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 Rules for PhD Programs.

Required Courses

A minimum of 16 course units are required. A minimum of 12 course units must be taken at the University of Pennsylvania.

SOCI 5350Quantitative Methods I1
SOCI 5351Quantitative Methods II1
SOCI 6020Proseminar in Classical Sociology1
SOCI 6040Methodology of Social Research1
SOCI 6200Sociological Research II1
SOCI 7070Second Year Research Seminar I1
SOCI 7071Second Year Research Seminar II1
Select nine electives 19
Total Course Units16

 Three electives must be in Sociology.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.

Sample Plan of Study

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