Sep 28, 2020  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: CONTENT MAY NOT BE CURRENT. USE THE DROP DOWN ABOVE TO ACCESS THE CURRENT CATALOG.

Doctor of Philosophy - Sociology


Plan Description


The Doctor of Philosophy – Sociology offers programs designed for both students holding a bachelor’s degree in sociology or a closely related discipline who have a strong record of academic success, are likely to be highly successful in graduate school, and who have a professional interest in, and commitment to, earning a doctorate in sociology and for students who have already earned a master’s degree in sociology or a closely related discipline, and who can demonstrate evidence of substantial expertise in sociology. This program trains students in advanced sociological concepts and applications, as well as advanced theoretical and methodological frameworks for conducting original research. In addition, students develop at least 2 advanced areas of specialization from among the department’s core areas of specialization. Sociology doctoral students also have the opportunity to participate in our pedagogy and postsecondary teacher training program. Graduates of this program are well prepared for academic research and teaching positions, as well as careers in applied and community sociology.

Educational outcomes for our doctoral program include: development of expertise in both classical and contemporary sociological theories, mastery of both quantitative and qualitative research methods and data analysis, development of specialized expert knowledge in at least two substantive areas, professional socialization, participation in professional organizations, oral presentation skills, familiarity with the process of academic publication of original research, and cultivation of analytical research and writing skills which culminate in the ability to author an original doctoral dissertation of substantial depth and quality. Graduate-level course work in sociology is restricted to students with graduate standing or graduate provisional status in the department, or to those students who have obtained prior written consent from instructors of specific courses in which enrollment is sought and from the graduate coordinator. Please refer to the Sociology Graduate Student Handbook for additional updated information, policies, and procedures.

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes, please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

  1. All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.
  2. Applicants to the Post-Bachelor’s track must hold a bachelor’s degree in sociology from a regionally accredited institution (required). Applicants to the Post-Master’s track must hold a master’s degree in sociology, or an equivalent master’s degree, from an accredited institution in which you wrote and successfully defended a master’s thesis.
  3. Applicants must submit the following to the Sociology department:
    1. Satisfactory scores that are less than 5 years old on the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
    2. At least 3 letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty members who know the student’s work, evaluating the student’s ability to perform at the Ph.D.-level of study. These should include comments on the student’s academic performance, motivation, character, and promise for success in the Ph.D. program.
    3. A statement of purpose, written by the applicant that evidences all of the following: writing skills, professionalism, educational and professional/career objectives, and specific areas of interest in sociology generally, and in the UNLV Department of Sociology specifically.
    4. Writing Samples:
      1. Post-Bachelor’s applicants: Two original writing samples of substantial length and quality that indicate student’s writing and analytical skills, as well as sociological knowledge.
      2. Post-Master’s applicants: M.A.-level thesis or at least two original papers of substantial length and quality in an area of sociological inquiry solely written by the applicant.

If you are interested in applying for a Graduate Assistantship, please be sure to indicate this in your written statement, and complete and submit the Graduate Assistantship online application.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Plan Requirements


See Subplan Requirements below.   

Subplan 1: Post-Bachelor’s Track

Subplan 2: Post-Master’s Track

Subplan 1 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s Track


 Total Credits Required: 72

Course Requirements


Elective Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of elective coursework. Up to 3 credits can be flex credits and at least 9 credits must be SOC 700-level.

Professional Paper – Credits: 3


  • After successfully completing the requirements above, students are eligible to earn the Master of Arts – Sociology.

