Relations: American and Selected Global Perspectives  
International Migration in the Age of Globalization  
Environment and Society  
New Media and Social Inequality  
Sociology of Development  
Globalization and Social Movements  
Cities in a Global Society  
Sociology of Human Rights  
Refugees in the Contemporary World  
International Migration in Comparative Perspective  
Nationalism, Transnationalism, and States: Local and Global Perspectives  
Special Topics in Sociology (with prior written approval of director)  
Special Topics in Sociology (with prior written approval of director)  
Total Credits 9

Elective Courses

Select six elective courses 18
Total Credits 18

Electives may include up to two courses 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

Once enrolled in SOCI 999 Doctoral Dissertation, students must maintain continuous registration each semester (excluding summers) until the dissertation is submitted to and accepted by the University Libraries. Once enrolled in SOCI 999 Doctoral Dissertation, students must follow the university's continuous registration policy as specified in AP.6.10.6 Dissertation Research. Students who defend in the summer must be registered for at least 1 credit of SOCI 999 Doctoral Dissertation.

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

Select 12 credits from the following: 12
Doctoral Dissertation Proposal  
Doctoral Dissertation  
Total Credits 12
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