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Overview of the Graduate Program in Sociology

sociology classroom

Department Head: Jim Coverdill-
Graduate Coordinator: Patricia Richards- 
Graduate Coordinator Assistant: Melissa Leizear-

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. All students entering the program will receive strong basic training in research methods and analytic techniques, as well as a grounding in several major substantive 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 pro-seminar, and elective courses in major substantive areas. The elective courses will normally include one or more of the "foundations" courses which are intended to provide introductions to the theoretical and research literature in a given area. During the second year, most students will complete the required course work for the Pre-Ph.D./Master of Arts Program and begin to take advanced seminars. All students who intend to enter the doctoral program must complete the pro-seminar course during the first year and write a Master’s thesis during the second year.

Students continuing work toward the Doctoral Program of Study 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. These examinations are a Graduate School requirement. They include a written component and an oral examination. Following successful completion of these examinations, the student will 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.


The GRE will be optional for admission to the sociology program in 2022.