2012 - 2013 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:

No specific coursework is required.

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 be approximately 500-1,000 words and should include the following elements: your interest in Temple's program; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 100 iBT or 600 PBT.

Writing Sample:

The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to conduct research and write a scholarly paper. The writing sample should be on a sociological topic, and no more than 25 pages in length. It must be fully referenced according to a professional and scholarly style.


A personal resume or curriculum vitae is required.

Transfer Credit:

Graduate coursework in Sociology may be transferred from outside the university, provided that the credits were obtained no more than five years prior to the student's matriculation at Temple and the grades are "B" or better. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 12.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 54

Required Courses:

Two courses in social theory:

SOC 8111:  Classical Social Theory

SOC 9111:  Contemporary Sociological Theory

Two courses in methods of inquiry:

SOC 8011:  Logic of Inquiry

SOC 8221:  Qualitative Methods

Two courses in statistics:

SOC 8211:  Inferential and Multivariate Statistics

SOC 9211:  Data Analysis

SOC 9998:  Pre-Dissertation Research (3 s.h.)

SOC 9999:  Dissertation Research (minimum 6 s.h.)

Nine electives, including two courses related to the preliminary examination. Additionally, these electives may include any of the following:

  • 5000-level courses: Graduate courses at the 5000 level are surveys in particular substantive areas. Graduate students enrolled in these classes generally are required to complete more work than the undergraduates in the class. Only one 5000-level course taken with the permission of the instructor and the Graduate Chair will be counted toward the degree.
  • Independent Study courses (SOC 9382 and SOC 9383): With the consent of the Graduate Chair and the instructor, students may take one Independent Study course, which is an intensive program of study within a specific area of Sociology. Students who wish to take Independent Study courses must submit to the Graduate Chair at the beginning of the semester a Department Independent Study Request Form describing the readings and/or research they propose to undertake. The form must be signed by both the participating faculty member and the Graduate Chair. A final statement on the work completed must be filed with the Graduate Chair at the end of the semester. Letter grades are given for these courses.
  • Outside courses: As part of their elective courses, students can take only one course outside the Sociology Department. This must be approved by the Graduate Chair.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Pre-Candidacy Evaluation:

The Sociology Department evaluates doctoral students at the end of their second year using the Grade Point Average (GPA) as a main criterion for advancement to doctoral-level coursework. A student with a GPA below 3.4 is ordinarily not allowed to continue in the doctoral program. However, the student can petition the Graduate Committee for re-consideration.  After a petition is submitted, the Graduate Chair requires a written evaluation from each faculty member in the department with whom the student has taken a course. The student is permitted to continue in the Ph.D. Program if at least five faculty members write in support of the petition. Those not allowed to continue can graduate with an M.A. upon completion of the requirements.

Preliminary Examination:

After completing the required coursework, doctoral students are expected to take a preliminary examination in the Spring semester of their third year. The preliminary examination consists of two parts: the written area examination and the proposal paper. Based on the written area exam grade and the evaluation of the proposal paper, the Graduate Chair assigns an overall “pass” or “fail” to each student for the preliminary examination. Students are notified of their prelim results at the end of the semester. Students need a “pass” on the written exam and an “acceptable” evaluation on the proposal paper to successfully complete the preliminary examination. Those who do well on one part but fail the other may retake the part they have failed. Those who fail both the area exam and the proposal paper are allowed to retake both parts. Students who fail on their second attempt at either the written area exam or the proposal paper are not allowed to continue in the Ph.D. program but are eligible to receive a master’s degree.

Written Area Exam: Prior to taking the preliminary examination, students must complete two or more graduate-level courses related to that examination area offered by the faculty within the department. When doctoral students complete the required coursework, they must then take the preliminary examination in one of the three broad examination areas identified by the Sociology Department as consistent with its mission and self-defined areas of strength: Race and Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality, and Urban and Globalization. However, students may request to take the exam in another area under the following conditions: (1) the student has taken at least two graduate-level courses in the Sociology Department in the requested area, one of which may be an independent study course; (2) two faculty members are willing to sponsor the exam; and (3) the Graduate Chair approves.

