Below is a general description of our M.A. and Ph.D. programs. For more detailed information, see the Guide to Graduate Study on the Resources for Current Students web page.
Master's Program in Sociology and Social Research
The M.A. program provides the foundation for advanced graduate level study toward the Ph.D. while also preparing students for careers in the areas of social research and applied sociological analysis.
Admissions: Superior students, regardless of their undergraduate area of specialization, are encouraged to apply. Applicants should submit, in addition to the usual transcripts and letters of reference, a statement of purpose, a writing sample, and any other information that might enhance their candidacy. GREs are strongly recommended. Apply online at the Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences Admission website.
Master’s Degree Requirements: To receive the master’s degree in Sociology and Social Research, the student must complete 30 credit hours (generally ten courses). The required courses for all students are the following: a course in Methods of Social Inquiry (SOCY7710) in the first semester of study, one semester of Sociological Theory (SOCY7715 or SOCY7716), and two semesters of Statistics (e.g., SOCY7703 and SOCY7704). With permission of the Graduate Program Director, students may complete either a Master’s Thesis or a Master’s Paper. Students completing a Thesis or Paper are required to take a course in empirical research (SOCY7711) in the second semester of study and a seminar in writing in their second year (SOCY7761); students not writing a Thesis or Paper are required to take an elective research methods course.
The Ph.D. program seeks to combine the rigors of scholarly analysis with a commitment to social justice in a wide range of social institutions and settings. It prepares students for careers as researchers and university and college faculty.
Admissions: The primary criteria for admission are academic performance and promise of outstanding independent work. Applicants should submit, in addition to the usual transcripts and letters of reference, a statement of purpose, a writing sample, and any other information that might enhance their candidacy. GREs are strongly recommended. Apply online at the Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences Admission website.
Ph.D. Degree Requirements: Coursework for the doctoral degree is fulfilled by completing a three-course series in social research methods and writing (SOCY7710, SOCY7711, and SOCY7761) two courses in sociological theory (SOCY7715 and SOCY7716), two courses in statistics (e.g., SOCY7703 and SOCY7704), at least one additional course in research methods, and additional elective courses for a total of 54 credits. Other requirements include meeting a one-year full-time residency requirement, an M.A. Thesis or Paper, passing two area examinations, completing a doctoral dissertation, and passing an oral defense.
Certificate in Advanced Quantitative Methods
The Certificate in Advanced Quantitative Methods in sociology is designed to provide formal recognition of an M.A. or Ph.D. student's quantitative methods skills. The certificate appears on the M.A. or Ph.D. students’ transcript upon graduation.
To meet the requirements to receive the certificate, the student must complete five approved advanced quantitative courses beyond the level of Introductory Statistics (SOCY7702).
All candidates accepted to the Ph.D. program who remain in good academic standing are assured of receiving funding for five years (unless they enter with advanced standing due to graduate work completed elsewhere, in which case they will normally be offered support for four years). Financial assistance assumes the form of tuition waivers and living stipends. Stipends are typically tied to work duties, including teaching and research assistantships. No separate applications for financial assistance are necessary.