Student Learning Outcomes
1. Explain and illustrate how societies, institutions, and social inequalities operate
2. Discuss and appraise sociological theory
3. Describe, explain, evaluate, choose, and use research methods
4. Demonstrate capacity to produce publishable-quality research
5. Establish a broad and deep specialization in at least one substantive area
Students are admitted to the Ph.D. program upon successful completion of the master’s degree requirements and recommendation of the faculty. Coursework is flexible and individualized. A total of 72 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree is required to obtain the Ph.D., including at least 45 credits of graded coursework and at least 9 dissertation credits.
The eight areas of concentration include (1) globalization, immigration, transnational studies, (2) population and place, (3) health, aging & life course, disability, (4) education and family, (5) inequalities, (6) power, capital, and politics, (7) methods, and (8) theory. Students are encouraged to gain teaching and research experience. They may do this through a teaching assistantship, participating in one of the several multidisciplinary research centers of the Maxwell School, or undertaking joint projects with faculty members.
Students normally take the Ph.D. comprehensive examinations after the third year or after two years if they entered with an M.A. degree. The examination covers two substantive areas, one of which must be chosen from the eight areas of concentration. The second area can also be an area of concentration or a more specialized area which has been approved by the chair of the comprehensive exam committee. Students must also pass one advanced course in research methods beyond the required courses. Examples that would satisfy this requirement are courses on advanced statistics, advanced qualitative techniques, or historical methods.
Finally, students must conceive, execute, present, and defend a doctoral dissertation proposal and a completed dissertation.