No later than the second Monday in September prior to the Spring semester when the preliminary examination will be taken, students must fill out the Department Preliminary Examination Application Form and indicate the selected prelim area. At the beginning of the Fall semester, two faculty members from the prelim area are appointed by the Department Chair to form a Prelim Committee, which consists of a chair and one regular member. The committee members are charged with: (1) updating the integrated prelim reading list for the area; (2) writing and submitting four prelim questions to the Graduate Chair by March 15; and (3) grading the exams. The Department Chair also appoints a tiebreaker to read the exam if the committee does not agree on the evaluation.

The written area examination consists of four questions, and students must select and answer two of those questions. Students are given one week to complete the preliminary exam. Students receive the questions the second Monday in April, and the answers are due the third Monday in April. The Prelim Committee members have two weeks to evaluate the exam, assigning a grade of “Pass” or “Fail” to each question along with their comments. A total of at least three “Pass” grades from the two graders is needed for a student to pass the exam. When the graders both agree to fail a question (even if they pass the other question), the student has failed the preliminary exam. The tiebreaker should be used either when: (1) one grader passes both answers and the other grader fails both answers; or (2) when one grader passes the first answer and fails the second, while the other grader fails the first answer and passes the second. If the tiebreaker fails to break the tie (i.e., three fails and three passes), the student fails the exam. Grades with comments are submitted to the Graduate Chair.

If the student fails the written area exam, s/he may retake the exam. At the beginning of the following Fall semester, three faculty members (including a tiebreaker) in the prelim area are appointed by the Department Chair to form a Prelim Committee. The committee submits four questions to the Graduate Chair by October 15. The student receives the questions the Monday of the week before Thanksgiving week and the exam is due on the Monday of Thanksgiving week. The committee has two weeks to grade the exam.

Proposal Paper: In the Spring semester of the preliminary examination, students are also required to take a three-credit proposal seminar course (SOC 9998). They must receive a passing grade on the written paper for the course in order to pass the preliminary examination.

The proposal paper is the main assignment of the proposal seminar. Every student selects a faculty member with expertise in her/his research area to serve as a proposal reader. The proposal reader meets with the student at least twice during the semester to discuss the paper: once before Spring break and once after Spring break. At the end of each meeting, the reader provides the student and the instructor of the proposal seminar course with a brief narrative of the strengths and weaknesses of the paper. The instructor may meet with the reader to discuss the student’s progress in the writing of the proposal paper. The week after Spring break, the instructor submits a report to the Graduate Chair with a brief description of the performance of each student. Any student who is underperforming is called to a meeting with the Graduate Chair in the presence of the instructor and the proposal reader to take corrective measures.

On the official last day of classes, students submit their proposal paper to the instructor and the reader. The paper should demonstrate mastery of the existing body of literature on the proposed topic and the ability to formulate important scholarly research problems, as well as the appropriate methods to investigate them. It should not exceed twenty pages and should have no fewer than twelve pages. The evaluation of the proposal paper focuses on the student’s potential for writing a passable dissertation. Evidence of such potential includes the ability to synthesize the relevant literature, to conceptualize a researchable problem, and to propose a feasible research design. The instructor and the reader have a week to grade the papers. Each must submit a detailed, descriptive evaluation of the paper to the Graduate Chair, indicating whether it is “acceptable” or “unacceptable.” If the instructor and the reader disagree on the evaluation of the paper, a third department member with expertise in the area is appointed by the Graduate Chair to provide a determining evaluation. The main goal of the paper evaluation is to assess the student’s ability to write a dissertation.

If the student fails the proposal paper, s/he may rewrite the paper. The Graduate Chair appoints a faculty mentor with expertise in the research topic to work with the student on the rewriting of the paper; the mentor also serves as a grader. In addition, the Graduate Chair appoints another faculty member to serve as a second grader. If a tie occurs between the two graders, the Graduate Chair finds a third grader to break the tie.

The rewritten paper is due the first Monday in December. The appointed faculty members evaluate the paper and report to the Graduate Chair in two weeks whether the paper is “acceptable” or “unacceptable.” Students are notified of the results by December 15.

Doctoral Advisory Committee:

Following the preliminary examination, the student selects the Chair of her/his Doctoral Advisory Committee. The remaining two or more members of the committee are selected by the student in consultation with the Chair. The majority of the committee members must be from the Sociology Department. Other members may include faculty from other departments within Temple University or from other universities; doctoral-level expert advisors from outside university settings may also be considered as members.

