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Sociology - M.A. and Ph.D. PDFDownload to print

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Sociology

215 Merrill Hall
Tel: 330-672-2562


The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Sociology prepares students for research and teaching careers in higher education and for research-based careers in both the public and private sectors. The program offers specializations in criminology and deviance, the sociology of health and mental health, social inequalities (race, class, gender), and social psychology.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Sociology is an intermediate degree required of students in the doctoral program.

Admission Requirements

Applications for admission are accepted from those who will have a completed baccalaureate or master's degree upon starting the program. It is limited to students whose records clearly indicate both scholarly and research potential to do doctoral-level work. For applicants who will have a completed master's degree from another institution upon starting the program, the master's degree/thesis and up to 12 credit hours of relevant coursework with a grade of "B" (3.0) or better from accredited institutions may be accepted for transfer towards the doctoral degree, subject to approval by the Sociology Department and college dean. However, all students who enter the program with an M.A. earned at another institution must take "Professional and Ethical Issues in Sociology" (SOC 72002). This course cannot be waived. If the M.A. is not complete upon admission, students must complete it before the start of the second semester after they begin the program. 

All applicants must submit official transcripts(s), scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the last five years, three letters of recommendation from current/former professors who can adequately evaluate the applicant's past work and potential, and a 1-2 page statement describing the applicant's current academic interests, research interests, long-range career goals, and how admission to the Department of Sociology at Kent State University will facilitate the achievement of these goals.  

For more information about graduate admissions, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Graduation Requirements

M.A.: Requirements for the intermediate M.A. degree amount to 34 total credit hours. This includes 14 hours of required courses, 6 hours for the project and 14 hours of electives.

Ph.D.: Requirements for the degree are 62 total credit hours. This includes 32 semester hours of required and elective coursework, 30 credit hours of Dissertation I (SOC 82199) and passing the doctoral candidacy examination. This examination will include an evaluation of theory, methodology, analysis, and other topics relevant to the student’s specialty areas.

Doctoral program aspirants who do not hold the M.A. upon starting the program must complete all the requirements for the master's degree.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a practical understanding of sociological theory by using it to better understand social phenomena and human behavior, develop new theoretical arguments, pose and attempt to answer research questions, etc. 
  2. Demonstrate a practical understanding of research methods in sociology, including both quantitative methods (e.g., survey, experimental) and qualitative methods (e.g., participant observation, content analysis). 
  3. Demonstrate a practical understanding of statistics in application to social research, including basic multivariate statistics (e.g., multiple regression) as well as advanced techniques (e.g., structural equation modeling).
Thesis/ Dissertation

Complete a dissertation and successfully defend it in an oral examination.