Loyola University Chicago

Department of Sociology

Doctoral (PhD) Program

The PhD program in Sociology is designed to produce independent scholars able to research, teach or serve in a variety of settings. We offer comprehensive training in the knowledge and skills which constitute professional competence in the field. The curriculum is designed to equip students with a broad foundation in general sociology and in more specialized knowledge related to students' career interests in teaching, research, governmental work, or public service.

For students entering the program with a BA degree, a minimum of seven semesters of full-time work are usually required to complete the course work for the PhD. During the initial three semesters students take substantive, integrative course work in preparation for the qualifying exams and the doctoral review taken at the beginning of the fourth semester.

This course work includes:

Two required introductory courses

  • History of Sociological Thought (405)
  • Modern Sociological Theory (406)

Four methodology and research courses

  • The Logic of Sociological Inquiry (410)
  • Qualitative Methods in Social Research (412)
  • Statistical Methods of Analysis I (414)
  • Statistical Methods of Analysis II (415)

The third and fourth semesters are taken up with more advanced course work and preparation of the MA thesis. The final three semesters involve specialized courses, individual study, and seminars in areas relevant for the student's scholarly and professional development. Written examinations in two related special fields are normally taken after coursework is completed, and the presentation of a dissertation proposal should follow shortly thereafter.

In planning the more specialized phase of their graduate program, doctoral students are encouraged to take full advantage of the resources of the university and, where pertinent, to take courses in other graduate departments. Prior to passing the preliminary examination students normally take all of their courses within the Sociology Department, unless specific exception is made by the Graduate Program Director.

Students pursuing the PhD in sociology must complete 60 semester hours of work (20 courses) beyond the BA degree, or 30 semester hours (12 courses) beyond the MA. Once enrolled, PhD students may be allowed to transfer up to 30 credit hours of graduate course-work in or related to sociology, completed at another university, based on the Graduate Program Director's evaluation of the student's transcripts. The student's MA thesis or research paper may also be certified at this time as meeting the department's Master's Thesis requirement for the PhD.