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College of Arts & Sciences

Overview of program structure

Students can enter our Sociology Graduate Program with or without a Master’s degree. The 96-credit-hour program (5-year timeline) is designed for students who enter our program either with a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree in some other field besides sociology. Those in the 96-credit-hour program are required to complete a Master’s thesis/paper. The 64-credit-hour program (4-year timeline) is for graduate students who enter our program with a recent Master’s degree in sociology. The admission committee might decide to admit someone with a Master’s degree to the 96-credit-hour program to give the student more time for publishing.

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook contains information on program requirements, student evaluation, and the Graduate and Professional School procedures. Students can verify the program coursework depending on whether they are enrolled in the 96-credit-hour program or in the 64-credit-hour program, as well as if they are in the program structure prior to Fall 2022 or in the new one. Students entering in Fall 2022 are automatically in the new program structure. Prior cohorts have the option to continue in the program structure prior to Fall 2022 or to switch to the new structure. The documents below relate to Appendices A and B of the Graduate Program Handbook:

Usual timeline to enroll in main required courses

See these slides with an overview of the program, including information on progress in the program and expected timeline for students in the 96-credit hour program and the 64-credit hour program.

Selection of mentor/committee members & Submission of degree plan

An important goal is for students to select a mentor (committee chair) by the end of their first year.

The time to submit the degree plan depends on the advice of the committee chair. The degree plan should be submitted at least 90 days before taking the preliminary exam. A disadvantage of submitting the degree plan early is that students do not know exactly which classes they will take in the following semesters. In this case, students usually have to update their degree plan, because course offerings differ from semester to semester. An advantage of submitting the degree plan early is to formalize the mentor and committee members.

Graduate students must submit an official degree plan for approval through the Graduate and Professional School Document Processing Submission System (DPSS). Students can also check additional resources for degree completion and steps to doctoral degree.

Major and minor

Doctoral students are required to fulfill course requirements for a major (three courses) and a minor (one course). The major and minor can come from any of the American Sociological Association (ASA) sections. The requirement is that faculty members in our department should have knowledge suitable for judging comprehensive exams in the major and minor.

Graduate course catalog and courses on specialized topics

Information about our existing courses are available in the Sociology Graduate Course Catalog. Beyond the courses listed in the catalog, faculty can also offer courses on specialized topics with the codes listed below:

Crime, Law and Deviance

  • SOCI 627 Seminar in Law, Deviance and Social Control


  • SOCI 657 Seminar in Culture


  • SOCI 647 Seminar in Demography and Human Ecology

Organizational, Political and Economic Sociology

  • SOCI 607 Seminar in Social Organizations

Race, Class and Gender

  • SOCI 667 Seminar in Race and Ethnic Relations

Social Psychology

  • SOCI 677 Seminar in Social Psychology

For questions related to course offerings within each area of concentration, please contact the coordinator of each area, indicated in the pages listed above for each area.

For any further questions, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies.