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- Students will recognize and be knowledgeable of the major theories and theoretical approaches of the discipline.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding and ability to use advanced statistical tools, and a range of research methods including but not limited to advanced causal modeling techniques, survey research, experimental methods, qualitative methods.
- PhD students should demonstrate a breadth and depth of knowledge in the student’s specialty area.
- Students will become familiar with aspects of the profession not covered in traditional coursework to prepare them for active professional involvement in the discipline.
- Students should develop research skills through regular contact hours of research mentorship and collaborative research experience in the years prior to defense of their dissertation proposal.
- Students should have direct teaching mentorship as a course assistant or class instructor in the years leading to their PhD degree completion.
- Students will have depth and breadth in the discipline (depth contingent on their specialty area) and the necessary research skills to bring a research project to fruition.
- Students will have knowledge of the job market for Sociologists and interviewing skills.
Degree Requirements (66 Post-Baccalaureate (minimum)/36 Post-Masters Hours)
The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 66 credit hours beyond the BA or BS. Students enrolled in the post-baccalaureate PhD program will concurrently work toward an MA while completing the requirements for the PhD. Thus, a minimum of 30 of the 66 hours of coursework will be applied to the MA.
Students entering the PhD program with an MA or MS in Sociology or a related field will be required to complete a minimum of 36 hours. Once enrolled in the program, the Graduate Program Committee and the student’s academic advisor will assess what, if any, of required courses and MA thesis work are satisfied by equivalent coursework and thesis research in the student’s MA or MS program. Consult the Sociology Graduate Student Handbook for further information http://www.cas.sc.edu/socy/GradHandbook.pdf).
Post Masters Requirements (36 Hours)
Theoretical and Substantive Foundations (9 Hours)
9 hours in one of four areas of departmental specialization:
- Population & Health
- Institutions & Inequities
- Social Psychology
(No more than 3 hours at the 500-level)
Research Methods and Statistics (9 Hours)
|SOCY 731||Topics in the Quantitative Analysis of Sociological Data||3|
|Select 6 additional hours in methods or statistics at 500-level or higher; a maximum of 3 hours at the 500-level may be applied toward the PhD. No more than 3 hours may be taken outside the department without permission.||6|
|Total Credit Hours||9|
Electives (6 Hours)
- A maximum of 3 hours at the 500-level may be applied toward the PhD
- A maximum of 3 hours may be earned from other departments
Research Apprenticeship (3 Hours)
|SOCY 899||Dissertation Preparation||1-12|
|Total Credit Hours||1-12|
Direct Admit Requirements for Students with a BA or BS (66 Hours)
Theoretical and Substantive Foundations (15 Hours)
|SOCY 515||Scientific Methods and Sociological Inquiry||3|
|SOCY 560||Advanced Sociological Theory||3|
|Select nine additional hours in one of four areas of departmental specialization(No more than 6 hours at the 500-level):||9|
Population & Health
Institutions & Inequalities
|Total Credit Hours||15|
Research Methods and Statistics (15 Hours)
|SOCY 562||Advanced Sociological Research Methods||3|
|SOCY 730||Statistical Analysis in Sociology||3|
|SOCY 731||Topics in the Quantitative Analysis of Sociological Data||3|
|Select six additional hours in methods or statistics at 500-level or higher; no more than 3 hours may be taken outside the department without permission||6|
|Total Credit Hours||15|
Electives (18 Hours)
- A maximum of 6 hours at the 500-level may be applied toward the PhD
- A maximum of 9 hours may be earned from other departments
MA Thesis Preparation (6 Hours)
|SOCY 799||Thesis Research and Preparation||6|
|Total Credit Hours||6|
Dissertation Preparation (12 Hours)
|SOCY 899||Dissertation Preparation||12|
|Total Credit Hours||12|
In accordance with The Graduate School’s regulations, all students entering the Ph.D. program must pass a written Ph.D. candidacy examination. The candidacy examination is taken early in the first fall semester of residence. In passing the examination, the student is admitted to candidacy and may work toward meeting the remaining requirements that lead to the Ph.D. degree. Students who do not pass the candidacy examination will be expected to acquire the needed knowledge by attending courses beyond the Ph.D. requirements or by individual study. In either case, the examination must be taken again at the end of the following spring semester. Failing the candidacy examination a second time will result in removal from the program without further review. Administration of the examination is the responsibility of the Graduate Program Committee. For details, consult the department’s Handbook for Graduate Students.
