Ph.D. Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program, provides students with both a broad exposure to the discipline of sociology as well as in-depth study in special areas of expertise. Qualified students are accepted into the Ph.D.-Only Program after their completion of a master’s degree in sociology or a closely related field. The broad knowledge of sociology comes through coursework in a variety of substantive areas, as well as through training in research methodology, statistics, and theory.

Most of the faculty’s interest and expertise lie in six broad areas: (1) Health, (2) Life Course, (3) Gender, (4) Sexuality, (5) Race, and (6) Urban Studies. The department’s approach is to enable students to apply sociological principles in a real-world environment and to foster a close working relationship between faculty and graduate students.

The goals of the Department are to provide: A general intellectual foundation that supports the student’s analytic understanding of social life; a sound methodological background that prepares the student for social research; and a rich and specialized body of knowledge that equips the student for the practice of sociology in both the public and private sectors. Students are offered many opportunities to become actively involved in the discipline at the state, regional, or national levels.

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Sociology has the following requirements:

  • Although a master’s degree in sociology is not required, only students who have an accredited master’s degree, in a closely related field, or who have nearly completed a master’s degree, will be considered for the Ph.D. program. Applicants should have completed master’s level coursework in research methods, statistics, and sociological theory. If they have not had these courses, they must complete them as additional courses prior to enrolling in Ph.D. courses in these areas.


  • Scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections of the GRE.
  • (3) recommendation letters from faculty acquainted with applicant’s academic achievements.
  • A sample of their written scholarly work (e.g., their term/research paper).