THESE REGULATIONS APPLY TO ALL STUDENTS BEGINNING GRADUATE COURSE WORK AS OF JANUARY 1, 2004. IF THEY SO DESIRE, STUDENTS BEGINNING COURSEWORK PRIOR TO THIS DATE WILL BE GRANDPARENTED INTO THE PREVIOUS REGULATIONS.
1. Applicants should have a 3.5 GPA in their Master's degree work and/or previous graduate work. In particular, we will be looking at applicants' grades in any previous methods and theory courses. If students do not have a background in sociology, SOC 4050 (sociological theory), SOC 4200 (research methods), and SOC 4220 (statistics) must be taken at the undergraduate level before they apply to the Ph.D. program.
2. Students must complete SOC 6050 (theory before 1920), SOC 6060 (theory after 1920), SOC 7030 (proseminar), SOC 6280 (statistics), SOC 7200 (research methods) (or their equivalents, for a total of 20 credits), prior to taking any other Ph.D.- level courses. They must receive a minimum of a B or better (but preferably a grade of A) in all of these Masters-level courses before enrolling in Ph.D.-level courses. If students are missing this Masters-level coursework when they apply to the Ph.D. program, they may be placed in the M.A. program until they complete SOC 6050, SOC 7200, and SOC 6280, at the very least. It is very important that students successfully complete this Masters-level coursework before beginning their Ph.D. programs.
PLEASE NOTE: Students who lack a Masters degree in Sociology, or have not yet completed the Masters requirements in sociology at the time of application, will not be admitted directly into the Ph.D. program. They may be granted admission to the Masters program, possibly on a "qualified" basis, in order to take courses in preparation for the Ph.D. program. If students are placed in the Masters program to complete preliminary coursework, they will need to apply for a "Change of Status" into the Ph.D. program once they have completed this coursework. This change of status is not automatic, and the Graduate Admissions committee will be evaluating students' grades in masters-level courses when considering change of status applications. Any questions about this policy should be directed to the Graduate Director.
3. Any student's application to our Ph.D. program must include the following items:
*G.R.E. scores will be considered, but will not be a binding criterion for admission. The Department realizes that scores on standardized tests are greatly influenced by social and cultural factors, and may not be accurate indicators of performance ability. A combined assessment of students' GPA, G.R.E. scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, writing sample, and statements of interest will be used to make admission decisions.
**We are currently asking for paper-based TOEFL scores of 600 or above (or internet-based TOEFL scores of 100 or above) for entry into our Ph.D. program. Nonetheless, we will consider students who have a score of 550 or better on the paper version of the TOEFL (or 80 or better on the internet-based version of the TOEFL). The Department realizes that scores on standardized tests are greatly influenced by social and cultural factors, and may not be accurate indicators of performance ability.
4. Students are accepted for admission for the fall semester only. There are no exceptions.
5. The application deadline for our Ph.D. program is January 15th of each year. All students must apply via the online application. To start the application process, visit wayne.edu/gradschool.
THESE REGULATIONS APPLY TO ALL STUDENTS BEGINNING GRADUATE COURSE WORK AS OF JANUARY 1, 2004. IF THEY SO DESIRE, STUDENTS BEGINNING COURSEWORK PRIOR TO THIS DATE WILL BE GRANDPARENTED INTO THE PREVIOUS REGULATIONS.
1. Students must earn at least 90 credits beyond the B.A. degree, which includes 30 credits in an M.A. degree (which can be transferred from another university in many cases), at least 30 Ph.D. credits in our doctoral program, and 30 dissertation credits. After finishing their required coursework, students working on dissertations must be enrolled for at least 1 credit of 9990-9995 (dissertation credits) per semester. A total of 6-9 credits of the 30 Ph.D. credits may be earned outside the Department of Sociology (see item 5 below). Students with an M.A. degree from another university must file a transfer of credit form with their plan of work (see note about plan of work below), in order to get credit for up to 30 credits from another masters degree program outside of Wayne State.
2. The following courses will NOT count toward the 30 credits of graduate course work needed for the Ph.D.: SOC 6050 (theory before 1920), SOC 6280 (statistics), and SOC 7200 (research methods). Students who enter the Ph.D. program with an M.A. degree in a field other than sociology are required to take these courses as prerequisites (and some students entering the program with a non-sociology degree may be asked to take some undergraduate theory and methods courses as well, if the Graduate Committee rules this). All of these courses are prerequisites to the Ph.D. coursework and will not count towards the 30 credits needed in the Ph.D. program (see Ph.D. entrance requirements above). All students admitted to the Ph.D. program must also take SOC 6060 (theory after 1920) and SOC 7030 (proseminar), if they have not taken these courses as part of our Masters program. Soc 6060 and SOC 7030 can count towards the 30 credits needed in our Ph.D. program.
