Requirements for the PhD
Admission: Prerequisite for admission is a Bachelor of Arts degree or equivalent preparation (plus approval from the Admissions Committee). If a Student has not yet received a Master’s Degree at the time of application, the Department will require the student to pursue a Master’s Degree at the University of Pittsburgh. The requirements for the Master’s Degree are listed below. Those students entering with an MA degree from another institution may petition the Admissions Committee for a transfer of credits but core courses are usually not waived.
Credit Requirement: The PhD program requires 72 credits earned from a combination of the required core course sequences, MA courses, additional graduate sociology seminars, and any suitable combination from course work, independent study, research, and dissertation work as detailed elsewhere in this bulletin.
Supervised Teaching Experience: Supervised teaching experience is an integral part of the doctoral program. Typically, teaching experience is gained by conducting recitation sections of an introductory course and, once the MA is completed and the student has conducted recitations, by teaching an undergraduate course with the guidance of a faculty mentor.
Comprehensive Examination: The PhD comprehensive examination is an individually designed review essay using relevant research literatures to develop research questions for the dissertation and to support those questions with appropriate methodological and theoretical “best practices” in the field and substantive findings related to the dissertation project.
Dissertation Overview: At this stage students will have selected, in consultation with their dissertation committee, a suitable dissertation topic. Students present a written prospectus to their committee describing the purpose, scope, and method of proposed study and the sources upon which it will be based. Students are encouraged to give careful thought early on in their graduate work to possible doctoral research topics and discuss their interests with related faculty.
Final Oral Examination: The final oral examination in defense of the doctoral dissertation is conducted by the dissertation committee and is open to the University community.