2008 - 2009 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Sociology, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15

Applications are evaluated together after the deadline has passed.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with academic competence, wherever possible.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

An applicant's undergraduate and graduate coursework is evaluated.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A master's degree is not required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree in Sociology, Criminal Justice, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, Urban Studies, among others, is required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should provide the reason the applicant wants to attend graduate school and describe her/his career goals.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required.  A combined score of 1000 on the quantitative and verbal sections is expected.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based, or 100 internet-based.

Writing Sample:

The writing sample should be a paper on a sociological topic.  It should demonstrate your ability to conduct research and to write a scholarly paper. This writing sample should be 15-25 pages in length.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 21

Required Courses:

Two courses in social theory:

SOC 8111:  Classical Social Theory

SOC 9111:  Contemporary Sociological Theory

Four courses in methods of inquiry:

SOC 8011:  Logic of Inquiry

SOC 8221:  Qualitative Methods

SOC 9211:  Data Analysis

SOC 9221:  Theory and Practice of Statistical Sampling

Two classes in statistics:

SOC 5211:  Statistical Methods in Sociology

SOC 8211:  Inferential and Multivariate Statistics

One course in proposal writing:

SOC 8510:  Special Department Seminar

Eight electives, including three in research

A one-credit course in computing resources:

SOC 8751:  Introduction to Computing

A two-credit symposium:

SOC 8711/8721:  Symposium in Sociology 

A three-credit teaching practicum:

SOC 8731/8741: Teaching of Sociology

A minimum of 6 credits of SOC 9999:  Dissertation Research

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examination:

The preliminary exam focuses on a small number of broadly defined areas that are consistent with the department's mission and self-defined areas of strength. The subject areas include Education, Family, Gender, Medical, Organizations and Work, Political, Race and Ethnicity, and Urban Sociology. Faculty committees have developed bibliographies of important books and articles in each of these areas. These bibliographies form the basis for the preliminary examinations.

At the end of the third year of graduate study, each doctoral student selects two of these areas to be examined by an appointed Preliminary Examination Committee. The preliminary exam is typically taken in late September or October of the fourth year, after the student has completed all coursework.

A faculty committee evaluates the student's competency in the preliminary areas. Grading of the exam results in the following rankings: Pass with Distinction (ready to form a dissertation committee; "Distinction" is recorded in the student's record); Pass (ready to form a dissertation committee); No Pass (student may take the examination one more time the following year); or Final No Pass (student is no longer eligible to continue in the Ph.D. program).

A student who does not receive her/his doctoral degree within five years of passing the preliminary examination must retake and pass the exam in order to remain in good academic standing. The retake examination must be administered with the same testing procedure as that currently used by the Department.


The dissertation proposal is a brief statement of the dissertation research. It should contain a review of the literature, a statement of the research problem, and a comprehensive description of the research strategy to be employed. Normally, proposal hearings are held during the academic year. All members of the committee must be present at the proposal hearing. An alternate member may be requested, but prior approval must be secured from the chair of the Graduate Committee. The dissertation proposal is accepted only when the members of the committee vote unanimously to accept it.


In keeping with the sharpened focus in the preliminary examination, the Department makes clear to students that dissertation topics must be confined to areas within which the faculty has expertise. This clarification begins with the information sent to prospective applicants and is repeated regularly in advising sessions with students. The purpose of this clarification is to avoid situations where students feel compelled to look outside the Department for their primary intellectual guidance in dissertation work. NOTE: This does not imply that students may not have outside faculty members on dissertation committees. It is intended only to ensure that the department's faculty are the primary focus of instruction in all dissertation committees.

Following the preliminary examination, the student selects the chair of her/his Doctoral Advisory Committee. The remaining three or more members of the committee are selected by the student after consultation with her/his chair. A minimum of three members must be from Temple University's Graduate Faculty and a majority must be from the Department of Sociology.

The Dissertation Examining Committee consists of all members of the Doctoral Advisory Committee and at least one outside person. This outside person may not be a faculty member from the Sociology Department at Temple University.

Changes in the membership of a committee must be approved by the Graduate Chair. If approved, the Graduate School must be notified.

The Dissertation Examining Committee must vote unanimously that the student has passed the Ph.D. Final Examination. Each member of the Committee indicates her/his assessment of the examination and signs Form II, Temple University Graduate Board, Ph.D. Final Examination. Normally, the dissertation defense is held during the regular academic year. However, a summer defense may be scheduled if all members of the Committee agree. The entire Dissertation Examining Committee must attend the defense. If one or more committee members fail to attend the defense, the departmental chair will not sign the form certifying the defense. All full-time faculty members and members of the university community are invited to participate.

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their Dissertation Examining Committee and register with the Graduate Secretary at least 30 days before the defense is to be scheduled. The Graduate Secretary will arrange the time, date, and room and forward the appropriate forms to the student.

All dissertation oral defense examinations will be publicly announced by the Department in writing at least 10 working days in advance of the examination. The written announcement must be sent to all members of the Dissertation Examining Committee, all graduate faculty in the candidate's department, and the Dean of the Graduate School, and posted in the college.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Sociology
713 Gladfelter Hall

1115 West Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


Dr. Shanyang Zhao


Program Coordinator:

Dr. Shanyang Zhao


Graduate Chairperson:

Dr. Shanyang Zhao



Dr. Rosario Espinal


About the Program

The graduate program in Sociology is devoted to the training of research scholars and educators in the discipline. Students have a variety of career goals, ranging from academic research and teaching to research and administration in private or public agencies. The Department offers two distinct programs of study in Sociology. The master's program provides students with advanced training in policy-oriented research skills with a regional emphasis on the Philadelphia metropolitan area. It is specially designed for those who already work in agencies where such skills are used and who wish to upgrade their qualifications. The doctoral program prepares students for research, teaching, and advanced work in applied settings. The program allows students some flexibility in developing additional specialties within the Department, in special cases incorporating studies in related disciplines.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:

Main, Center City

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m.  Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Sociology
713 Gladfelter Hall

1115 West Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Interdisciplinary Study:

The program encourages students to participate in seminars in other social sciences, including Anthropology, Criminal Justice, History, Political Science, Psychology, Urban Education, and Urban Studies.


The program is affiliated with the American Sociological Association.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

The areas of specialization include:

International Development:  Faculty interests include political and economic issues, racial formation, development in Latin America, migration, comparative family studies, and women in the Third World.

Policy and Applied Sociology:  Students with applied interests can increase their knowledge of research by taking courses in research design, data collection, and data analysis. This can be supplemented by experience working in a variety of organizations.

Race, Gender, and Ethnicity:  These areas comprise both theoretical concerns (feminist theory, racial formation, masculinity, socialization) and applied research in infant mortality, divorce, women in the labor force, women in developing countries, and family-school relations.

Urban Studies:  Underscored by considerations of race and ethnicity, the urban studies component includes research in industrial growth, census undercounting, and education.

Job Placement:

Graduates are typically employed as either teaching-research scholars in an academic setting or as applied researchers and administrators in private and public agencies.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students may take as many as 9 credit hours of coursework. These may be applied toward degree requirements upon matriculation. The particular courses taken on a non-matriculated basis must be approved in advance by the graduate director.

Financing Opportunities

The principal duties of a Teaching Assistant include assisting faculty members in classroom and laboratory instruction, conducting tutorial and discussion sections, and grading quizzes.

Updated 4.15.09