Revisions, March 2003


UCI’s Department of Sociology prepares students for faculty positions at research universities and teaching colleges. Toward that end, our curriculum is designed to provide students with

  • A broad grounding in the discipline
  • Foundational knowledge in sociological theory and methods
  • The background necessary to conduct and publish substantial research projects in two or more areas
  • The background necessary to teach in several substantive areas of sociology

Sociology Program Learning Outcomes (PLOS)



Departmental requirements, outlined below, are intended to provide stepping stones for the development of a broadly informed sociological imagination, and the foundation for research and teaching in several areas over the course of a career.

Students seeking a Ph.D. in Sociology must complete:

  • All requirements for the School of Social Sciences Ph.D.
    • 3 quarters of statistics, normally taken during the first year.
  • Additional courses, as follows:
    • Two quarters of Proseminar in Sociology. Proseminar I (one credit), taken during the fall of the first year, provides an orientation to the discipline, and to the department and its faculty. Proseminar II, taken during the winter of the second year, provides a collective venue for working on the second year paper, ultimately targeted toward publication. This final paper is due late in the spring quarter of the second year. Submission of the paper is accompanied by a formal oral presentation in the spring.
    • One quarter of Sociology Research Design, taken during the winter quarter of the first year.
    • Two quarters of Sociological Theory: Classical Theory in the Fall and Contemporary Theory in the Spring of the first year.
    • One course in Advanced Sociological Methodology (e.g., ethnography, survey research, comparative/historical methods, etc.)
    • Nine Sociology Seminars, selected in consultation with an advisor, to build competence in at least two areas of specialization in the discipline.
  • To continue in the program, a student must pass a formal evaluation at the end of the second year. The evaluation is made by the Department on the basis of
    • First two years of course work
    • Research paper completed in the second year
    • Oral presentation of the research
    • Evaluation of teaching or research experience
  • To advance to candidacy, a student must:
    • Complete the requirements listed above.
    • Pass field examinations in two broad fields in Sociology.
    • Form an Advancement to Candidacy Committee. Effective Spring Quarter 2023, the Sociology Department's policy will be that students have to have (a minimum of) four (4) faculty members on their dissertation advancement committee and that three (3) of those faculty must be members of the Sociology Department (including faculty who have joint or courtesy appointments).
    • Submit a dissertation research prospectus, contextualized in the appropriate scholarly literature, and including a discussion of data collection and methods of analysis. An oral examination will focus on the student's "defense" of this proposal, and must be approved by the entire Advancement to Candidacy Committee.
  • Having advanced to candidacy, the student must form a Dissertation Committee of at least three (3) faculty members, at least two (2) of whom must be members of the Sociology Department.  At this point, the student should work very closely with his/her advisor (who is also the Chair of the student’s dissertation committee). Committee approval of a satisfactory dissertation will follow a final oral "defense" of the document.
  • The student will normally advance to candidacy during the fourth year, and complete the program by the end of the sixth year.
  • Students may petition the graduate committee for exemptions or modifications to any of these requirements.


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