The graduate program in sociology at the University of Georgia is directed primarily toward students seeking the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Although we offer a Master of Arts Degree, we do not have separate M.A. and Ph.D. curricula. Instead, students receive the M.A. on the way to the Ph.D. All students entering the program will receive strong basic training in sociological theory, research methods and analytic techniques, as well as a grounding in several major substantive areas. More concentrated advanced study may then be pursued within one or more broadly defined specialty areas.
A favorable faculty-to-student ratio permits an emphasis on individualized instruction and student-faculty collaboration in research activities. Students are strongly encouraged to engage in research and scholarship and to share the results of their efforts with other social scientists through presentations at professional meetings and by publishing their work. The doctoral program is based on a rigorous curriculum. Course work during the first year of study concentrates on the fundamentals of sociology, including the required research design and theory courses, two required courses in statistical analysis of sociological data, the Proseminar, and elective courses in major substantive areas. The elective courses will normally include one or more of the "foundations" courses that are intended to provide introductions to the theoretical and research literature for the Department's specialty areas. All students must also complete the Proseminar sequence in the first year. During the second year, most students will complete the required course work for the master's degree and begin to take advanced seminars in one or more of their substantive areas.
Students continuing work toward the doctoral degree will use the third year to begin a more advanced program of study. During this phase, the student will focus more intensively on particular substantive problems and research issues. Advanced study involves additional course work, independent reading, and research directed toward the doctoral comprehensive examinations. They include a written component and an oral examination. Following successful completion of these examinations, course work and residency requirements, the student may be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. During the fourth year, the student's attention will begin to focus more narrowly on the dissertation topic.
Note that the structure of our program requires students to begin their studies in the Fall Semester.