3. Advanced Methods Coursework: Other required courses for the Ph.D. program in sociology include SOC 7260 (qualitative methods, 4 credits). Students will then choose either a qualitative track or quantitative track and take one additional methods course in their track. If students choose a qualitative track, they will take SOC 7500 (advanced qualitative methods). If students choose a quantitative track, they will take SOC 6290 (advanced statistics).
4. Specialization Coursework: the Department of Sociology offer Ph.D. specializations in 3 areas: Medical Sociology/Health, Race/Gender Inequality, and Urban/Labor Studies. Students will take at least 12 credits in one of these areas within our Ph.D. program. Students will also complete Ph.D. preliminary examinations in their chosen specialization (see description of the preliminary exam process below).
Race/Ethnicity and Gender Inequality - The Sociology of Inequality encompasses a broad range of research topics and methods that revolve around the social causes, manifestations, and consequences of the unequal distribution of resources, opportunities, privileges, power, status, prestige, and various other favorable outcomes/attributes in society. The sociology of inequality is particularly, but not exclusively, concerned with disparities between categories of race/ethnicity, sex, gender, age, sexual orientation, ability (or disability), religious beliefs, and socioeconomic or social class background. The sociology of inequality often considers questions about systems of stratification, as well as mobility (or lack thereof) within such systems, including the intergenerational reproduction of social location. In our department, we have many faculty members who have expertise in the areas of race/ethnicity and sex/gender inequalities, so we offer Ph.D. specialization courses and preliminary exams in these two areas of inequality studies. Currently Dr. Heather Dillaway is the chair of the Inequality Specialization at the Ph.D. level, and students should contact her if they have questions about this specialization, or to get access to the Blackboard site for this specialization. Dr. Dillaway's email is email@example.com.
Curriculum in Race & Gender Inequality:
-All students choosing race/ethnicity or sex/gender inequality as their specialization area must take SOC 8700 (Seminar in Social Inequality) as their mandatory specialization course. The description of this mandatory course is:SOC 8700 Seminar in Social Inequality. Sociological framework for analyzing several inequalities in contemporary U.S. society. Race, class, and gender as individual topics and as they intersect in society; inequalities in personal life experience. Heavy emphasis on applying classical and contemporary theories of inequality to real-world topics. (taught yearly)
-Students who choose the Race & Gender Inequality specializations must take at least 8 other credits in this specialization. The following courses can count towards the Race & Gender Inequality specialization:
Medical Sociology/Sociology of Health - Medical Sociology (or, the Sociology of Health) applies the perspectives, conceptualizations, theories, and methodologies of sociology to phenomena having to do with human health, illness, and disease. As a specialization, medical sociology encompasses a body of knowledge which places health, illness, and disease in a social, cultural, and behavioral context. Medical Sociology/Sociology of Health studies include: people's attitudes and beliefs about health, disease, disability and medical care providers and organizations; medical occupations or professions and the organization, financing, and delivery of medical care services; medicine as a social institution and its relationship to other social institutions; cultural values and societal responses with respect to health, illness, and disability; the role of social factors in the etiology of disease, especially functional and emotion-related disorders and what are now called stress-related disease. Currently Dr. Janet Hankin is the chair of the Medical/Health Specialization at the Ph.D. level, and students should contact her if they have questions about this specialization, or to get access to the Blackboard site for this specialization. Dr. Hankin's email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curriculum in Medical Sociology:
All students choosing race/ethnicity or sex/gender inequality as their specialization area must take SOC 7770 (Seminars in Medical Sociology). The description of this mandatory course is:SOC 7770 - Seminar in Medical SociologyConverging issues of theory, research and practice in general hospitals, mental hospitals, and nursing homes. Structure of institutions and the adaptation of individuals within them. (taught yearly)
-Students who choose the Medical Sociology specialization must take at least 8 other credits in this specialization. The following courses count towards the Medical Sociology specialization:
Urban/Labor - The Urban/Labor specialty area focuses on a range of topics related to both our urbanized society and the organization of and experience in the workplace. A sociologist of work is concerned with (but not limited to) questions of: gender and race in the workplace, the transformation of work processes, national and international labor movements including unions as social movements, work and family, labor markets and immigration, workplace organizations like unions, politics, and organizational/workers' culture. An urban sociologist focuses on urban experiences locally, nationally, or internationally, including but not limited to an examination of economic, social, and political transformation of cities throughout the world, with respect to race/ethnicity/gender, immigration, urban social movements, poverty, residential patterns, and urbanization and gentrification. Urban/labor research utilizes all methodologies including statistical analysis, qualitative interviews, participant observation, comparative and historical, and content analysis. Currently Dr. David Fasenfest is the chair of the Urban/Labor Specialization at the Ph.D. level, and students should contact him if they have questions about this specialization, or to get access to the blackboard site for this specialization. Dr. Fasenfest's email is email@example.com.
