The College of Liberal Arts at Temple University

Temple Sociology

Research · Teaching · Social Change


Admissions · Master's Program · Doctoral Program 

To apply online, click here.


Graduate Chair:  Professor Dustin Kidd · (215) 204-6850 ·

Graduate Coordinator:  Pamela Smallwood · (215) 204-7750 ·



Temple University's 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 advanced training in sociological theory, statistics, and research methods.


The Doctoral Program concentrates on three main subfields of sociology described below to prepare students for research and teaching in academic settings and for advanced work in applied research settings. The program allows students some flexibility in developing additional specialty areas.


The three main areas of graduate teaching and research are race & ethnicity, gender & sexuality, and urban & globalization.


Race & Ethnicity

Race and ethnicity are important components of many societies, and 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 & 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.


One major focus, gender and inequality, investigates the relationship between sex and gender and the socioeconomic rewards distributed through the labor market and the welfare state. We attend to 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. In all of the above, we pay attention to gender's intersection with race, ethnicity, class, sexual identity, and immigration status.


Urban & Globalization

The area of urban and globalization comprises the study of the structures and processes which 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 feature 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.

In the department, many faculty members have national and international reputations and some serve as consultants to government and community organizations. The department and the university have extensive facilities to aid the researcher, whether graduate student or faculty member, including up-to-date computer laboratories and databases.


Students with applied interests can increase their research skills and their understanding of policy formation by taking courses in research design, data collection and data analysis.


ADMISSIONS (All applicants are required to submit the application online).


Anyone holding a Bachelor's or Master's Degree from an accredited college with demonstrated course work in sociological theory and methods or their equivalent may apply to the Master's or Doctoral program. Students intending to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology may apply directly to the Ph.D. program.  The Department will consider admission of applicants who do not have a degree in sociology if they can demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the discipline through a writing sample. At the discretion of the Graduate Chair, students may be advised to correct their coursework deficiencies by attending classes during the summer prior to admission, or the first fall semester of their residency in the program.


Applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general aptitude tests taken in the five years prior to application. GRE subject tests are not required for admission. Applications must include three letters of recommendation and official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. The Sociology Department does not require proficiency in a foreign language.


Basic Admission Criteria

  • 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. Letters should be mailed to the department mailing address c/o Admissions.

  • Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:
    • No specific coursework is required.

  • Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:
    • A baccalaureate degree 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.
    • For non-US applicants who do not have a US degree, we require the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 79 iBT or 550 PBT. Minimum IELTS score to be accepted: 6.5. Minimum PTE score to be accepted: 53.

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

  • Resume:
    • 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 6 for the MA and 12 for the PhD.

Students whose performance is weak in one of the above criteria may be accepted if they have performed well above average on others.

All applicants are required to submit the application online.


Students must start the programs in the fall semester and part-time pursuit of a graduate degree is possible.


Students interested in pursuing a PhD in sociology at Temple should apply directly to the PhD program, even if they do not currently have an MA.

Applications for admissions to the MA program for the fall semester should be received by March 15th. The application deadline for the PhD program is January 15th. Decisions are made in the spring semester.




Requirements for the Master's Degree are as follows. Students in the MA program must complete the following 12 three-credit courses:

  • Two courses in theory (8111 and 9111)
  • Two courses in methods (8011 and 8221)
  • Two courses in statistics (8211 and 9211)
  • Six electives

This is the general time frame for MA students to complete the 12 required courses:



8111 -  Classical Social Theory
8011 - Logic of Inquiry
1 Elective


9111 - Contemporary Social Theory
8211 - Inferential & Multivariate Statistics
1 Elective


9211 - Data Analysis
1 Elective
1 Elective


8221 - Qualitative Methods
1 Elective
1 Elective




Doctoral students follow the same curriculum as MA students during the first two years of study. All doctoral students will be expected to meet the requirements for the Master's Degree, and may, if they choose, receive the Master's Degree when the requirements have been fulfilled. Beyond the MA curriculum, doctoral students are required to take three additional courses, pass the Preliminary Examination, and complete a dissertation.

Students in the Ph.D. Program must complete the following 15 three-credit courses:

  • Two courses in theory (8111 and 9111)
  • Two courses in methods (8011 and 8221)
  • Two courses in statistics (8211 and 9211)
  • Nine electives (including two courses related to the Preliminary Examination)

The general time frame for doctoral students to complete the 15 courses required for the PhD is as follows:



8111 - Classical Social Theory
8011 - Logic of Inquiry
1 Elective


9111 - Contemporary Social Theory
8211 - Inferential & Multivariate Statistics
1 Elective


9211 - Data Analysis
1 Elective
1 Elective


8221 - Qualitative Methods
1 Elective
1 Elective


1 Elective
1 Elective
1 Elective


Proposal Seminar 9998 (3 credits)
Preliminary Exam

Pre-Candidacy Evaluation


Proposal Defense



Dissertation Research/ Writing

Dissertation Defense


More details about years 4-7 may be found in the Graduate Handbook.


department of sociology | 713 gladfelter hall | 1115 west polett walk
philadelphia, pa 19122 | (215) 204-7760 | fax: (215) 204-3352 |