ON THIS PAGE
- Research Experience (RA)
- Teaching apprenticeship (TA)
- Survey Courses
- Third Year Paper
- Annual Report
- Presentation of Research
- Oral Defense of Dissertation Proposal
- Doctoral Dissertation
The Stanford Sociology Doctoral Program: Degree Requirements
Students must enroll in SOC 305, Graduate Proseminar, in Autumn Quarter of the first year; the course provides an introduction and orientation to the field of sociology, and to the department and faculty. One unit of credit is given for this course; grading is on a satisfactory/no credit basis.
Course Enrollment in Years 1 and 2
Students are required to complete 45 units of course work in Sociology in the first academic year, then 15 units of Sociology course work in the second academic year. Course work excludes workshop, independent study, and directed reading units.
Students must take three sociological theory courses. One course should be in sociological theory (SOC 370A or 370B or equivalent), and theory elective should be on the development of theory and research design (SOC 372 or equivalent). All students are required to take 670, Designing Social Research, in year 2.
Each student must complete a series of required courses in methodology (SOC 381, 382, 383, 384) as well as one elective. Students with little background in statistics are encouraged to take SOC 281B or an equivalent statistics course such as STATS 60 or PSYCH 10. See detailed Method Requirements
Students must complete four broad survey courses to demonstrate command of a range of sociological literatures. Each year the department specifies which courses meet this requirement, and will undertake to ensure that an adequate selection of such courses is offered. A list of courses that generally fulfill this requirement is listed in the requirements section below. Students should consult with their advisor to ensure that the combination of courses selected to meet this requirement exhibits sufficient breadth. This requirement is normally completed by the end of the second year of residency and must be met by the end of the third year of residency.
Beginning in year two, doctoral students are required to enroll in at least one workshop each quarter. Sociology workshops are offered for 1-2 units on a credit/non-credit basis only and attendance is required to receive course credit. The Graduate Studies Director may approve a student's petition to attend a workshop when enrollment is prohibited by unit constraints; such attendance is not noted on the transcript. See detailed information regarding PhD Workshops
There are two qualifying examinations. The first examination is taken immediately before the Fall Quarter of the second year of residence. The examination will cover two fields of the student's choosing, and will be based on standard faculty-generated reading lists for each field. Students will write one essay on each subject area, and will have one week to write and submit their essays. The second examination is a longer critical essay that focuses on a reading list devised by the student jointly with their faculty advisor, due by May 15 of the second year in residence. Students may petition to submit a research paper in lieu of the critical essay. Both examinations will be graded by two faculty members, and the grades on these qualifying exams are an important component of the decision to advance a student to candidacy.
Students must complete three quarters of teaching apprenticeship in departmental courses, or in other courses by approval. Work as either a teaching assistant (TA) under the supervision of a faculty member or as a teaching fellow (TF) fulfills this requirement. Students are required to take SOC 300, Workshop: Teaching Development, in Spring Quarter of the first year. In addition, students are encouraged to take advantage of department and University teacher training programs. Students for whom English is a second language are expected to acquire sufficient facility in English to be an effective teacher.
Teaching Assistants/Research Assistants
As partial preparation for becoming an accomplished researcher, each student must complete three quarters of research experience, working under the supervision of one or more faculty members, including regular, emeritus, and affiliated faculty. The experience may involve paid (or unpaid) work as a Research Assistant (RA). With the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, research experience may be acquired by involvement in research projects outside the department. It is recommended that students complete their research requirements early in their graduate program; the requirement must be completed by the end of the fourth year of residency.
Teaching Assistants/Research Assistants
In preparation for a career of writing scholarly papers, each student must complete a research paper in the third year of residency. This third-year paper may be on any sociological topic, and may address theoretical, empirical, or methodological issues. The paper is expected to reflect original work and be of publishable quality. A two-person committee that includes the primary advisor evaluates the paper. Although the reading committee is usually comprised of two regular faculty members in the department, emeritus and other faculty outside of the department may serve as a committee member with prior approval. The two readers of the third-year paper committee will provide a review that speaks to (1) whether the paper is publishable and whether the student should therefore invest in attempting to publish it, and (2) what types of revisions, insofar as the paper is publishable, that the student should be pursuing to ready the paper for publication. These comments will be reported to the Director of Graduate Studies. Additionally, the committee should set up a meeting with the student to discuss these reviews before the end of the Spring Quarter. To ensure that students are making adequate progress on their paper, students are required to provide a first draft of the paper to readers by April 1st. The final deadline for paper submission is May 15th.
Students are required to present at least two papers at a major professional meeting in their first five years of graduate study.
All graduate students after the 1st year will be required to submit an annual report on June 1 of each year. The annual report will include an updated CV which notes teaching (TA or other), publishing (in press, published, or under review), papers/works in progress, fellowship and grant awards and applications, service and other academic accomplishments of the past year. Students who have not yet defended their prospectus will be required to include a planned timing of the dissertation defense. PhD Annual Report Form 2007-2008
Each student must complete and defend a doctoral dissertation. At the choice of the student (and in consultation with her or his advisor), the dissertation requirement may be met either by (1) submitting the usual book-length document of the sort now required, or (2) submitting three independent papers. The papers may address the same topic, but should be written as stand-alone, single-authored papers in standard journal format (i.e., AJS or ASR). None of these papers may overlap substantially with one another, and none of them may be co-authored. (The main criterion in judging "substantial overlap" is whether any standard journal, such as AJS, would regard the papers as too similar to publish both.) The dissertation must be submitted to all committee members at least 30 days in advance of the defense date. The dissertation defense serves as the Oral Examination required by the University. Assessment of satisfactory completion is determined by the student's doctoral committee members. All students are invited to present their dissertation findings at an informal department colloquium. Dissertation