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Program Requirements By Year

Graduate Program Requirements: Important Deadlines

This is a quick summary of the deadlines and requirements for the graduate program.  These rules and requirements are described at greater length in the Graduate Handbook.   This document provides a ready summary.  Students in the Joint Degree Program in Sociology and Public Policy and students in the Demography Program will have additional requirements.

First year

  1. First year students are required to take four courses each semester.  Two mini-courses count as a single course.  A reading course counts as a course.  Precepting is equivalent to a course.
  2. First year students are required to complete the following required courses: Research Methods and Classical Theory (first semester); Contemporary Theory (second semester); and one statistics course each semester (decided based on previous experience in consultation with the Graduate Director or a faculty member designated by the Graduate Director).
  3. By the end of the first year, students must have successfully completed this coursework and have chosen a mentor who will advise them and serve as second reader for their first qualifying paper “the empirical paper” in their second year.

Second year

  1. Second year students are required to take four courses each semester.  Two mini-courses count as a single course.  A reading course counts as a course.  Precepting is equivalent to a course.
  2. The only two courses specifically required of second-year students who have completed the first-year sequence satisfactorily are the half-semester Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity seminar and the two-semester Empirical Seminar. Students must complete an acceptable first qualifying paper (empirical paper) by the end of their second year and have it accepted by the first reader, who will always be the instructor of the Empirical Seminar, and the second reader, who will be the second-year mentor-advisor.
  3. Students must satisfy the language requirement by the end of their second year.
  4. By the end of the second year, students should have chosen the areas in which they will take their comprehensive exams and the faculty who will examine them in each area. (Demography students must take the demography exam at the end of their first year; they will therefore only take two additional areas for their Sociology comprehensive exam.)  

Third year

  1. Students must complete their comprehensive exams by January of their third year (the second of three exam periods authorized by the Graduate School).  Each student is responsible for submitting a “contract” specifying the examination areas, examiners, and reading list well in advance of the examination.  (To be certain that one’s set of areas is acceptable, it is a good idea to check with the DGS as early as possible.)
  2. Students must complete their second qualifying paper by the end of their third year, and have it accepted by their first and second reader.  
  3. By the end of the third year, students should have a good idea of the subject of their dissertations.
  4. Most students will have completed their precepting obligation by the end of their third year.  Those who have not must complete them in the fourth year.

Fourth year

  1. Each student must submit a draft prospectus no later than January 15th of the fourth year, and must submit a revised prospectus and complete a successful prospectus meeting with his or her dissertation committee no later than March 15th of the fourth year in order to be eligible for reenrollment for a fifth year.   Exceptions require written approval from the student’s dissertation chair and the Graduate Committee.

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Where extenuating circumstances justify a deadline extension, students may request such extensions, which may be granted at the discretion of the Graduate Director, with the advice of the Graduate Committee.  (In the case of extensions to the prospectus deadline, a vote of the Graduate Committee is also required.)