Old Degree Requirements

Part I: MA
Part II: PhD
Suggested Program of Study



Students who began study in 2010-2011 or prior years undertook an integrated M.A.-Ph.D. program.  Under this program, students earn the M.A. degree in the process of working toward the Ph.D. degree.  Part I of the program consists of work prior to the M.A., and Part II consists of work after the M.A. and prior to the Ph.D.

Part I:  Requirements for the M.A. degree

Coursework

Specific Required Courses

The following four courses are required of all students:

  • Soc 5030 – Classical Sociological Theory
  • Soc 5100 – Research Design and Methods
  • Soc 7130 – Introduction to Social Statistics
  • Soc 5120 – Intermediate Statistics

Students must also take two Core Courses.  In addition, students must register for the Department’s Seminar on Sociological Issues as long as they are completing coursework. 

Required Number of Courses and Credit Hours 

Each semester, students must register for at least 12 credit hours per semester to comply with full-time status requirements. While students are taking coursework, these hours will normally include 9 credit hours of substantive or methods courses, 1 credit hour of Sociological Issues, and 2 credit hours of non-topical research.

Students must take 14 courses (including 10 graded substantive or methods courses and 4 semesters of the Seminar on Sociological Issues) to be completed by the fourth semester (the spring semester of the second year).  Students must register for 4 courses per semester in the first year and at least 3 courses per semester in the second year (including the Seminar on Sociological Issues).  (Students may register for up to 6 credit hours of non-topical research in the second year; see “Master’s Thesis” below.)      

In the first year students must register for at least 12 credit hours of coursework per semester and will complete a total of 24 or more credit hours of coursework.  In the second year, students ordinarily register for 9 credit hours of coursework per semester, for a total of 18 credit hours of coursework. (They also register for at least 3 credit hours of non-topical research each semester.) Thus, during the two years of the M.A. program, students ordinarily complete 48 or more total credit hours, including 42 or more credit hours of coursework.  Thus, they easily meet the Graduate School of Arts and Science requirement of at least 24 credit hours of work other than non-topical research.

The Department requires, in addition, that at least 24 credit hours consist of graded coursework (normally 8 courses).  Because performance in the Seminar on Sociological Issues is assessed as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory, it may not be counted toward the 24 graded credit hours required for the M.A. degree.

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Master’s Thesis

Under the supervision of a thesis advisor and committee, each student must prepare an acceptable research paper in order to demonstrate the student’s ability to complete a sustained scholarly project in a professional way.  The final version should be potentially publishable in the form of a journal article. 

During the summer between the first and second years, students should prepare for the Master’s thesis by conducting a thorough review of the literature in their chosen topic area and identifying a research question that will make an original contribution to that literature.  Students should also identify a potential thesis advisor from among the Department faculty and seek that individual’s consent to serve in the advisor role.  During the summer or immediately following the beginning of the fall semester, students should identify a secondary thesis committee member and seek the Director of Graduate Studies’ approval of the thesis committee. 

The committee approval form must be submitted to the Graduate Administrative Assistant by October 1 of the student's second year.

Students are strongly encouraged to register for 3 credit hours of non-topical research in both the fall and spring semesters of the second year in order to allow sufficient time for completion of the thesis.

Students are normally expected to present their findings at a colloquium in mid- to late April.  The written thesis must be completed and filed by the deadline set by the University for May degrees.  Students must also complete the M.A. degree application, M.A, Final Examination form, and Ph.D. continuation form prior to obtaining the M.A. degree.

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences degree requirements, forms and information:

Applying for a Degree
Thesis Submission and Graduation 

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Part II: Additional Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

Coursework

Specific Required Courses

The following two courses are required of all students:

  • Soc 5060 – Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • Soc 5110 – Survey Research  OR  Soc 5140 – Qualitative Methods 

Students must also take four Core Courses. In addition, students must register for the Department’s Seminar on Sociological Issues as long as they are completing coursework. 

Required Number of Courses and Credit Hours   

Students must take 8 courses (including 6 graded courses and 2 semesters of the Seminar on Sociological Issues) to be completed by the sixth semester (the spring semester of the third year).  Students must register for 4 courses and at least 12 credit hours per semester in the third year (including the Seminar on Sociological Issues). Thus, students will complete a total of 24 or more credit hours of coursework over 2 semesters.  Together with their M.A. coursework, then, students will ordinarily complete 66 credit hours of coursework, and easily meet the Graduate School of Arts and Science’s requirement of 54 credit hours of work other than non-topical research.

