Students are admitted into a combined M.A./Ph.D. program only. The M.A. is earned by students as they work toward the doctorate. Credit for prior graduate-level work in sociology done elsewhere may be awarded on an ad hoc basis, depending on whether the prior work meets departmental requirements and standards.
The Master’s degree consists of 30 credits, of which 24 must be regular courses and 6 credits may be research credits. Each student must complete an acceptable pre-dissertation research paper in order to demonstrate the student’s ability to complete a sustained scholarly project in a professional way. The final version should be potentially publishable in the form of a journal article. Students are expected to present their research to faculty and graduate students at a colloquium usually held at the end of the spring semester. All requirements for the M.A. are ordinarily completed by the end of the student’s fourth semester.
The requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree include: (1) satisfactory completion of all requirements for the M.A.; (2) a minimum of 24 additional credits of graded course work; (3) two comprehensive qualifying examinations; and (4) a dissertation based on independent research.
A more detailed statement of the requirements for the M.A. and Ph.D. is available on the department website: www.virginia.edu/sociology.