Advanced ProSeminar Course – Credits: 1


Elective Courses – Credits: 24


Complete 24 credits of elective coursework. Identify 2 areas of specialization among the department’s core areas of study, and complete a minimum of 6 credits in each area. Up to 6 credits can be flex credits and at least 18 credits must be SOC 700-level.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. Of the 60 required course credit hours, a maximum of 9 hours may be used as flex credits toward any combination of the following: Independent Study; Directed Reading; an approved 600-level Sociology course that is unavailable at the 700 level; and/or an approved 700 level course in a related discipline.
  2. A minimum of 63 credits must be completed in 700-level Sociology courses, including dissertation credits.
  3. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in SOC 709 – Learning to Teach Sociology. Doctoral students who have completed their comprehensive exams and SOC 709 may be eligible for autonomous teaching. Doctoral students teaching their own autonomous courses must be simultaneously enrolled in SOC 710 – Teaching Practicum, Teaching Practicum; after one semester of taking SOC 710 for credit, graduate student instructors may audit the class.
  4. Any grade below a B will not be accepted for graduate credit. A grade below a B will result in probation. If a student receives two grades below a B, in the same or different courses, s/he will be separated from the program.
  5. A student may be on academic probation a maximum of two times during their graduate career in Sociology; a third probation will result in separation from the program.
  6. No student shall be allowed more than 2 simultaneous grades of Incomplete, except in the case of documented and approved emergency or medical leave.
  7. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  8. Post-Bachelor’s students must complete 3 credits of Professional Paper before defending their Professional Paper and submitting it to a reputable sociology journal for peer review. Students will establish an Examination Committee, hold a professional paper proposal meeting, author and defend an original piece of research or theory which is then signed-off on by committee members and submitted for peer-review to a reputable sociology journal. The paper need not be accepted for publication for the student to continue matriculating in the program, but the manuscript must make a significant scholarly contribution and be of a high enough quality to merit peer review.
    1. Students must orally present and defend their completed professional paper to her or his Examination Committee, and receive majority approval. There are five possible grades for the professional paper: Pass with Distinction; Pass; Conditional Pass with Rewrites (to be completed within two weeks of notification); Terminal Pass (pass but separated from program after graduation); or Fail.
    2. After a successful defense of their professional paper, students must receive signatures of support from their Committee Chair and a majority of other Committee members prior to submitting their article manuscript to an approved peer-review sociology journal.
    3. Students may complete this stage of the program only after successfully completing all 20 required credits, as well as a minimum of 12 credits of electives (including up to 3 flex credits).
    4. Students may not take any comprehensive exams or complete more than 40 course credits before successfully completing this step in the program.
    5. Students who do not successfully complete this requirement in a timely manner (before completing 40 credits) will be placed on probation.
    6. After successful completion of all required courses (a minimum of 32 total course credits), 3 credits of professional paper, and this professional paper process (proposal, research, writing, oral defense and journal submission), students must submit all required paperwork to the Graduate College for completion of the Master of Arts in Sociology.
  9. Post-Bachelor’s students who, for personal, professional or academic reasons, decide not to continue on for a Ph.D. may be eligible for an optional exit plan with a Masters degree.
  10. Dissertation credits may only be taken after the student successfully defends his/her dissertation prospectus and submits required paperwork to the Graduate College. Students may not take more than 6 dissertation credits per semester.
  11. In addition to a minimum of 60 hours of course work, 12 hours of dissertation credits, and successful completion of the professional paper process as described above, a doctoral student must successfully pass 2 comprehensive examinations in their chosen areas of specialization. Students should refer to the detailed guidelines governing the comprehensive exam process in the Graduate Programs Handbook (see Appendix 1).
  12. The Area of Specialization comprehensive exams will be offered once a semester; students may only take 1 of these exams per semester. Intention to take a comprehensive exam must be given to the graduate coordinator and senior management assistant by the second week of the semester in which students intend to take the exam.
  13. Students may not take a comprehensive exam until they have completed all required course work in these areas.
  14. These specialty area comprehensive exams should reflect logical and substantive depth and breadth of knowledge of these areas. Students are expected to prepare for the comprehensive exams by reviewing class materials, meeting with their Graduate Advisory Committee, meeting with faculty sitting on the Areas of Specialization committees, looking at copies of old exams, and doing systematic independent preparation.
  15. There are 4 possible grades for the comprehensive exams: Pass with Distinction; Pass; Conditional Pass with Rewrites (to be completed within two weeks of notification); or Fail.
  16. A student must retake a failed comprehensive exam within one semester and successfully pass on the second attempt in order to remain in the program. A second failure in the same area will result in separation from the program. During the period of time between the initial Fail on a comprehensive exam and the re-take, the student may not take any other comprehensive exams.
  17. Both comprehensive exams must be completed prior to the student’s dissertation prospectus defense and advancement to candidacy.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements for both the Master’s and Doctoral portions of the program.
  2. Doctoral students are required to complete a minimum of 12 credits of dissertation credits: SOC 799 - Dissertation , write an original dissertation of substantial quality and length on a sociological topic, and successfully defend this work in front of the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee.
    1. Students must work with their Graduate Advisory Committee to ensure quality research, analysis and writing of the comprehensive exams and dissertation.
    2. Satisfactory performance on an oral defense of the dissertation prospectus to be held after the successful completion of all course work and the four comprehensive examinations is required. The oral defense will cover the student’s dissertation proposal and any deficiencies on the comprehensive exams or in the student’s program of study. Upon successful completion of the oral defense of the dissertation prospectus, the student may advance to candidacy and enroll in dissertation credits.
    3. Upon completion of the dissertation, a final oral defense will be held in front of the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee.
    4. Committee members must unanimously pass the student on her or his oral defense for the Ph.D. to be conferred.
  3. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  4. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

Subplan 2 Requirements: Post-Masters Track


Total Credits Required: 51

Course Requirements


Elective Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of elective coursework. Identify 2 areas of specialization among the department’s core areas of study, and complete a minimum of 6 credits in each area.

