Indiana University Bloomington

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Graduate Degree Requirements

M.A.  |  Ph.D.




15 hours in sociology with a 3.3 GPA overall (may be waived for students with a strong undergraduate record in another field); satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination; three letters of recommendation.

Course Requirements

30 hours, including six hours of the Sociological Research Practicum (S566 and either S567 or S569), S554 (Fundamentals of Social Statistics I), and either S510 (Introduction to Social Organization) or S530 (Introduction to Social Psychology). An introductory undergraduate statistics course is a prerequisite for S554. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.3 in these required courses. No grades below a B- (2.7) in Sociology will be counted toward the degree. See also the general statement regarding grade point average in the Graduate School Bulletin.


The masters thesis requirement is fulfilled by enrollment and participation in S566 and S567 (Sociological Research Practicum) and preparation of an acceptable research paper. The SRP is taught as a two-course sequence in the spring and summer of the first year, and must be taken by all entering students who have not already earned the M.A. degree. Students may elect to substitute S569 (M.A. Thesis) for S567 if they choose to write an "alternative" M.A. thesis that is independent from the SRP; this requires approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, the SRP Director, and an alternative faculty sponsor. Students are expected to complete the M.A. degree by the end of their second year in the program.



Completion of the M.A. degree (or equivalent training) in sociology at a recognized institution with a GPA of 3.3 or better (students with a master's degree in a related field may be admitted, but may need to make up deficiencies); three letters of recommendation; satisfactory Graduate Record Examination scores.

Course Requirements

Ninety hours of course work, of which up to 30 hours may be PhD thesis credit (S869), including the 30 hours counting toward the required courses that apply to the M.A. degree including, S500 (Proseminar in Sociology), S510, S530, S540 (Sociological Theory), S558 (Advanced Research Techniques), S650 (Statistical Techniques in Sociology II), one advanced methods course (S651, S652, S655, S656, S658, or S659), three substantive 600-level courses, one offering of S700 and two elective courses (chosen from the S500, S600, or S700 level). With the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies an appropriate 600 level course may be taken in place of S510 or S530. With permission of the Director of Graduate Studies, one of these electives may be satisfied by either S864 (Independent Readings) or S866 (Independent Research), and both of them may be satisfied by courses from outside the Department which are approved for graduate credit (these credits may not be used to fulfill the Outside Minor requirement). A GPA of at least 3.3 must be maintained for all course work. Students must obtain a B- or better in each of the statistics/methods (S554, S558, S650, advanced methods) and theory (S510, S530, S540) courses, as well as in the three required 600-level courses, the 700-level course, and the two elective courses. These courses may be re-taken once, if necessary. Beginning in Fall 2013, the minimum GPA standard for doctoral students will be increased to 3.5, and no grades below a B will be counted towards the PhD degree.

Students may receive graduate credit for the 400-level courses that are listed in the Graduate School Bulletin, with permission of the instructor and of the Director of Graduate Studies. Graduate students in such a course will be expected to achieve an appropriately higher level of performance than undergraduates also taking the course.

Outside Minor

The outside minor must be chosen from an approved list. Currently-approved minors include: African studies, Afro-American studies, anthropology, Asian studies, business, cultural studies, demography, economics, education, geography, history, history and philosophy of science, human sexuality, Latin American and Caribbean studies, law, linguistics, mathematics, political science, population studies, psychology, religious studies, West European studies, and women's studies. A field not listed may be chosen with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. Requirements for the minor are set by the outside Department, but usually range from 9-15 hours of course work.

Qualifying Examinations

Students must demonstrate basic proficiency in sociological methods either by achieving a GPA of 3.3 or above in the required statistics and methods course sequence (S554, S558, S650, one advanced methods course) or by passing a qualifying examination in methodology.

Students must pass a written qualifying examination in a research specialty of their choosing. Details about this examination are available from the Graduate Secretary.

These two requirements are expected to be completed by the beginning of the fourth year in the program.


Consult the Graduate School Bulletin for detailed requirements. A student advances to candidacy after passing the qualifying examination, completing 90 credit hours and all course requirements. In sociology, students must pass an oral defense of their dissertation proposal. The Final Examination, limited primarily to defense of the completed dissertation, is oral. Dissertation requirements must be completed within seven years from the date on which the qualifying examination is passed.