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Doctoral Program in Sociology

The Ph.D. program in sociology emphasizes research and instruction in social inequality.

The Ph.D. program in Sociology will address some of the most pressing public concerns including access to health care; new immigrants and barriers to their assimilation; neighborhood-level race relations; educational attainment for first-generation college students and social and environmental sustainability.

The Sociology department has a once-a-year admission policy.  The application deadline is January 15, 2018 for Fall 2018 Admission.  


  • Students with a BA/BS, may enter the Ph.D. program, but they will have to complete the requirements for a Master's Degree program, first.  Please visit our Master's Program page for information.

  • Students with a master's degree from a discipline other than sociology will need to complete the following sociology core graduate courses in their first year (Soc 590, Soc 591, Soc 592, Soc 593). Similar courses taken in other disciplines may be transferred. Transfer credits will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

  • Applicants must have taken the GRE exam (This is a new requirement).

What you need to apply:

  • Please visit the application site as indicated.

  • Transcripts.  You must upload transcripts to the application site.  These transcripts can be unofficial until the review process is completed.  The university will need official transcript at a later date when the admission process is completed and you pass the first phase of review and the department gives you their recommendation for admission.

  • Three letters of recommendation.  We require three letters of recommendation from three individuals who are familiar with your scholarly work.  These individuals are usually professors from a class you have previously taken.  The application site manages these recommendations and your recommenders submit their reviews online by uploading their letters, directly.

  • Statement of Purpose.  You will be asked to upload a statement of purpose which will contain your scholarly agenda, your plans for the degree you are seeking, and names of faculty in the Sociology Department you plan on working with, once you're admitted.  The statement of purpose is usually no more than two pages long.

  • GRE scores.  The department can download your official GRE scores from ETS, but for the purpose of the application, we would like to see the unofficial scores uploaded.  The department will make a notation that your scores are accepted and that will complete a portion of your application.  GRE scores must be submitted before the January 15 deadline, so plan ahead.

  • Sample of Scholarly Writing.  We ask you to upload a sample of your scholarly writing.  This should not be more than 50 pages, but can be the length of a research paper, usually 10-30 pages.  An example is usually a paper written for a course for which you have received a high mark/score/grade.  Individuals with a Master's degree sometimes choose to upload a small portion of their theses as a sample.

  • CV/Resume. The department requires you to upload a resume, or curriculum vitae.  This is especially useful if you are requesting funding/assistantship.

Sociology Ph.D. Coursework:

Candidates for the Ph.D. in Sociology must earn a minimum of 54 hours in graduate coursework including 15 credits in core sociology courses, 12 elective credits (8 may be taken in other departments), and 27 dissertation credits.



Soc 528/628 Gender Inequality


Soc 584/684 Social Inequality


Soc 695 Advanced Methods in Sociology


Soc 507/607 Proseminar


  Total Credit Hours: 15

Soc 507/607 (Course must be taken three times)


(at least 4 credits in sociology)

  Total Credit Hours: 12


(includes proposal, research project and comprehensive exam)

Soc 603 Dissertation


  Total Credit Hours: 27

Total Credit Hours: 54

All candidates for the Ph.D. in Sociology must complete a minimum of 81 credits beyond the bachelor's degree.