Students are admitted to the Ph.D. program upon successful completion of the master’s degree requirements and recommendation of the faculty. Coursework is flexible and individualized. A total of 72 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree are required to obtain the Ph.D., including at least 45 credits of graded coursework and at least 9 dissertation credits.
Students are encouraged to gain teaching and research experience. They may do this through a teaching assistantship, participating in one of the several multidisciplinary research centers of the Maxwell School, or undertaking joint projects with faculty members.
Students normally take the Ph.D. comprehensive examinations after the third year or after two years if they entered with an M.A. degree. The examination covers theory, methods, and substantive areas in the broad context of Sociology and in the student’s dissertation field(s). Students must also pass two advanced courses in research methods beyond the required courses. Examples that would satisfy this requirement are courses on advanced statistics, advanced qualitative techniques, or historical methods.
Finally, students must conceive, execute, present, and defend a doctoral dissertation proposal and a completed dissertation.