Graduate Advisor: Dr. Khari Brown
Office: 2245 FAB, Phone: (313) 577-3273
Advanced degrees in sociology serve several interests. Chief among them are those students intent upon a teaching career at the secondary, community college, or university levels. In addition, advanced sociology degrees are valuable preparation for employment in government agencies, marketing, or applied research in a variety of settings such as health care systems. The graduate programs of the Wayne State University Department of Sociology provide sufficient flexibility to serve the needs of students with other career goals where an understanding of sociology is crucial (e.g., business, counseling, law, journalism, medicine, social work) or indeed those whose interest in the discipline is avocational.
The Department of Sociology offers programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. For graduate students, it provides close contact with a faculty committed to excellence both in scholarship and in teaching. Three distinct graduate degrees are offered by our Department at the current time:
- Masters Degree as a Stepping Stone to the PhD (Thesis Track): includes completing at least 32 credits of required coursework and a Masters Thesis.
- Terminal Masters Degree (Essay Track): Includes completing at least 32 credits of required coursework and a Masters Essay.
- Doctoral Degree (PhD): includes completing at least 60 credits of required coursework, preliminary exams, and a dissertation. To graduate with a PhD in sociology from Wayne State, students must also show a prior Masters degree in sociology or a related field, and must have taken at least 30 credits in that Masters degree. Students coming in with Masters degrees from other universities often have to take some of our required Masters coursework prior to their completion of the requirements for our doctoral program.
General responsibility for supervising all the graduate programs within the department falls upon its Graduate Committee, and the Graduate Program Director. The Director administers the programs with the authority to enforce degree/program requirements of the department, the college and the university, and to approve satisfactory completion of those requirements. For general information about admissions, financial assistance, and requirements, students should confer with the Graduate Program Director or his/her delegate. The Graduate Director will assist students in selecting individual academic advisers from among the faculty. However, each student will be responsible for observing all requirements established by the department, the college, and the Graduate School of Wayne State University.
At the doctoral level, we currently offer specializations in three areas (based on current faculty expertise). As part of their program requirements, PhD students will select one of these three specialization areas and complete both coursework and preliminary exams in that chosen specialization area:
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 PhD 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 PhD level, and students should chontact her if they have questions about this specialization, or to get access to the Blackboard site for this specialization. Dr. Dillaway's email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 PhD 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 email@example.com.
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 PhD 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admission Deadlines: March 15 of each year. However, to be considered for any funding available, students should apply by January 15 of each year.
NOTE: BEGINNING WITH THE 2005-2006 ACADEMIC YEAR, NEW STUDENTS WILL BE ADMITTED INTO THE SOCIOLOGY MA AND PHD PROGRAMS ONLY FOR THE FALL TERM.
New students are not admitted for the winter & spring/summer semesters but required undergraduate prerequisites may be taken during this period. For instance, if students do not have a strong background in sociology, then they should think about taking Sociology 4050 (theory), Sociology 4200 (research methods), and Sociology 4220 (computing applications in the social sciences) in the winter and spring/summer semesters before finalizing their applications to and entering our graduate program.