The department does not admit students whose objective is a master's degree. However, if a student accepted in the program does not have a master's degree, the department strongly recommends completion of the requirements for the M.A. in the course of work toward the Ph.D. degree.
The pursuit of the Ph.D. degree requires the completion of 60 semester units of graduate credit, full-time participation in graduate study, and the maintenance of a 3.0 grade point average. These general requirements are achieved by successful completion of several specific steps:
I. Required Course Work:
The Ph.D. requires 60 units of course work, including the credit earned for the dissertation. Training in the program is based upon a thorough grounding in the substance, construction, and testing of general sociological theory, accompanied by the ability to formulate and carry out sophisticated research designs. Thus, the first step involves the completion of six required courses in theory, statistics, and research methods. Ordinarily, these courses will be completed during the first three or four semesters.
II. Areas Specialization:
In addition to six required courses mentioned above, students are required to specialize in two substantive content areas and to take no fewer than two courses (8 units) each of those areas.
A. The first area must be drawn from one of department’s core specialty areas:
Race: Multiple, intersecting levels of subordination that stems from social relations; ethnicity; structural and institutional basis for inequality; empirical research on ethnic and racial minorities, including recent immigrant groups. (Professors: Emeka, Kaplan, Saito, and Ransford.)
Gender: Theories of the social construction of sex, gender, and sexuality; empirical research using a variety of methodologies, on the gendered structure of work, families, relationships, bodies, violence, and popular culture; feminist and anti-feminist social movements; emphasis on diversity among women and men. (Professors: Hays, Hondagneu-sotelo, Gomez-Barris, and Messner.)
Families: Family processes, power, structure, politics, inter-generational relationships, and recent changes in family forms in articulation with the larger society. (Professors: Silverstein, Biblarz, Hays, and Casper.)
Culture: Cultural theories; study of civic engagement and community organizations, values, and public policies; mass media, popular culture, and memory. (Professors: Lichterman, Eliasoph, Hays, and Gomez-Barris.)
Immigration: Processes of international migration and settlement; domestic work; race, gender, and immigration. (Professors: Emeka, Hondagneu-Sotelo, Vallejo, Parreñas, and Terriquez).
Or from a list of approved areas in which faculty are currently conducting research that intersect with the core area (e.g. demography; religion; sociology of the life course and aging; organizations; work and social change; medical sociology; urban sociology; and class stratification).
B. The second area is drawn up by the student, in consultation with two faculty members of her or his guidance committee. This secondary may cross or combine various substantive disciplinary areas, but must be sufficiently distinct from the first area.
III. Empirical Paper:
Success in the field of sociology requires involvement in the conduct of empirical research. Relatively early, therefore, each student is required to complete an independent research project which is supervised by two members of his or her faculty guidance committee. If a master's thesis or some other research project has been completed at another university, it may — subject to permission of the student’s guidance committee — be submitted in lieu of the empirical paper. Students are also required to make a public presentation of this or other independent work, either at a professional meeting or some other academic form.
IV. Qualifying Examinations:
Following the completion of their empirical papers and most of their course work, students are required to take a written and oral examination in their two specialty areas. If the written examination is passed, the oral part of the examination can be devoted to a preliminary discussion of dissertation plans. When these are completed successfully, the student is advanced to Ph.D. candidacy.
The dissertation is the final step in the acquisition of the Ph.D. degree. After advancement to candidacy, students are expected to submit a formal prospectus to their dissertation committee within six months.
The Sociology Department Graduate Student Handbook
A description of the PhD requirements. (September 2010 - Please check with the Department Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, and/or Graduate Student Adviser for up-to-date program requirements.)
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