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Core Requirements

The following program requirements apply to students who entered the Ph.D program in 2010-11 or later; students admitted prior to 2010 should consult the department or the Bulletin from their year of admission for requirements specific to their cohort.

Students must complete the following department requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Sociology:

1.     Proseminar: Students must enroll in SOC 305 Graduate Proseminar in Autumn Quarter of the first year. The course provides an introduction and orientation to the field of sociology, and to the department and faculty. One unit of credit is given for this course; grading is on a satisfactory/no credit basis.

2.     Colloquium: The Sociology Colloquium is a semimonthly seminar held throughout the academic year, in which distinguished scholars lecture about their cutting-edge research. This course, SOC 396, is required for all first and second years. One unit of credit is given and grading is on a satisfactory/no credit basis.

3.    Minimum sociology units in years 1 and 2: Students are required to complete 45 units of course work in Sociology in the first academic year, then 15 units of Sociology course work in the second academic year. Course work excludes workshop, independent study, and directed reading units.

4.     Theory: Students are required to take at least two courses in sociological theory. One course should be in either macro-sociological theory (SOC 370A Sociological Theory: Social Structure, Inequality, and Conflict), or micro-sociological theory (SOC 370B Social Interaction and Group Process), in the first year of the program. A second course, in research design, should be taken during the first year of the program as well: SOC 372 Theoretical Analysis and Design). Students without a background in Sociology are encouraged to enroll in SOC 370A Sociological Theory: Social Structure, Inequality, and Conflict as well as SOC 370B, Social Interaction and Group Process.

5.     Methodology: Students are required to complete a series of courses in methodology as well as one methods elective. Students with little background in statistics are encouraged to take an undergraduate statistics course in their first quarter of the program. The required methods sequence, to be taken in order, are: SOC 381 Sociological Methodology I: Introduction, SOC 382 Sociological Methodology II: Multivariate Regression, SOC 383 Sociological Methodology III: Models for Discrete Outcomes, and SOC 384 Sociological Methodology IV: New Models and Methods.

6.     Survey Courses: Students must complete four broad survey courses to demonstrate command of a range of sociological literature. Each year the department specifies which courses meet this requirement. A list of courses that generally fulfill this requirement is listed below. Students should consult with their adviser to ensure that the combination of courses selected to meet this requirement exhibits sufficient breadth. This requirement is normally completed by the end of the second year of residency and must be met by the end of the third year of residency. The most current list of approved survey courses is available on the department website.

7.     Workshops: Beginning in year two, doctoral students are required to enroll in at least one workshop each quarter. First year students may attend workshops but are not required to enroll. Sociology workshops are offered for 1-2 units on a credit/non-credit basis only and attendance is required to receive course credit. The Graduate Studies Director may approve a student’s petition to attend a workshop when enrollment is prohibited by unit constraints; such attendance is not noted on the transcript. A list of approved workshops that fulfill this requirement is listed in the Doctoral Program Handbook.

8.     Qualifying Exam #1: The first comprehensive examination is designed to ensure that students enter their second year with a firm reading knowledge of two substantive subfields. Students write two essays in response to questions provided by the examining committee. The questions are due exactly one week later. Students choose one of two questions to write on for each subfield. Examinations are offered in a variety of subject areas, and are based on comprehensive readings lists that are available at the beginning of each academic year. Each subject area has one faculty point person or group leader. Group leaders are responsible for assembling essay questions and agree to meet with students as requested.

9.     Students are required to present at least two papers at a major professional meeting (e.g., ASA) in their first five years of graduate study.

10.   In order to demonstrate the ability to conduct independent scholarly work, each student must prepare and defend dissertation prospectus by the end of May during the fourth year in residence.

11.  Dissertation Prospectus and Prospectus Defense: In order to demonstrate the ability to conduct independent scholarly work, each student must prepare and defend dissertation prospectus by the end of May during the fourth year in residence. Students should have their dissertation committee selected by the end of their third year in the program.

12.  Each student must complete and defend a doctoral dissertation. At the choice of the student (and in consultation with her or his adviser), the dissertation requirement may be met either by (1) submitting a book-length document, or (2) submitting three independent papers. The papers may address the same topic, but should be written as stand-alone, single-authored papers in standard journal format (i.e., AJS or ASR). None of these papers may overlap substantially with one another, and none of them may be co-authored. (The main criterion in judging substantial overlap is whether any standard journal, such as AJS, would regard the papers as too similar to publish both.) The dissertation must be submitted to all committee members at least 30 days in advance of the defense date. The dissertation defense serves as the Oral Examination required by the University. Assessment of satisfactory completion is determined by the student's doctoral committee members. All students are invited to present their dissertation findings at an informal department colloquium.

Teaching Assistant Requirements

Students must complete three quarters of teaching apprenticeship in departmental courses, or in other courses by approval. Students working as either a teaching assistant (TA) under the supervision of a faculty member or as a teaching fellow (TF) fulfills this requirement. Students are required to take SOC 300, Workshop: Teaching Development, in Spring Quarter of the first year. In addition, students are encouraged to take advantage of department and University teacher training programs. Students for whom English is a second language are expected to acquire sufficient facility in English to be an effective teacher.

Research Assistant Requirements

As partial preparation for becoming an accomplished researcher, each student must complete three quarters of research experience, working under the supervision of one or more faculty members, including regular, emeritus, and affiliated faculty. The experience may involve paid (or unpaid) work as a Research Assistant (RA). With the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, research experience may be acquired by involvement in research projects outside the department. It is recommended that students complete their research requirements early in their graduate program; the requirement must be completed by the end of the fourth year of residency.

At any point during the degree program, evidence that a student is performing at a less than satisfactory level may be cause for a formal academic review of that student.