Skip to Content Find it Fast

This browser does not support Cascading Style Sheets.


Graduate Course Catalog 2016-2017

Graduate School


Sociology (SOC)


» Click to view course offerings

This program is offered in Durham.


Degrees Offered: M.A., Ph.D.

The Department of Sociology offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology. The master's degree program emphasizes theory and methodology. Students in the doctoral program are expected to select one major area for intensive study and examination. There are five major substantive areas for possible specialization: crime and conflict, family, social stratification, health and illness, and community and environment. Students may pursue specialties within or across the major areas of specialization or propose to the graduate committee other major areas of specialization that fall within the faculty's competence.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the general Graduate School requirements, applicants must submit current scores (within five years) from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). All international applicants must take the TOEFL or IELTS exam.

Undergraduate majors in other fields may be admitted. However, if the student's undergraduate work has not included introductory courses in sociological theory, research methods, and statistics, these courses must be taken, or equivalent knowledge demonstrated, in addition to the requirements outlined above.

All students entering the program must complete the M.A. before admission to the Ph.D. program. The department welcomes applicants who plan to continue for the Ph.D. as well as students planning for the M.A. only.

Degree Requirements


M.A. Degree Requirements

Students must complete at least 26 credit hours (seven courses) of graduate-level coursework in sociology, including the Proseminar in Sociology (900, 2 cr.), Sociological Methods I (901), Sociological Methods II (902), Sociological Theory I (911), and three elective graduate seminars.  In addition, students must complete 6-10 credits of Master's Thesis work (899). Successful completion of the thesis constitutes the capstone experience for the M.A. degree.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of three years in residence and take a minimum of sixteen courses in sociology (at least eight as seminars) other than thesis or dissertation research, including the Proseminar in Sociology (900, 2 cr.), Sociological Theory I and II (911 and 912), Sociological Methods I, II, III, and IV (901, 902, 903, and 904), four courses in a major area, and five elective courses. Students must pass written examinations in the major area of sociological specialization and in advanced theory and methodology, and write and defend the doctoral dissertation.