Jul 21, 2024  
University of Alberta Calendar 2024-2025 
University of Alberta Calendar 2024-2025

Doctor of Philosophy (Sociology)

Program Requirements

The PhD requires registration in a combination of coursework and thesis research comprising a minimum of 36 units, and completion of the mandatory ethics training requirement. PhD candidates are required to complete 18 units beyond the foundational courses of the course-based MA at the University of Alberta, or equivalent. At least 15 units of the required coursework (normally taken in the first year) consists of graded 500- and 600-level courses: 12 units in sociology courses and a 3-unit course or equivalent taken outside the Department. The ‘outside’ course may be approved at the 500- or 600-level. At least 3 units of ungraded sociology seminars at the 600-level are normally required (1.5 units each) in the second year. Students must also complete a Seminar in Teaching and Professional Skills. Specific courses taken to meet the requirements are chosen in consultation with the Associate Chair (Graduate) and the student’s supervisor. In addition to coursework, candidates must: demonstrate reading proficiency in a second language through prior credit on the transcript, or completion of a course or standard test approved by the Department; pass a specialization area examination in an area distinct from the thesis; and pass an oral candidacy examination taken in the subject field of the thesis research. Depending on the supervisory committee or student preference, a written examination may also be taken in the thesis subject, prior to the oral candidacy examination. The above requirements are normally completed within the first two years.

Candidates proceed to the completion of the degree, normally within two years, by conducting thesis research and related scholarly activity leading to conference presentations and publication. Candidates may present their thesis research to the Department in the form of a public seminar prior to the thesis defence. Finally, the thesis is defended at an oral examination (see Final Doctoral Examination ).

The normal period of residence is two academic years of full-time attendance at the University of Alberta.

Length of Program

The time required to complete the PhD degree will vary according to the previous education of the applicant and the nature of the thesis research; however, four years is normally required. Candidates must complete their degree program within six years of the time they first register.