Up to 6 credits can be flex credits and at least 6 credits must be SOC 700-level.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. Of the 12 elective credit hours, a maximum of 6 hours may be used as flex credits toward any combination of the following: Independent Study; Directed Reading; an approved 600-level Sociology course that is unavailable at the 700 level; and/or an approved 700 level course in a related discipline.
  2. A minimum of 45 credits must be completed in 700-level Sociology courses, including dissertation credits.
  3. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in SOC 709 - Learning to Teach Sociology. Doctoral students who have completed their comprehensive exams and SOC 709 may be eligible for autonomous teaching. Doctoral students teaching their own autonomous courses must be simultaneously enrolled in SOC 710 - Teaching Practicum, Teaching Practicum; after one semester of taking SOC 710 for credit, graduate student instructors may audit the class.
  4. Any grade below a B will not be accepted for graduate credit. A grade below a B will result in probation. If a student receives two grades below a B, in the same or different courses, s/he will be separated from the program.
  5. A student may be on academic probation a maximum of two times during their graduate career in Sociology; a third probation will result in separation from the program.
  6. No student shall be allowed more than 2 simultaneous grades of Incomplete, except in the case of documented and approved emergency or medical leave.
  7. In consultation with his/her advisor, a student will organize a dissertation committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  8. Dissertation credits may only be taken after the student successfully defends his/her dissertation prospectus and submits required paperwork to the Graduate College. Students may not take more than 6 Dissertation credits per semester.
  9. In addition to a minimum of 39 hours of course work and 12 hours of dissertation credits, a doctoral student must successfully pass 2 comprehensive examinations in their chosen areas of specialization. Students should refer to the detailed guidelines governing the comprehensive exam process in the Graduate Programs Handbook. (See Appendix 1).
    1. The Area of Specialization comprehensive exams will be offered once a semester; students may only take 1 of these exams per semester. Intention to take a comprehensive exam must be given to the graduate coordinator and senior management assistant by the second week of the semester in which students intend to take the exam.
    2. Students may not take a comprehensive exam until they have completed all required course work in these areas.
    3. These specialty area comprehensive exams should reflect logical and substantive depth and breadth of knowledge of these areas. Students are expected to prepare for the comprehensive exams by reviewing class materials, meeting with their Graduate Advisory Committee, meeting with faculty sitting on the Areas of Specialization committees, looking at copies of old exams, and doing systematic independent preparation.
    4. There are 4 possible grades for the comprehensive exams: Pass with Distinction; Pass; Conditional Pass with Rewrites (to be completed within two weeks of notification); or Fail.
    5. A student must retake a failed comprehensive exam within one semester and successfully pass on the second attempt in order to remain in the program. A second failure in the same area will result in separation from the program. During the period of time between the initial Fail on a comprehensive exam and the re-take, the student may not take any other comprehensive exams.
    6. Both comprehensive exams must be completed prior to the student’s dissertation prospectus defense and advancement to candidacy.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements for the program.
  2. Doctoral students are required to complete a minimum of 12 credits of dissertation credits: SOC 799 – Dissertation , write an original dissertation of substantial quality and length on a sociological topic, and successfully defend this work in front of the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee.
    1. Students must work with their Graduate Advisory Committee to ensure quality research, analysis and writing of the comprehensive exams and dissertation.
    2. Satisfactory performance on an oral defense of the dissertation prospectus to be held after the successful completion of all course work and the four comprehensive examinations is required. The oral defense will cover the student’s dissertation proposal and any deficiencies on the comprehensive exams or in the student’s program of study. Upon successful completion of the oral defense of the dissertation prospectus, the student may advance to candidacy and enroll in dissertation credits.
    3. Upon completion of the dissertation, a final oral defense will be held in front of the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee.
    4. Committee members must unanimously pass the student on her or his oral defense for the Ph.D. to be conferred.
  3. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  4. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

Plan Graduation Requirements


Refer to your subplan for Graduation Requirements.

Subplan 1: Post-Bachelor’s Track

Subplan 2: Post-Master’s Track