The sociology doctoral degree provides rigorous training in public and applied social research, including skills in research design, data analysis, and substantive areas that are pertinent to various sectors in the Washington, D.C. area. Graduates have the theoretical, analytical, and professional skills that prepare them for academic positions in teaching or research. They are also well-qualified for nonacademic positions in the many settings that rely on the expertise of sociologists including human service agencies, marketing research firms, educational systems, nonprofit foundations, and law enforcement agencies.

Admissions

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For specific information, see Application Requirements and Deadlines on the departmental web site.

Policies

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Reduction of Credit

Students who enter the program with a previously conferred graduate degree may be allowed a reduction of credit up to 30 credits subject to the approval of the graduate director and the dean.

Satisfactory Progress

According to university policy, students may be terminated if they fail to achieve satisfactory progress toward their degree. In addition to the graduate policies on academic termination (see AP.6.6.2), students in the program are judged as having failed to achieve satisfactory progress if they have a plagiarism finding by the Office of Academic Integrity.

Banner Code: LA-PHD-SOCI

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 72

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies. Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Following completion of all required coursework and passing a comprehensive exam, students are advanced to candidacy by the dean and complete a dissertation, an original and independent research project.

Foundation Courses

Public Sociology
SOCI 601Proseminar in Public and Applied Sociology3
Social Theory
SOCI 711Classical Sociological Theory3
SOCI 712Contemporary Sociological Theory3
Required Methodology and Analysis Courses
SOCI 620Methods and Logic of Social Inquiry3
SOCI 636Statistical Reasoning3
Elective Methodology and Analysis Courses
Select three courses from the following:9
Survey Research
Evaluation Research for Social Programs
Special Topics in Sociology (when topic is Critical Theory, Critical Ethnography, or another course with written approval of the graduate director.)
Qualitative Research Methods
Feminist Theory
Ethnography
Historical and Comparative Sociology
Historical and Comparative Sociology
Analytic Techniques of Social Research
Methods in Anthropology
Feminist Approaches to Social Research
Feminist Research Practice
Total Credits24

Concentrations

Concentration in Institutions and Inequalities (INI)

Two Proseminars
SOCI 803Institutions and Inequality3
SOCI 804Sociology of Globalization3
Total Credits6
Select three courses from the following:9
Gender and Social Structure
Juvenile Delinquency
Sociology of Culture
Racial and Ethnic Relations: American and Selected Global Perspectives
International Migration in the Age of Globalization
Environment and Society
Political Sociology
Feminist Theory
Urban Inequality: From Watts to #Blacklivesmatter
Micro Sociology: Inequality and Everyday Life
Social Networks, New Media, and Inequality
Work Organizations and Social Inequality
Youth, Schooling, and Popular Culture
Society and Education
Cities in a Global Society
Sociology of Human Rights
Special Topics in Sociology (with prior written approval of graduate director)
Special Topics in Sociology (with prior written approval of graduate director)
Total Credits9

Concentration in Sociology of Globalization (SGL)

Two Proseminars
SOCI 803Institutions and Inequality3
SOCI 804Sociology of Globalization3
Total Credits6
Select three courses from the following:9
Sociology of Culture
Racial and Ethnic Relations: American and Selected Global Perspectives
International Migration in the Age of Globalization
Environment and Society
Political Sociology
Social Networks, New Media, and Inequality
Sociology of Development
Globalization and Social Movements
Cities in a Global Society
Sociology of Human Rights
Refugees in the Contemporary World
Special Topics in Sociology (with prior written approval of graduate director)
Special Topics in Sociology (with prior written approval of graduate director)
Total Credits9

Elective Courses

Select seven elective courses from any advanced courses in sociology. 121
Total Credits21

Advancement to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, students must complete all coursework required on their approved program of study. Students must also successfully pass one written comprehensive examination. The comprehensive exam tests students' mastery of the foundations of sociological inquiry, linking research methods and sociological theory to public concerns, as well as material in the student's area of concentration. It is administered by a faculty committee appointed by the graduate program director. Additionally, students must defend their dissertation proposal. Evidence of completed requirements must be on file in the Dean's Office before a student can advance to candidacy.

Dissertation

Once enrolled in SOCI 999 Doctoral Dissertation, students must maintain continuous registration each semester (excluding summers) until the dissertation is submitted to and accepted by the University Libraries. Once enrolled in SOCI 999 Doctoral Dissertation, students must follow the university's continuous registration policy as specified in AP.6.10.6 Dissertation Research. Students who defend in the summer must be registered for at least 1 credit of SOCI 999 Doctoral Dissertation.

Students complete a minimum of 3 credits of SOCI 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and 3 credits of SOCI 999 Doctoral Dissertation. They may apply a maximum of 12 dissertation credits (SOCI 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and SOCI 999 Doctoral Dissertation combined) to the degree. Because of the continuous registration policy, students may be required to register for additional credits of SOCI 999 Doctoral Dissertation. Because students cannot register for credits of SOCI 999 Doctoral Dissertation until they have advanced to PhD candidacy, they may choose (but are not required) to register for additional credits of SOCI 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal.

Select 12 credits from the following:12
Doctoral Dissertation Proposal
Doctoral Dissertation
Total Credits12