Graduate programs

The department of Sociology offers work leading to the degrees of Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.), as well as the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D). Students with a Bachelor’s degree can enter the graduate program to earn a terminal Master’s degree or, with approval, continue on after receiving a Master’s degree to complete a Ph.D. degree. Students with Master’s degrees from other programs and/or universities can apply to enter the graduate program at the Ph.D. level.

Graduate training in Sociology prioritizes community engagement and policy-relevant research focused on improving people’s daily lives and society more broadly. Students focus on the integration of theory with a variety of quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches to study the dynamics of human behavior and social interaction in substantive areas including health and medical sociology, environmental sociology, education, criminology, class/stratification, race/ethnicity, urban sociology, social movements, family, gender, and sexualities. The program aims to prepare graduates for research and service positions in government, the non-profit sector, private industry, and the academy.

Admissions requirements

Degree requirements

Sociology M.A./M.S.

Sociology Ph.D.

Sociology Ph.D.

Candidates for the Ph.D. in Sociology must earn a minimum of 54 hours in graduate coursework including 15 credits in core sociology courses, 12 elective credits (8 may be taken in other departments), and 27 dissertation credits.



Soc 607Professional Seminar


Soc 695Advanced Quantitative Methods


Soc 637Qualitative Data Analysis


Sociology Elective in Inequality

One 600-level Sociology elective in inequality (4 credits)

Soc 628Gender Inequality


Soc 665Environmental Sociology


Soc 684Social Inequality


Soc 685Medical Sociology


Soc 686Topics in Health and Inequality


Soc 687International Health Inequalities


Soc 688Social Sustainability Theory and Practice


Soc 698Globalization Seminar


Total Credit Hours:15

An alternative sociology elective in inequality may be counted with approval of the department.


Four additional 500 or 600 level elective courses (at least 4 credits must be in sociology courses)

Total Credit Hours:12


(includes proposal, research project and comprehensive exam)

Soc 603Dissertation


Total Credit Hours:27

Total Credit Hours: 54

All candidates for the Ph.D. in Sociology must complete a minimum of 81 credits beyond the bachelor's degree.