Sociology, PhD

Graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania is conducted through graduate groups formed according to different areas of study. These groups administer programs leading to the AM and PhD degrees. Those seeking a graduate degree in Sociology should apply to the Graduate Group in Sociology. Sociology students earn their MA on the way to the PhD. There is no terminal Master's degree program.

It is possible to earn a joint Ph.D. in Sociology and another discipline by being admitted to and satisfying the requirements of two Ph.D. programs and writing a single dissertation. Currently, students are enrolled in joint degrees with Demography, Education, Communications, and Africana Studies. Students seeking a joint Ph.D. combining Sociology with another program must be admitted in that program (as well as Sociology); admittance to the second program may occur after admission to the Sociology program.

View the University’s Academic Requirements for PhD Degrees.

Required Courses

A minimum of 20 course units are required. A minimum of 12 course units must be taken at the University of Pennsylvania.

Quantitative Methods in Sociology I
Quantitative Methods in Sociology II
Pro-Seminar in Sociological Research
Proseminar in Classical Sociology
Methodology of Social Research
Second-Year Research Seminar I
Seminar: Demographic Research II
Select four electives 1
1

 Three electives must be in Sociology.


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2018 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.

Sample Plan of Study

Year 1
Pro-Seminar in Sociological Research
Quantitative Methods in Sociology I
and Quantitative Methods in Sociology II
Proseminar in Classical Sociology
Methodology of Social Research
Select two Sociology courses
Year 2
Second-Year Research Seminar I
Seminar: Demographic Research II
Select four electives
Second Year Paper/MA Thesis
Teaching Requirement
Year 3
Select electives
Paper Submission
Specialty Area #1 Comprehensive Exam
Dissertation Committee Selected
Teaching Requirement
Year 4
Specialty Area #2 Comprehensive Exam
Dissertation Proposal
Year 5 and Beyond
Dissertation Research and Defense