To establish the Doctoral Advisory Committee, the student must submit a Sociology Department Doctoral Advisory Committee Form to the departmental Graduate Coordinator. To include committee members who are not members of the Temple Graduate Faculty on a Doctoral Advisory Committee, the Chair of the committee must request approval by submitting the Nomination for Service on Doctoral Committee Form and the proposed committee member’s current curriculum vitae to the Graduate School. If a change is made in the composition of the Doctoral Advisory Committee, the change must be approved by the Chair of the committee; if the change involves the Chair of the committee, the Graduate Chair should be informed beforehand and the original Chair of the committee must be notified. The change must also be noted on the original Sociology Department Doctoral Advisory Committee Form and signed by both the committee Chair and the Graduate Chair.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee meets at least once a year to review the candidate's progress and provide advice to the candidate.

Dissertation Proposal:

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.

The student distributes a summary (five pages or less) of her/his proposal to all faculty members of the department at least two weeks prior to the oral defense of the proposal. One complete copy of the proposal should also be available in the office of the departmental Graduate Coordinator. All department faculty and graduate students are invited to attend the presentation of the dissertation proposal. Normally, proposal defenses are held during the academic year. All members of the committee must be present at the proposal defense, but an alternate member may be requested with prior approval from the Graduate Chair.

The dissertation proposal is accepted only when members of the dissertation committee vote unanimously to accept it. An approved dissertation proposal along with the Dissertation Proposal Transmittal Form must be filed with the Graduate School. After defending the dissertation proposal, a student is formally advanced to Ph.D. Candidacy.

If a change is made in the composition of the Doctoral Advisory Committee after the approval of the proposal, the change must be approved by the Chair of the committee and the Dean of the College. The change must be noted on the Request for Change in Dissertation Committee Form and filed with the Graduate School prior to posting the final dissertation defense.

Dissertation Defense (Ph.D. Final Examination):

The dissertation is defended orally. Any discrepancy between the final version of the dissertation and the dissertation proposal should be explained and defended. One copy of the final dissertation should be made available in the office of the Sociology Department at least two weeks before the dissertation defense. An abstract of the dissertation, not exceeding ten pages, must be given to all faculty members ten days before the defense.

The Dissertation Examining Committee is formed to evaluate the quality of the dissertation and conduct the oral defense (see the Announcement of Oral Defense Form). The committee includes the Doctoral Advisory Committee and at least one outside examiner. If the outside examiner is not a member of the Temple Graduate Faculty, the Chair of the Doctoral Advisory Committee must request approval by submitting the Nomination for Service on Doctoral Committee Form and the outside examiner’s current curriculum vitae to the Graduate School at least four weeks in advance of the scheduled defense. Approval must be received prior to posting the oral defense. The Chair of the Dissertation Examining Committee must be a member of the Graduate Faculty but may not be the Chair of the candidate’s Doctoral Advisory Committee. This person, responsible for coordinating and conducting the defense, must be identified when the defense is posted with the Graduate School.

All dissertation oral defense examinations are publicly announced by the Sociology Department in writing at least ten 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 Graduate School. It must also be posted in the College. All dissertation examinations are open to the entire academic community.

Normally, the dissertation defense is held during the regular academic year. A dissertation defense passed after the Graduate School deadline in the Spring does not qualify the student for a May degree. A summer defense may be scheduled only if all members of the committee agree. The entire dissertation committee must attend the defense. If one or more committee members fail to attend the defense, the Departmental Chair cannot sign the form certifying the defense. All faculty members and students are invited to participate in the dissertation defense.

The dissertation committee must vote unanimously that the student has passed the Ph.D. Final Examination. Each member of the dissertation committee indicates her/his assessment of the examination and signs her/his name to the Final Examination Report for Doctoral Candidates Form. If the Chair of the Sociology Department agrees that the dissertation meets departmental standards, s/he signifies her/his approval by signing for the department as well on the Final Examination Report for Doctoral Candidates Form. The completed form is submitted to the Dean's Office of the College of Liberal Arts.

Information regarding the required format of the dissertation is available at http://www.temple.edu/dissertationhandbook/ on the Graduate School website. A processing fee must be paid to the Temple University Bursar as shown on the Dissertation/Thesis Processing Fee Form. Fees may also be required when filing the dissertation electronically, within 30 days of the dissertation defense, at http://dissertations.umi.com/temple. The student should heed the instructions found on the Checklist for Final Dissertation and Thesis Materials. Note that the Signature Page bearing original ink signatures constitutes the only materials required to be submitted in hard copy to the Graduate School.

Students must apply to graduate, through the Sociology Department, by the announced deadline date. These dates are given in the graduate catalog each year. They are usually three or four months before graduation. Applications may be obtained from the departmental Graduate Coordinator or online. Upon completion of the doctoral program, the student is required to submit a bound copy of her/his dissertation to the Sociology Department, as well as a regular hard copy to the Chair of the Dissertation Examining Committee.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Sociology
713 Gladfelter Hall

1115 Polett Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


Pamela Smallwood


Graduate Chairperson:

Dr. Dustin Kidd



Dr. Robert Kaufman

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 doctoral program provides advanced training in sociological theory, statistics, and research methods. The three main areas of graduate teaching and research are Race and Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality, and Urban and Globalization.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:

Main Campus

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 Polett Walk
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 three areas of specialization are Race and Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality, and Urban and Globalization.

Race and Ethnicity:

Race and ethnicity are important components of many societies. In the United States, they are central to the organization of society and create what some scholars have called a “racialized social formation.” At the same time, race and ethnicity are complexly intertwined with other types of identity, more prominently with gender, class, religion, and sexual orientation. Overall, racial thinking is closely linked to how some societies function, and sociologists have developed methodologies that are unique to this subfield.

This area encompasses sociological perspectives on ethnic and racial identities, inequalities, and interactions. Emphasis is placed on the long tradition of sociological research, from the early 20th century to the present, including but not limited to research on assimilation, racism, racial and ethnic stratification, prejudice and discrimination, immigration, and racial formation.

Gender and Sexuality:

Gender provides a lens through which to understand the social construction of similarity and difference and the sociological, historical, political, and economic forces that both shape and reflect women’s and men’s roles, statuses, resources, physical traits, and relationships with others. Attention is given to gender’s intersection with race, ethnicity, class, sexual identity, and immigration status.

One major focus is gender and inequality, which investigates the relationship between sex and gender and the socioeconomic rewards distributed through the labor market and the welfare state. Emphasis is on how sex and gender relate to poverty, women’s relative position in the income distribution and occupational hierarchy, the operation of work organizations, and the construction of social policy.

Another area, kinship, explores global changes in families, competing theoretical perspectives on the role of kinship structures in gender inequality, parenting and childhood, and social networks as well as the impact of public policy on the welfare of modern families.

Gender also encompasses body and sexuality, which includes the social construction of sexual identity, historical changes in identity construction, the social and cultural shaping of bodies, and gender differences in this process.

Urban and Globalization:

The area of urban and globalization comprises the study of the structures and processes that shape urban life. Globalization deals with the global interpenetration of national, regional, and local economic, social, and political processes. Consequently, each area requires competence in the other.

The urban sociology field focuses on how the organization of space produces and reproduces inequality by race, ethnicity, gender, class, family type, and sexuality. It features analyses of competing theoretical explanations for urban spatial patterns linked to inequalities that include power and politics, culture, racial and ethnic discrimination, and economic and political institutions. Urban sociology has a social problems orientation that looks at the manifestation and production of inequality with a wide range of topics, including homelessness, poverty, racial segregation, crime and delinquency, unemployment and underemployment, and environmental problems. A unique feature of the urban sociology field is its ability to link the physical dimensions of space (location, neighborhood, housing, access to place-based amenities) to social inequality. A major feature of urban sociology looks at mechanisms accompanying globalization, the development of world cities, the ways in which cities are integrated and exploited within a global economy, and the role of immigrant flows in shaping global cities.

Job Placement:

Graduates of the Ph.D. program 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-Matriculated Student Policy:

Students with a bachelor's degree may take graduate courses in the Sociology Department without being enrolled in any Temple University graduate program. No more than three graduate courses (9 credits) taken prior to admission will be accepted for a Sociology degree. Non-matriculated students should consult with the Graduate Chair before selecting their coursework if they plan to apply for the degree program.

Financing Opportunities

The Sociology Department and Temple University support full-time students during the academic year through teaching assistantships, part-time teaching, and University and Future Faculty Fellowships. Initial funding is contingent on the recommendation of the admissions committee; continued funding is based on faculty assessment at the annual graduate student review. Funded students are typically offered a 5-year funding package. Additional support for dissertation research is available through fellowships competitively awarded by a variety of governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and foundations.

Updated 2.12.13