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Handbook and Coursework

The Graduate Program Handbook contains information on program requirements, student evaluation, and the Graduate and Professional School procedures.

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 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.

This overview of the Graduate Student Annual Review provides a summary about the required evaluation of graduate students on their progress in the program, teaching assistant/research assistant performance, and professional activity (research and teaching).

Information about our existing courses are available in the Sociology Graduate Course Catalog.

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.

First Fall semester

  • SOCI 611 Classical Sociological Theory
  • SOCI 623 Measurement of Sociological Parameters
  • SOCI 681 Professional Seminar in Sociology (zero-hour course)

First Spring semester

  • SOCI 615 Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • SOCI 631 Seminar in Sociological Research (Quantitative)
  • SOCI 691 Master’s Paper Class (for those in the 96-credit hour program)

Second year

  • SOCI 624 Qualitative Methodology or SOCI 604 Comparative Historical Methods
  • SOCI 680 Teaching Undergraduate Sociology
  • Major courses
  • Minor courses

Third year

  • SOCI 683 Professional Writing and Publication
  • Major courses
  • Minor courses

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

As detailed in the Graduate Program Handbook, doctoral students are required to fulfill course requirements for a major (four courses) and a minor (three courses). The major and minor may be comprised of courses from the same area of concentration providing the student’s committee approves the coursework for the major and the coursework for the minor as reflecting distinct specializations within the area of concentration.

Survey/overview seminar for each major

Coursework for the major area of concentration should include at least one survey seminar, which provide an overview of theoretical and methodological approaches for each area. These survey courses are listed below for each major of the Sociology Graduate Program:

Crime, Law and Deviance

  • The survey course is defined by the student’s committee


  • SOCI 651 Sociology of Culture


  • SOCI 622 Social Demography

Organizational, Political and Economic Sociology

  • Political Sociology subarea: SOCI 616 Political Sociology
  • Organizations and Work subarea: SOCI 635 Sociology of Complex Organizations

Race, Class and Gender

  • Race/Ethnicity subarea: SOCI 660 Theories of Race and Ethnic Group Relations
  • Class/Labor subarea: SOCI 607 Seminar in Social Organizations: Social Stratification
  • Gender/Sexuality subarea: SOCI 661/WGST 661 Sociology of Gender

Social Psychology

  • SOCI 621 Social Psychology

Courses on specialized topics for each major

Beyond the other courses listed in the Sociology Graduate Course Catalog, faculty can also offer courses on specialized topics within each major area of concentration 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 major area of concentration, please contact the coordinator of each area, indicated in the pages listed above for each major.

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