Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree in the field of Sociology

Program Learning Outcomes for the MA and PhD Degrees in the field of Sociology

Upon completing the MA and PhD degrees in the field of Sociology, students will be able to:

  1. Understand and apply the role of theory in sociology.
  2. Demonstrate understanding and application of both qualitative and quantitative sociological methods.
  3. Demonstrate expertise in at least two specialty areas within sociology.

Requirements for the MA and PhD Degrees in the field of Sociology

For general university requirements, please see Doctoral Degrees. For additional requirements, regulations, and procedures for all graduate programs, please see All Graduate Students. Students pursuing the MA and PhD degrees in the field of Sociology must complete:

  • A minimum of 90 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements 

The PhD program is a five-year degree program. The Sociology department does not admit students seeking only a master's degree. The MA degree is a thesis master’s degree. For general university requirements, please see Thesis Master’s Degrees. For additional requirements, regulations, and procedures for all graduate programs, please see All Graduate Students. Students will normally obtain a master’s degree after two years of study and research as a student progresses toward the PhD, and will usually need an additional three years to complete the requirements for a PhD. The coursework is sequenced and will typically be completed in two and a half years. By this point, students will be required to have written their Master's thesis and completed their Master's degree. This leaves one semester to take the comprehensive exams and two years to complete the thesis. Each student will attend a Teaching and Professionalization Workshop approximately ten times during each semester for the first two years.

Summary 

Total Credit Hours Required for the MA Degree in the field of Sociology43
Total Credit Hours Required for the PhD Degree in the field of Sociology90

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements 1
SOCI 526CONTEMPORARY THEORY3
SOCI 541QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS3
SOCI 580CLASSICAL THEORY3
SOCI 582QUANTITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS I3
SOCI 583QUANTITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS II3
SOCI 596STATISTICAL PROGRAMMING3
SOCI 605NON-THESIS GRADUATE RESEARCH1-9
SOCI 606THESIS RESEARCH3
SOCI 608GRADUATE RESEARCH DESIGN3
SOCI 610PROFESSIONALIZATION WORKSHOP1
SOCI 700DISSERTATION RESEARCH1-15
UNIV 500PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE COLLEGE TEACHING3
or UNIV 501 RESEARCH ON TEACHING AND LEARNING
Elective Requirements, Comprehensive Exams, and Thesis 1
Total Credit Hours 90

Footnotes and Additional Information

Proposed Plan-of-Study

The following represents the current recommended sequence in which students pursuing the MA and PhD degrees in the field of Sociology complete the required coursework.

Plan of Study Grid
1st SemesterCredit Hours
SOCI 580
CLASSICAL THEORY
or CONTEMPORARY THEORY
3
SOCI 582 QUANTITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS I 3
SOCI 596 STATISTICAL PROGRAMMING 3
SOCI 608 GRADUATE RESEARCH DESIGN 3
SOCI 610 PROFESSIONALIZATION WORKSHOP 1
 Credit Hours13
2nd Semester
SOCI 541 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 3
SOCI 583 QUANTITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS II 3
SOCI 610 PROFESSIONALIZATION WORKSHOP 1
Elective oneElective one 3
 Credit Hours10
3rd Semester
SOCI 526
CONTEMPORARY THEORY
or CLASSICAL THEORY
3
SOCI 610 PROFESSIONALIZATION WORKSHOP 1
Elective twoElective two 3
Elective threeElective three 3
 Credit Hours10
4th Semester
SOCI 606 THESIS RESEARCH 3
SOCI 610 PROFESSIONALIZATION WORKSHOP 1
UNIV 501 RESEARCH ON TEACHING AND LEARNING 3
Elective fourElective four 3
 Credit Hours10
 Total Credit Hours43

Policies for the PhD Degree in the field of Sociology

Department of Sociology Graduate Program Handbook

The General Announcements (GA) is the official Rice curriculum. As an additional resource for students, the department of Sociology publishes a graduate program handbook, which can be found here: https://gradhandbooks.rice.edu/2021_22/Sociology_Graduate_Handbook.pdf

Admission

Students are admitted on a competitive basis. Admitted students must have a Baccalaureate degree (BA or BS) or equivalent, a minimum 3.00 (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.

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.

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities.

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the PhD degree in the field of Sociology should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director on an individual case-by-case basis. 

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Sociology website: https://sociology.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the PhD Degree in the field of Sociology

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Sociology website: https://sociology.rice.edu/