After advancement to candidacy, the Graduate Program Committee, acting as the Program Advisory Committee, oversees the subsequent progress of each doctoral candidate toward the Ph.D. degree. After advancement to candidacy, each doctoral candidate must file an approved program of study. This program of study should by completed before the end of a Ph.D. student’s first year in the program.
Students must maintain a B average on all post-M.A. graduate courses taken at the University of South Carolina. After completing 12 hours of post-M.A. graduate credit at the University, students whose cumulative GPA falls below a 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) are dropped from the program without further review. Also, students receiving a second post-M.A. grade of C+ or below are dropped from the program without further review.
For a transfer entrant with an M.A. degree, some program requirements can be waived if the student has taken a course or its equivalent in graduate work elsewhere and earned a grade of A (excluding A-). However, such waivers do not reduce the minimum number of post-M.A. credit hours (36) that must be completed at the University for the Ph.D. Students requesting a waiver must inform the Graduate Program Committee in writing. The Graduate Program Committee evaluates the files of students to determine whether a waiver is warranted.
The Graduate School’s foreign language competence requirement may be fulfilled by passing an examination that demonstrates a reading knowledge of one foreign language. These examinations are normally administered by one of the foreign language programs at the University. English may be accepted as a foreign language for students whose native language is not English, with the approval of the dean of The Graduate School and the chair of the department. The foreign language requirement may also be met by completing a fifth research methodology course with a grade of B or higher.
In addition to successfully completing course work, three area requirements must be passed. Normally, completion of these requirements coincides with the completion of course work. All students must meet both the theory and the research methodology area requirements. Written theory and research methodology area examinations are given once a year, but students with excellent grades in the relevant courses earn a waiver from the examinations. All students must also pass a written and an oral examination in a research speciality of their choosing. Each student forms a Research Speciality Examination Committee made up of at least two faculty members from the Department of Sociology. Faculty members have the right of refusal. The student selects one member as chairperson of the committee. In consultation with the committee, each student prepares a list of appropriate readings. The length of the reading list will vary by research area, but as a guideline it should consist of about 25 books and 100 journal articles/book chapters. Reading lists must be approved by all members of the committee. The reading list should define a broad substantive area of sociological research that is roughly equivalent to a commonly recognized sociological specialty. Normally, students will conduct their dissertation research in the same speciality area that they choose for their research speciality examination. Guidelines for meeting the three area requirements are provided in the department’s Handbook for Graduate Students.
As students near the end of their course work, they select a Dissertation Committee composed of at least four members, one of whom is from outside the department. Faculty members have the right of refusal. The student chooses one faculty member to serve as director. The director of the Dissertation Committee notifies the director of the Graduate Program Committee in writing of the composition of the Dissertation Committee. A student’s Dissertation Committee assumes the role of the Program Advisory Committee. Working with the Dissertation Committee, the student prepares a dissertation proposal. Once the proposal is submitted to the Dissertation Committee, a comprehensive examination is held. By the rules of the Graduate School, a Comprehensive Examination Committee is appointed by the chair of the department and approved by the dean of The Graduate School. Normally, the Dissertation Committee serves as the Comprehensive Examination Committee. The comprehensive examination includes a written component, usually the dissertation proposal, and an oral component. The content of the examination may include any topics for which the student is responsible. If the Comprehensive Examination Committee concludes that the student has successfully completed the oral examination and approves the proposal, all members sign a letter stating that the student has passed the comprehensive examination. The director of the Dissertation Committee provides a copy of this letter to the chair of the department and gives the original letter to the director of the Graduate Program Committee. The original letter is placed in the student’s file. The director of the Graduate Program Committee notifies the dean of The Graduate School that the student has passed the comprehensive examination. Students who fail the Ph.D. comprehensive examination twice are removed from the program without further review.
After passing the comprehensive examination, the student is expected to pursue dissertation research and writing. Once the student is prepared to defend the dissertation, a Dissertation Examining Committee is formed. By the rules of The Graduate School, the Dissertation Examining Committee is appointed by the chair of the department and approved by the dean of The Graduate School. This committee is composed of at least four members, one of whom is from outside the department. Normally, the Dissertation Committee serves as the Dissertation Examining Committee. In addition to reading the dissertation, the committee conducts an oral examination of the student. The committee members have the right to approve, request revisions and further analysis, or reject the dissertation. The Ph.D. is granted only after the Dissertation Examining Committee approves the dissertation, all members sign the title page, The Graduate School accepts the approved dissertation, and all other requirements are met.