The School of Social Sciences
Sociology is a branch of the social sciences that evolved in response to the revolutionary social changes of the 19th century, such as industrialization and urbanization, that ushered in the modern era. Sociology’s founding fathers include Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer, and George Herbert Mead. They explored how social relationships and interactions affect individuals and large-scale social institutions, including religion, government, and education. Today, sociologists use qualitative techniques, including ethnography; participant observation; and case studies of a variety of social phenomena, processes, and problems as methods for exploring the meaning of social life and culture to those who live it, and in building inductive theory. Quantitative techniques engage in hypothesis testing of established theories and concepts, using techniques that include experimental designs, survey questionnaires, and network analysis. Sociology as a discipline includes “ways of knowing” that link it closely to methods of the natural sciences, and more interpretive and critical perspectives that are closer to scholarship in the humanities.
The Sociology department does not have a terminal MA program, and students seeking only a master’s degree will not be admitted. However, the Master of Arts degree is earned as a student progresses toward the PhD.
Jump to: BA Degree with a Major in Sociology Minor in Sociology
Upon completing the BA degree, students majoring in Sociology will be able to:
Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in Sociology
For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Sociology (SOCI) must complete:
Any exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the Major Advisor and/or chair of the Undergraduate Advising Committee Chair.
CORE REQUIREMENTS Students must complete the following 4 courses (12 credit hours) to satisfy the Sociology major's Core Requirements.
ELECTIVESTo fulfill the remaining Sociology major requirements, students must complete a total of 7 additional courses (21 credit hours) from departmental (SOCI) course offerings at the 200-level or above.
The Honors Program is designed to provide sociology majors with the opportunity to sharpen their research skills and deepen their understanding of the discipline through a two-to-three semester program of directed independent research and writing. The program also offers the opportunity for formal recognition, through Departmental Honors, of those undergraduates who have demonstrated unusual competence in sociology by successfully completing a sustained independent research project. Small grants for honors thesis research are generously supported by the Chandler and Ian Davidson Scholars Fund as well as the Walter Hall Scholars program. Eligibility To be eligible for the program, students must have:
Program Students in the Honors Program register for two successive semesters in Directed Honors Research (SOCI 492 and 493). An honors thesis typically involves much discussion over both semesters between the student and their tenure or tenure-track advisor. Students should meet early in the process to agree on ground rules for the project, to choose the other members of the thesis committee (made up of one additional faculty member, who serves as a reader and ad-hoc advisor), and to set up a schedule for discussions and submission of written work. It is the department’s experience that students who work alone without much consultation with faculty are less likely to succeed in their project than students who maintain close contact with their advisor and the department. Students are also encouraged to include other members of the committee in discussion of the thesis, especially as the project nears completion, so that their feedback can be incorporated before the final draft of the project is submitted. Students normally begin by conducting a thorough review of the relevant literature, formulating hypotheses that grow out of the literature review, and proposing a research design that clearly describes how the data for the project are to be collected and analyzed. The research itself is usually carried out in the fall semester of the senior year (and sometimes in the summer following the junior year), and is analyzed, written up, and defended as a completed Honor’s Thesis during the spring semester of the senior year. (Students are encouraged to examine several previously written theses, which are available in the sociology department.) In addition to the student’s primary advisor, the thesis is read and evaluated by the faculty members, sometimes from other departments, who make up the student’s thesis committee. Program Timeline
Students who are pursuing the minor in Sociology (SOCY) must complete:
Any exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the Minor Advisor and/or chair of the Undergraduate Advising Committee Chair.
CORE REQUIREMENTSStudents must complete a total of 2 courses (6 credit hours) as listed below.
ELECTIVES To fulfill the remaining Sociology minor requirements, students must complete a total of 4 courses (12 credit hours) from departmental (SOCI) course offerings at the 200-level or above, including at least 1 elective course (3 credit hours) at the 400-level. back to menu
Note: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations (4-digit codes) to identify the undergraduate Sociology degree, major, and minor. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule - Course offerings/subject code: SOCI Department Description and Code - Sociology: SOCI Degree Code and Description - Bachelor of Arts degree: BA Major Description and Code - Major in Sociology: SOCI Minor Description and Code - Minor in Sociology: SOCY
Upon completing the MA and PhD Degree programs in Psychology, students will be able to:
The PhD program is a five-year degree program. Students will normally obtain a master’s degree after two years of study and research, and will usually need an additional three years to complete the requirements for a PhD. The course work is sequenced and will typically be completed in 2½ years. By this point, students will be required to have written their Masters thesis and completed their Masters degree. This leaves one semester to take the comprehensive exams and two years to complete the dissertation. Each student will attend a monthly Teaching and Professionalization Workshop that the department will hold throughout the academic school year. The Sociology department does not admit students seeking only a masters degree. The Master of Arts degree is earned as a student progresses toward the PhD. Students who currently hold a Master's Degree are welcome to apply. However, PhD students must complete four semesters of residency and coursework at Rice University. At the department’s discretion, some credits may transfer from other graduate programs. Admission Policy Students are admitted on a competitive basis. Admitted students must have a Baccalaureate degree (BA or BS) or equivalent, a minimum 3.0 (B) GPA in undergraduate work, and the intent to complete a PhD in sociology. We consider GRE scores, undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, writing samples, a personal essay, and professional experience when making admission decisions for the PhD program. We strongly encourage applications from women and minority groups. REQUIRED COURSES Students must complete the following 10 courses (24 credit hours):
The sequence of courses will normally be as follows: First Semester
Descriptions and Codes Legend
Note: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations (4-digit codes) to identify the Sociology graduate degree program. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule - Course offerings/subject code: SOCIDepartment Description and Code - Sociology: SOCI Degree Descriptions and Codes - Master of Arts degree: MA - Doctor of Philosophy: degree PhDDegree Program Description and Code - Degree Program in Sociology: SOCI
The official course offerings, including course descriptions, for Sociology can be found in Rice's Course Catalog.
To view the most recent course schedule for the 2016-2017 academic year, see Rice's Course Schedule.
For additional information regarding Sociology, see the department's website: https://sociology.rice.edu/.