Students who begin graduate study in this department without a master's degree enter the doctoral program only when they have fulfilled the requirements for the MA degree and have been recommended for doctoral study by their MA committee.
A student entering with prior graduate study from another institution may be approved for a transfer of up to six credits toward the requirements for the MA degree and up to 24 credits toward the PhD degree. A student who transfers 24 credits due to completion of a master's degree in sociology at another institution is not eligible to receive an MA degree in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh.
A student requesting exemption from particular required courses must submit relevant course syllabi and other pertinent information to the graduate office. The graduate committee will review the submitted materials to assess the petition for transferring credits towards departmental requirements.
The Department of Sociology is part of the School of Arts and Sciences (A&S) at the University of Pittsburgh. Students in Sociology are also bound by all of the rules and polices of A&S and the university. It is the student's responsibility to know these rules and polices, which are summarized in the A&S Graduate Programs Bulletin.
Requirements for the PhD Degree
The timeline to PhD (PDF) outlines a sample plan for earning the PhD Degree.
For the PhD degree a student must earn 72 credits in approved graduate studies (less if credit is transferred from graduate study at another institution). This includes study for the MA degree. Study for the PhD comprises the following required and recommended courses and credits:
|Social Theory||3 Credits|
|Qualitative Methods||3 Credits|
|Quantitative Methods||3 Credits|
|Seven Elective Sociology Courses||21 Credits|
|Three elective courses; these may include individualized Directed Study
and/or graduate courses in either Sociology or other departments
|Master's Thesis||6 Credits|
|Faculty Development Seminar (required for solo teaching)||3 Credits|
|Comprehensive Examination Preparation (Recommended)||6 Credits|
|Overview of PhD (Recommended SOC 2990 Independent Study; Admission to PhD Candidacy)||6 Credits|
|Completion of Dissertation and Defense of Dissertation (Recommended)||12 Credits|
Sequence of Studies for the PhD
The studies, earning also the MA on the way, may be sequenced as follows:
- Quantitative Methods
- Qualitative Methods
- Social Theory
- 3 Elective courses
- Master's Thesis (6 credits)
- 4 Elective Courses
- 4 Elective Courses
- Elective Course
- Comp Preparation (6 credits)*
*May be distributed over two terms,
- Directed Study for PhD (6 credits)
- Overview of dissertation
- Defense of Dissertation
Phases of Study for the PhD
There are three phases of advancing towards the PhD: