Sociology Ph.D.

Introduction

The Sociology Department at UCSC is intellectually innovative, both in its interdisciplinary nature and in its commitment to inquiry that is engaged with the world beyond the university. The Ph.D. program leads to both academic and non-academic careers. It distinguishes itself by its interdisciplinary nature. The program is designed to educate students in sociological theory and methods and in the discipline's major substantive areas while simultaneously exposing students to other arenas of intellectual inquiry that will aid them as they pursue their research questions and interests. After completing a group of required courses, students work closely with individual faculty members in designing their own course of study. The program leads to a Ph.D. in sociology. While a terminal master of arts (M.A.) program is not available and students are not admitted directly into the M.A., students have the option of applying for a non-terminal master's degree en route to the Ph.D. The program leads to a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in sociology. A master's degree may be taken en route to the doctorate, but a master’s program per se is not available.

The core curriculum is divided into two parts, 1) basic grounding in sociological theory and methods, and 2) exposure to research in three areas of concentration: a) political economies and political ecologies; b) new studies of inequality; and c) culture, knowledge, and power. To prepare students to conduct their own research projects, the department trains students in multiple methods—field research, critical ethnography, cultural analysis, comparative historical analysis, and quantitative data analysis. For an overview of the faculty members' research interests, please refer to the program description.

Funding

Graduate students are supported through teaching assistantships, teaching fellowships, research fellowships and other grant/fellowship opportunities. A number of faculty receive research grants that support graduate student research assistantships.

When asked what they most appreciate about the sociology graduate program, most students cite the students’ and faculty’s commitment to social change in combination with their dedication to teaching, scholarly research, and understanding of the social forces of our society. The Sociology Department’s colloquium series enhances scholarship, practice, and collegial networks. The diversity in age, ethnicity, and work experience of the student body creates a vibrant atmosphere for learning.

Many of the faculty in the Sociology Department have affiliations with other departments and programs on campus, and the graduate program consequently encourages interdisciplinary work. Seminars in the anthropology, environmental studies, history, history of consciousness, politics, psychology, and feminist studies programs are open to sociology students. Graduate students in sociology may obtain a designated emphasis on the sociology Ph.D. diploma indicating that they have specialized in a specific field in addition to sociology, such as feminist studies, Latin American and Latino studies, critical race and ethnic studies, environmental studies, philosophy, or education. Students must meet requirements for the designated emphasis as spelled out by the relevant department. For a complete list of programs that offer a designated emphasis, refer to the fields of study in the General Catalog. Students also participate in research projects under the auspices of a number of interdisciplinary social science research centers: the Science and Justice Research Center; the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems; the Center for Labor Studies; the Chicano/Latino Research Center; the Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California; the Affect Studies Working Group; the Urban Studies Research Cluster; and the Interdisciplinary Development Working Group. Research opportunities also are available in the areas of environmental studies, feminist studies, and lesbian/gay/queer studies.

Many of our graduate students present papers at professional conferences and publish articles during the course of their graduate studies. The sociology master’s paper is designed to prepare students to write for professional journals. Ongoing faculty seminars focusing on concrete research topics are available for advanced graduate students working on papers and dissertations in related areas.

The sociology program provides graduate students with many teaching opportunities so they can practice the skills required for good teaching—the ability to articulate ideas, to organize and present materials in logical sequence, and to listen attentively and discern someone else’s comprehension. Graduate students typically serve as teaching assistants for at least three quarters, if not more, in the department’s core classes of the undergraduate curriculum.

The Sociology Department at UCSC is intellectually innovative, both in its interdisciplinary approach and in its commitment to inquiry that is engaged with the world beyond the university.

Details of the policies for admission to the graduate program, the requirements for the Ph.D. degree, and information on financial support opportunities are available from the Department of Sociology. For more information, please refer to the Graduate Studies section of the catalog.

Advancement to Candidacy

Course Requirements

Students are required to take at least 10 courses as follows.

A three-course core group:

SOCY 201The Making of Classical Theory

5

SOCY 202Contemporary Sociological Theory

5

SOCY 203Sociological Methods

5

Two methods courses:

SOCY 204Methods of Quantitative Analysis

5

and one of the following eight courses:
SOCY 205Field Research Methods

5

SOCY 206Comparative Historical Methods

5

SOCY 209The Analysis of Cultural Forms

5

SOCY 241Cross-National and Cross-Cultural Research

5

SOCY 242Feminist Research Seminar

5

SOCY 268A
/BME 268A/FMST 268A/ANTH 267A
Science and Justice: Experiments in Collaboration

5

SOCY 282Social Policy Research

5

PSYC 248Survey Methods

5

Two of three thematic area courses:

SOCY 220Global Transformation: Macrosociological Perspectives

5

SOCY 240Inequality and Identity

5

SOCY 260Culture, Knowledge, Power

5

A minimum of three elective graduate seminars, one of which may be from outside sociology (excluding SOCY 250 and SOCY 293).

SOCY 204: Students with no background in statistics are strongly advised to take an undergraduate course in statistical methods before enrolling in Methods of Quantitative Analysis, but can be admitted with permission of the instructor.

Elective Courses

A minimum of three elective graduate seminars, one of which may be from outside sociology (excluding SOCY 250 and SOCY 293). The elective course offerings change yearly. This selection of courses are offerings from the recent past.

SOCY 208Writing Practicum

5

SOCY 209The Analysis of Cultural Forms

5

SOCY 220Global Transformation: Macrosociological Perspectives

5

SOCY 223Sociology of the Environment

5

SOCY 225Political Economy for Sociologists

5

SOCY 229Work and Labor Markets in the New Economy

5

SOCY 240Inequality and Identity

5

SOCY 242Feminist Research Seminar

5

SOCY 244Race and Ethnicity

5

SOCY 246Class, Culture, and Movement

5

SOCY 249Feminisms and Cultural Politics

5

SOCY 255Engaging Cultural Studies

5

SOCY 256Urban Sociology

5

SOCY 257Colonialism, International Law, and Global Justice

5

SOCY 259Space and the Politics of Difference

5

SOCY 260Culture, Knowledge, Power

5

SOCY 263Cultural Politics of Difference

5

SOCY 268A
/BME 268A/FMST 268A/ANTH 267A
Science and Justice: Experiments in Collaboration

5

SOCY 268B
/FMST 268B/BME 268B/ANTH 267B
Science and Justice Research Seminar

5

SOCY 290Advanced Topics in Sociological Analysis

5

SOCY 209 SOCY 268A: Can be taken as an elective if not fulfilling the methods requirement.

Students are required to take two of the three thematic area courses—SOCY 220, SOCY 240, SOCY 260—and the third may count as an elective.

For more information about courses offered in the 2018-19 academic year, please visit the course listings at the Sociology Department website.

Pre-Qualifying Requirements

Beginning at least by the end of the first year, students initiate work on their master’s paper.

Completion of the master’s paper and required coursework is expected by the end of the second year.

Graduate students prepare field statements in two distinct areas of sociology as a written pre-qualifying stage to the oral qualifying examination.

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination is an oral defense of the student’s dissertation proposal and occurs one quarter after the pre-qualifying field statement stage has been passed.

Students are expected to take their oral qualifying examination by the end of the third year, but no later than the end of the fourth year.

Dissertation

Dissertation

After passing the qualifying examination, a student advances to candidacy and begins work on the dissertation with the aid of a three-person dissertation committee.

Dissertation Defense

After the complete dissertation has been submitted to and accepted by the dissertation committee, students must pass an oral dissertation defense.