Curriculum in Urban/Labor Studies:
All students choosing Urban/Labor Studies as their specialization area must take SOC 8805 (Seminar in the Sociology of Urban & Labor Studies) as their mandatory specialization course. The description of this mandatory course is:SOC 8805 - Seminar in the Sociology of Urban & Labor StudiesThis graduate seminar will provide the theoretical foundations of the area of Urban and Labor Sociology; topics include: The Labor Process, Labor Markets, Labor Movements, Globalization and Work, Race and Inequality in Urban Contexts, Power and Politics, and Migration. (taught yearly)
Students who choose the Urban/Labor Studies specialization must take at least 8 other credits in this specialization. The following courses count towards the Urban/Labor Studies specialization:
5. Cognate Coursework: Students also will take 6-9 credits in a minor or cognate area (either in a department outside of sociology at Wayne State or in a second specialization area within our department), as part of their Ph.D. program. These cognate credits also can be transferred in from an M.A. degree that is not in sociology, pending approval of advisor and Graduate Director.
6. Plan of Work: All Ph.D. students must submit a Ph.D. Plan of Work to the Graduate School before 40 credits of coursework have been completed (typically at the end of the student’s first full year in the Ph.D. program). This Plan of Work reviews all courses/credits that students will use towards their Ph.D. degrees. Students transferring in Masters credits from another university will need to attach a Transfer of Credit form to their Plan of Work. Students should work with their advisors to complete this plan of work. The plan of work form and the transfer credit form can be downloaded from the Ph.D. Forms page.
7. Ph.D. Preliminary Exams: The written Ph.D. preliminary examination ("prelim") is taken after students complete their Ph.D. coursework, and before they begin the dissertation process. The Ph.D. prelim is given in January and August of each year, typically the week or two before classes resume (students should pay special attention to announcements about prelim dates for each semester). The Ph.D. prelim corresponds to students' areas of specialization; thus, students will elect to take one of the following prelims: medical/health, race/ethnicity, gender, labor, or urban. All Ph.D. prelims consist of 3 parts, taken over a 2 day period. The format is as follows:
a. Day One, Morning: Examination on sociological theory as applied to the student's area of specialization.
b. Day One, Afternoon: Examination on research methods, as applied to the student's area of specialization.
c. Day Two, Morning: Examination on the content of the individual student's research interest as related to the dissertation.
Students should take their prelim soon after they have completed their required Ph.D. coursework in sociological theory, research methods, and their area of specialization. To apply to take the prelim students should fill out the Prelim Application Form found on our website at clas.wayne.edu/sociology (and then click on "Forms and Documents"). Students should consult the chair of their specialization area for specific information about the specialization (i.e., courses that satisfy the Ph.D. specialization requirement, reading lists for the prelims, upcoming dates for the prelim, grading committee members, etc.)
Students must pass prelims in full before they can file for Ph.D. candidacy and begin their dissertations. Students receive two chances to pass Ph.D. prelims, but they should attempt to pass prelims on the first try (see guidelines for satisfactory academic progress below). If student fail their prelims a second time, they are dismissed from the Ph.D. program. Only in extremely rare circumstances are students granted a third chance at the prelim. Students should consult their advisors, the chair of their specialization area, and the Graduate Director before taking the prelim to ensure that they are ready to take the prelim. Students can also contact the Graduate Director to find out more about prelim policies.
If students are done with their required Ph.D. coursework but have not passed their prelims, they can enroll in SOC 9990 (pre-dissertation credits) in order to maintain active student status. Students are sometimes allowed to enroll early in SOC 9991 (the first set of dissertation credits) if they are taking those credits during the semester that they are taking prelims. Students can contact the Graduate Director to talk further about this possibility.