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Comprehensive Examinations

Students are required to take two comprehensive examinations in subfields of sociology.  Students may not defend a dissertation proposal until both comprehensive examinations have been passed. 

More Info on Comprehensive Exams

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Dissertation Proposal  

Under the supervision of a dissertation advisor and committee, students must prepare a written dissertation proposal and conduct a successful oral defense of that proposal. 

At the outset of the dissertation phase of a student’s program, the student should identify a committee chair/advisor and two additional committee members from among the Department’s faculty.  Although it is not required, the student may wish to identify an external reader at the proposal stage, as some external readers appreciate the opportunity for early involvement.  Formation of the dissertation committee requires the Director of Graduate Studies’ approval - see Committee Approval Form

Although the length and form of the dissertation proposal will vary according to the preferences of the student and his or her dissertation advisor and committee, an acceptable dissertation proposal should contain the following elements: (a) a thorough and thoughtful review of the research literature on the relevant topic; (b) a clear statement of one or more research questions and an explanation of why and how the dissertation will make a contribution to the literature by answering those questions; and (c) a clear and detailed plan for carrying out empirical research to address the research questions, including a description of data sources and analytical methods.  In addition, if the project aims to test hypotheses, the proposal should include a section developing a theoretical framework and deriving the relevant hypotheses.

Because research projects inevitably evolve during the process of empirical data collection and analysis, the proposal is not intended to be a binding “contract” that must be carried out exactly as specified.  At the same time, the proposal should not be vague and inchoate.  The proposal should be sufficiently developed and detailed to convince readers of the project’s value, while still allowing flexibility for the shifts in direction and emphasis that are likely to emerge as the research proceeds.

When the committee determines that the proposal is ready, a date will be scheduled for the oral defense of the dissertation proposal.  At least one week in advance, the student should provide a paper copy of the proposal to the Graduate Administrative Assistant for public announcement and circulation.  On the day of the proposal defense, the student and committee members should complete the dissertation proposal defense form, and file it with the Administrative Assistant.

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Dissertation Completion

Students are required to write a doctoral dissertation, which should be a substantial contribution to the existing body of knowledge in the discipline. The work should be of publishable quality, either as a book or as several journal articles.  In addition, students must conduct a successful oral defense of that dissertation.

Ordinarily, a student will retain the same dissertation advisor and committee as she or he moves from the proposal stage to the research and writing of the dissertation itself.  However, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences requires that a faculty member from another Arts and Sciences department (or, but only with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School, a faculty member from another school of the University) participate in examining the student at the dissertation defense.  Therefore, if the student has not already done so at the proposal stage, it is advisable for the student to select this external reader shortly after the proposal defense and to seek his or her input as appropriate during the development of the dissertation project.

When the committee determines that the dissertation is ready, a date will be scheduled for the oral defense of the dissertation.  At least one week in advance, the student should provide a paper copy of the dissertation to the Graduate Administrative Assistant for public announcement and circulation.  On the day of the defense, the student and committee members should complete the dissertation defense (“Final Examination”) form, and sign the title page of the dissertation.  These forms should then be filed with the Graduate Administrative Assistant, who will obtain the signature of the Department Chair.  The student should then submit these forms to the GSAS Registrar by the appropriate deadline.

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences degree requirements, forms and information:

Applying for a Degree
Thesis Submission and Graduation 

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Suggested Program of Study for M.A. - Ph.D. Program (Old Degree Requirements)

 

Fall

Spring

Summer

1st Year

Research Methods
Classical Theory
Core course
Sociological Issues

Intro or Intermediate   Statistics
Contemporary Theory
Core course
Sociological Issues

Prepare for Master’s thesis

2nd Year

Master’s thesis (non-topical research)
Core course
Methods or elective
Sociological Issues

Master’s thesis (non-topical research)
Core course or Intermediate Statistics
Methods or elective
Sociological Issues

Revise Master’s thesis for publication

3rd Year

Core course
2 Electives
Sociological Issues

Core course
2 Electives
Sociological Issues

Prepare for first comprehensive exam

4th Year

Take first comprehensive exam
Prepare for and take second comprehensive exam

Dissertation proposal (non-topical research)

Dissertation proposal (non-topical research)

5th Year

Dissertation proposal (non-topical research)

Dissertation (non-topical research)

Dissertation (non-topical research)

6th Year

Dissertation (non-topical research)

Dissertation (non-topical research)

Dissertation (non-topical research)

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