A Doctoral Supervisory Committee consisting of five members is appointed to direct a student’s work after the master’s paper requirement has been fulfilled. Students entering the program with a master’s degree will form this committee by the second semester of the first year. At least one member must be from the faculty in another department. The chair of the committee is the student’s major professor for the dissertation and normally directs the student’s research for and writing of the dissertation. This committee approves the post-master’s paper program of study, prepares and evaluates the qualifying examinations, approves the dissertation proposal colloquium, judges the final oral dissertation defense, and grants final dissertation approval.
Two written qualifying examinations determine the student’s mastery of general sociological principles and depth of understanding within two areas or fields of specialization. These exams are taken only after all required course work is completed. One of these areas must be in either Comparative International Sociology (CIS) or the Sociology of Population and Health (SPH). The second exam may be taken the other core area, or in an area of specialization defined by the student in consultation with the Doctoral Supervisory Committee.
Students are required to present a dissertation proposal colloquium that is approximately two hours in length and open to all sociology faculty and graduate students. A written dissertation proposal must be distributed to each committee member and available in the main office no later than two weeks prior to the colloquium. The proposal should include a clear statement of the research question, a review of the relevant literature, a description of the methodology to be employed, and the data sources. After successful defense of the dissertation proposal in the colloquium, research for the dissertation may proceed. Students whose dissertation research will involve human subjects are responsible for following the procedures of the University’s Institutional Review Board (www.research.utah.edu/irb).
Students must submit a dissertation embodying the results of research that provides evidence of originality and an ability to do independent investigation that contributes to knowledge in the field. The dissertation should be of sufficient merit to warrant publication in a professional journal or monograph series. Style and format are the same as required for manuscripts submitted to the American Sociological Review and are verified by the Graduate School dissertation editor.
Following submission of the dissertation and prior to graduation, the student must pass a final oral dissertation defense. This is a public examination scheduled by the Doctoral Supervisory Committee. Public notice of the oral defense must be made two weeks prior to the event. A copy of the dissertation must be on file in the Department office and available to faculty and students at the time of public notification. The final format and distribution of the dissertation and abstract as well as the use of restricted data are governed by the Graduate School as described in A Handbook for Theses and Dissertations, which is available on-line at the Graduate School web site (web.utah.edu/graduate_school) under “Students” then “Thesis Office.
Students are expected to complete the doctoral program within five years. Students who are allowed to continue after the normal five years must complete the degree within seven consecutive calendar years. Upon written recommendation from the Dissertation Supervisory Committee and the Department Graduate Director, the Dean of the Graduate School may modify this requirement in extraordinary cases.
The Department will notify students admitted to the Graduate Program in Sociology of departmental policies and requirements that may not be represented in this document. Degree Requirements are subject to change. All students should check the Department web site (www.soc.utah.edu) for the most current degree requirements. The University of Utah and the Department of Sociology are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity in all programs, activities, and employment.