8. Ph.D. Candidacy Status: following successful completion of their Ph.D. coursework and Ph.D. prelims, the student should select a 4-person dissertation committee and fill out a "Recommendation for Ph.D. Candidacy" form (available on the Graduate School’s website). A dissertation committee includes three members of the sociology faculty (of which one is the student's advisor) and one outside member (typically a faculty member from another department at Wayne State who has expertise in the student's dissertation topic, but sometimes a student can find a faculty member from outside Wayne State who is willing to serve). All four committee members must sign onto a student's dissertation committee and sign the candidacy form before students are allowed to become a Ph.D. candidate and begin their dissertation credits.
9. Dissertation Proposal: The dissertation proposal represents the oral qualifying exam for the purposes of the Graduate School. Examiners will be the student's dissertation committee (as outlined above). The student will submit a dissertation proposal to his/her dissertation committee, after that proposal has been approved in full by the student's advisor. Dissertation proposals include a short introductory chapter, a chapter of literature review, a chapter detailing students' theoretical or conceptual framework (although sometimes this is combined with the literature review), and a methods chapter that proposes how they will engage in their dissertation research. The student will work with their dissertation advisor to finalize the proposal. Once the advisor approves the draft, the student will submit the proposal draft to the entire dissertation committee for review. Committee members will receive at least 3 weeks (preferably one month) to review the proposal draft and decide whether it is defendable. If all committee members agree that the proposal is defendable, an oral defense of the dissertation proposal will be scheduled. Students should consult with their advisors to prepare for this oral defense. If students pass the oral defense of their proposal, their committee members will sign the "Prospectus and Record of Approval" form (available on the Graduate School’s website). Once the student defends the dissertation proposal successfully, the student will work with their advisor to gain IRB approval (if necessary) for the dissertation research project and begin data collection. Dissertation proposals range in length, depending on the project. On average, students work on their dissertation proposals for two semesters before they defend them successfully.
10. The Dissertation:
The doctoral dissertation is a major work which represents the student's demonstration of his/her ability to use the tools learned in their Ph.D. programs in an original sociological research project. The dissertation topic should be selected with care, in or related to the student's major field or specialization. The dissertation is an empirical project which includes a comprehensive analysis of data (primary or secondary). This dissertation should demonstrate students' knowledge of the relationship between theory and methods, and make a solid and direct contribution to sociological knowledge. While the dissertation can sometimes be an extension of a Master’s thesis topic, the dissertation research must be an original project based on new data collection and analysis. Work submitted for credit in other courses cannot be used in fulfilling thesis or dissertation requirements. If proper standards of quality, objectivity, originality and independence are maintained, the candidate may use data derived from other research he/she has conducted at the University. The dissertation should be publishable in its final form (either as one full-length manuscript or in several article-length pieces), and should lead the student to numerous professional presentations as well.
After the dissertation proposal is defended and approved (see above), the student will embark on data collection and analysis. Data collection and analysis can often take students one to two semesters by itself, and students will work with their advisors to complete these steps. After data collection and analysis are complete, students will write up the results of their dissertation research, with guidance from their advisor. In our department, students typically write two to three chapters of results for their dissertation, as well as a concluding chapter that summarizes findings and contributions to the literature. Eventually the findings chapters and concluding chapter are combined with the chapters written for the dissertation proposal, so that the full dissertation holds the following chapters: Introduction, Literature Review, Theoretical Framework (sometimes combined with the Literature Review), Methods, Findings (typically two or three separate yet related chapters), and Conclusions. The student will work with their advisor to draft and revise the entire dissertation before the rest of the committee reviews it. Once the student's advisor approves the draft, the student will distribute the dissertation to all committee members. Committee members will receive at least one month to review the draft of the final dissertation and decide whether they agree that it is defendable. Two weeks before a defense, all committee members must sign a "Public Lecture Presentation Defense-Dissertation" form (available on the Graduate School’s website), indicating that they agree to allow the student to defend. In the dissertation defense, the student formally presents the methodology, research, and results of the dissertation. In the discussion following the presentation, other matters which the committee deems relevant, may be introduced. The dissertation defense is open to the general University community. Students should consult with their advisors to prepare for the oral defense of the dissertation.
If students pass the oral defense of their dissertations successfully, they will make final revisions requested by committee members as well as any formatting changes requested by the Graduate School, and turn in the final copy electronically to the Graduate School. Students are required to turn in a draft of their dissertation to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to their defense for a formatting check. For more information on dissertation formatting, students can visit the Graduate School website.
On average, the dissertation process can take four to six semesters to complete (although we have seen students move both more quickly and more slowly, depending on their topic, methods, and life constraints). For more information on the dissertation process, students should consult their advisor and the Graduate Director.
_____ Must include a minimum of 90 credit hours
_____ Ph.D. students must show evidence of at least 30 credits of completed Master’s coursework
_____ Ph.D. students must either complete the Master’s requirements in sociology at Wayne State (SOC 6050, SOC 6280, SOC 7200, SOC 6060, and SOC 7030), or show equivalent coursework at a previous university. SOC 6060 and SOC 7030 can count towards the 30 credits needed in the Ph.D. program, but all other Masters-level courses are considered prerequisites only.
Ph.D. Level Requirements:
_____Qualitative Methods (SOC 7260) (4 cr) [Prerequisite: SOC 7200]
_____One Additional Methods Course (SOC 6290 (quantitative) or SOC 7500 (qualitative) (4 cr)
[The prerequisite for SOC 6290 is SOC 6280, and the prerequisite for SOC 7500 is SOC 7260.]
_____Cognate Courses (6-9 cr)
_____Specialization Courses (12 cr)
_____ 30 Dissertation Credits (SOC 9991, 9992, 9993, and 9994, 7.5 cr each)
THESE GUIDELINES WERE REVISED IN NOVEMBER 2010 AND ARE EFFECTIVE AS OF THE BEGINNING OF THE WINTER 2011 SEMESTER. ALL STUDENTS ARE HELD TO THESE GUIDELINES.
All graduate students in our Masters and Ph.D. programs are expected to make satisfactory academic progress. Making satisfactory academic progress means that you are maintaining "good academic standing." Maintaining good academic standing will mean that you are eligible for jobs after graduation as well as entry into Ph.D. programs and potential funding opportunities later on, so it is important to remain in good academic standing in our graduate programs. While you can sometimes make it through and graduate from our Masters and Ph.D. programs without maintaining good academic standing, it is expected that students will make every effort to abide by these guidelines.
To maintain good academic standing in our Masters and Ph.D. programs, graduate students must:
If graduate students in sociology do not maintain good academic standing as specified by the above criteria, they will be making "unsatisfactory progress" in their Masters or Ph.D. program. Masters students who are making unsatisfactory progress will not be admitted to our Ph.D. program if they apply. Ph.D. students who are making unsatisfactory progress will not be considered for departmental funding opportunities. Students who are making unsatisfactory progress are also in danger of not being able to finish their degree programs within their allotted times (6 years for a masters program and 7 years for a Ph.D. program); extensions on these time clocks are difficult to acquire. Students who are making unsatisfactory progress may even risk dismissal from our Masters or Ph.D. program in some cases as outlined above. While we understand that there are many reasons why students might make unsatisfactory progress, we expect that students will take responsibility for their academic progress and resolve any reasons for unsatisfactory progress within one academic year (two semesters). If students make unsatisfactory progress for two years in a row they will be given a deadline for resolving problematic aspects of their academic records. If they do not resolve the specified problems by the deadline, they may be dismissed from their Masters or Ph.D. program.
Policy on Student Dismissal from Program Due to Poor Performance
Students have 18 months to resolve academic issues related to poor academic performance. The 18 month clock begins upon students’ first unsatisfactory evaluation following the annual review conducted in May of each academic year. In May, students will receive notification of their risk for dismissal from the program outlining the steps needed to resolve the issues. If the student resolves the issues by their review the following year, then the risk of dismissal is retracted and students will receive notification that they are in good standing. If the issues indicated in the previous year’s annual review go unresolved resulting in a second unsatisfactory evaluation, students remain at risk for dismissal from the program. If the student resolves the academic issues between the second unsatisfactory review and December of the same year, the advisor must notify the graduate committee that the student is now in good standing. Otherwise, students will receive a dismissal letter in December (18 months after the first unsatisfactory evaluation). The appeal process requires students to submit their appeal in writing to the graduate committee within 60 days of receiving their dismissal letter. The appeal requires the endorsement of their faculty advisor and will be decided by vote of the graduate committee. Given that students will not be dismissed from the program until they have failed to make satisfactory progress towards their degree for 30 consecutive months, appeals will only be granted if extraordinary extenuating circumstances can be demonstrated.
In defining these guidelines for satisfactory academic progress, we hope that graduate students will take responsibility for their academic work and set high standards for themselves. We believe that graduate students who maintain good academic standing will be more likely to complete their degrees in a timely fashion and maximize their time within our program.
If students have any questions about these guidelines for satisfactory academic progress or about the Doctoral program as a whole, they should contact the Graduate Director in the Department of Sociology.
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