Department of Sociology


Graduate Program

The Sociology Department offers graduate study leading to the Master of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy. The graduate program has concentrations in Criminology, Environmental Sociology, and Globalization and Political Economy. Both the master's and the doctoral program allow for the construction of individualized programs of study. New students are admitted in Fall semester only and applications must be received by the Graduate School by February 1 for full consideration for funding.

Many of your questions about our graduate program may be answered below and on the FAQ page.

For graduate admissions program questions not addressed on our website, please see http://graduateadmissions.utk.edu/

International students can find important information at http://graduateadmissions.utk.edu/int-adm-guide.shtml

Applying to Our Program

Admissions Requirements

  • Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) scores.
  • Three letters of recommendation (along with the UT Graduate Rating Form)
  • Completion of the appropriate previous degree (baccalaureate, preferably with a major in one of the social sciences, for the M.A. program; master's degree in one of the social sciences for the doctoral program)

    Note: For links to the Department of Sociology application form, Graduate Admissions, Graduate Student Handbooks, and the UT Graduate Rating Form, scroll to the bottom of this page.

Master's Program

A minimum of 30 hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, including 24 hours of coursework and 6 hours of Thesis 500, is required. Students must complete Sociology 521, 531, Statistics 531, and one foundation course (504, 505, or 560). At or near the end of all coursework, the student must submit and defend a thesis before her/his committee.

New MA Curricular Requirements (pending approval to be effective Fall 2013)

All MA students must complete the following requirements (5 courses for 15 credit hours):

  • Sociology 506 Sociology and Social Justice (2 credits);
  • Sociology 511 Pedagogy and Graduate Instruction (1 credit);
  • Sociology 521 Sociological Theory;
  • Sociology 531 Research Methods in Sociology; and
  • Two courses (Foundations and one other) in a specialty area (Environmental Sociology, Political Economy and Globalization, or Criminology) ­ choose 1 from Sociology 503 Foundations of Environmental Sociology; Sociology 504 Sociological Foundations of Political Economy; or Sociology 505 Foundations of Criminology AND 1 additional course in the same area.

The Doctoral Program

Coursework

New PhD Curricular Requirements (pending approval to be effective Fall 2013)

All PhD students must complete the following requirements

24 hours of coursework beyond the master's degree (exclusive of S/NC credits); 12 hours of course credit in Sociology at 600 level

  • Sociology 621 Sociological Theory II
  • Sociology 631 Advanced Quantitative Methods;
  • One of the following additional methods classes: Sociology 633 Survey Design; Sociology 636 Field Research; Sociology 638 Comparative Historical Sociology; or Sociology 640 Narrative and Discourse Analysis
  • First area = three courses (Foundations plus two classes) in a specialty area (Environmental Sociology, Political Economy and Globalization, or Criminology). [Note this may have been completed at the MA level.]
  • Second area = three courses (minimum) in a second of the three specialty areas or one of the following options: a foreign language, the Interdisciplinary Graduate Social Theory Certificate, Statistics minor, or an area proposed by the student in consultation with their advisor and approved by the Graduate Committee

Also, if the following courses were not completed at UT at the MA level, students must complete them without the credits counting toward the minimum number of hours required for the Ph.D.:

  • Sociology 506 Sociology and Social Justice (2 credits);
  • Sociology 511 Pedagogy and Graduate Instruction (1 credit);
  • Sociology 521 Sociological Theory;

Examinations

Qualifying examinations in sociological theory and in research methodology must be completed by the beginning of the 5th semester of PhD study. These exams will be offered once each semester beginning in fall 2013. In addition, a Comprehensive Exam in the student's specialty area must be completed after the qualifying exam and before embarking on the dissertation. This exam is administered by a committee arranged by the student with faculty advisers.

Dissertation and Defense

A dissertation based on original research must be completed (24 hours). The candidate must pass an oral defense of the dissertation, including the theory and methodology related to the research, in accordance with the deadlines specified by Graduate Student Services

Environmental Policy Minor

The department participates in a program designed to give graduate students an opportunity to develop an interdisciplinary specialization in environmental policy. See Department of Economics for program description.

Gerontology Minor

Graduate students in the Department of Sociology may pursue a specialized minor in gerontology. This interdepartmental/interdisciplinary minor gives the student an opportunity for combining the knowledge about aging in American society with his/her major concentration. Please refer to Human Ecology for specific requirements.

Statistics Minor

Graduate students in the Department of Sociology may pursue a specialized minor in statistics. The requirements are: Statistics 537; Statistics 538; one additional Statistics course; and the service of a Statistics faculty person on the thesis committee.

Academic Common Market

An agreement among southern states for sharing graduate programs allows legal residents of some states to enroll in certain programs at UT on an in-state tuition basis. The M.A. program in Sociology is available to residents of the state of Virginia (concentration in criminology only); the Ph.D. to residents of Florida (concentration in criminology only) or West Virginia. Additional information may be obtained from the Administrative Services Assistant in the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Graduate Handbooks

Note: The Handbook that is current when a student enters the program describes the requirements that the student must meet. If the faculty adopt a new Handbook (and corresponding set of requirements) that replaces the Handbook that applied when a student entered the program, while the student is formally enrolled in the graduate program (at the MA or PhD level), the student has the option of graduating according to a later Handbook (and ALL of its corresponding requirements). However, the student is permitted to do so only ONCE, and MUST formally inform the Director of Graduate Studies of the decision. A student can do so at any point, while enrolled in the program.



 

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