PhD in Sociology

Students working together outside.

The PhD in Sociology offers a unique combination of academic rigor and faculty mentoring that prepares students to become first-rate researchers and educators.

Degree Requirements

PhD students must earn 72 credit hours (including up to 12 hours of thesis guidance).

Unless taken during the master’s program in the Department of Sociology at UB, PhD coursework must include the required core courses in sociology:

  • Two courses in statistics (SOC 504 and SOC 607)
  • Two courses in methods (SOC 606 and one advanced methods course of your choosing)
  • Two courses in theory (SOC 567 and 568)

Qualifying Exams and Dissertation
For completion of the PhD degree, students must pass two qualifying exams in departmental areas of specialization. They must also research, write and successfully defend a dissertation that demonstrates independent scholarship and makes a contribution to the discipline. PhD students are expected to defend a dissertation prospectus that outlines their planned research and to initiate work on a dissertation topic under the guidance of their dissertation director and committee, usually during the third or fourth year in the program.

Graduate Handbook
Further information about the PhD degree, including policies, requirements, qualifying exams, the dissertation and coursework, can be found in the Graduate Handbook.

  • Criminology
  • Environmental Sociology
  • Medical Sociology
  • Sociology of Race/Ethnicity


Contact Us

We encourage prospective students to complete an information request form to learn more about pursuing graduate work in the Department of Sociology. Current students may contact their faculty advisor or the Director of Graduate Studies with questions.