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

A total of 42 credit hours is required beyond the master’s degree: at least 30 hours of graded graduate coursework (including at minimum three additional credit hours in advanced methods training beyond the master’s level core requirements) and up to 12 hours of thesis guidance.

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

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

Qualifying Exam 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 second or third year in the program.

Graduate Handbook
Further information about the PhD degree, including policies, requiements, qualifying exams, the dissertation and coursework, can be found in the 2018-2019 Graduate Handbook.

Did You Know?

PhD students must earn a minimum grade of "B" in required courses and maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 in all coursework.

Residency Requirement

Students must meet the residency requirement of 24 credit hours to receive their PhD.

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.

Susie Sheron

430 Park Hall

Phone: (716) 645-2585

Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences