Student Handbook


B. 2013-2018 COHORTS

The following requirements apply to students who entered the Rutgers Sociology Graduate Program in the fall semester of 2013 to 2018. Students may petition to participate in the 3-6-9 Plan through submitting the 3-6-9 Petition Form to the GPD.

1. M.A. Requirements (see Appendix B for an M.A.–Ph.D. timeline)

a. Four required courses with a grade of B or above

•    Soc. 501 - Sociological Research Methods I
•    Soc. 515 - Classical Sociological Theory
•    Soc. 516 - Contemporary Sociological Theory
•    Soc. 541 - Statistical Methods in Sociology I

b. Six elective courses; 1 may be an Independent Study, 1 may be outside the department, and 1 may be the Writing Seminar.

c. First-year and second-year proseminar (attendance required but there is no course registration)

d. One qualifying paper (QP) (see section VI on Qualifying Papers for details)

2. Ph.D. Requirements (see Appendix B for an M.A.–Ph.D. timeline)

a. All requirements for the M.A. degree listed in section V.1

b. Two additional required courses with a grade of B or above

      •    Soc. 542 - Statistical Methods in Sociology II

      •    One other methods/statistics course from the following:

  • Soc. 520 - Comparative Historical Methods
  • Soc. 573 – Ethnographic Methods 
  • Soc. 615 - Qualitative Research Methods 
  • Soc. 570 - Social Network Analysis 
  • Students may request to use an intermediate/advanced statistics courses at RU-Newark in the Criminal Justice program to fulfill this requirement

c. Four additional elective courses; 1 may be an Independent Study, 1 may be outside the department, and 1 may be the Writing Seminar if this was not used as an elective for the M.A. degree (see section V.3 below for more details on the writing seminar)

d. 24 research credits (these do not substitute for course or independent study credits. See section V. 4 below for more details.)

e. Second qualifying paper (see section VI on Qualifying Papers for details)

f. Dissertation proposal defense

g. Dissertation with successful defense

3. Writing Seminar

Students are required to the take the Writing Seminar once to earn the Ph.D. degree. Students may register for the Writing Seminar for course credit (temporarily offered as 570) or for research credit (703). Either registration fulfills the Writing Seminar requirement. Please note that students may only receive course credit for the Writing Seminar once. All subsequent registrations must be for research credit. [However, students under the 3-6-9 plan can only register for the Writing Seminar for research credit (703)]. The Writing Seminar supports the development of writing skills for completing and polishing a piece of sociological work (e.g., QP, dissertation proposal, or manuscript for submission for journal review). This is a single Writing Seminar that is designed for students using any type of method at any stage of the graduate career. This course is graded only as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. We encourage students to take the Writing Seminar more than one time at varying stages of the program to facilitate progress in completing QPs, submitting papers for publication, and writing dissertation proposals.

4. Research Credits

Students must complete 24 research credits to graduate with the PhD degree. The department advises that students complete 20-24 research credits by the end of their 5th year in the program, although the exact number for each student depends on his or her pace to completion of the Ph.D. Subsequently, students should register for 1 research credit per semester while completing their dissertations. Since these credits are paid for by the department, SAS, or the student, it is important to try not to exceed 24 total research credits through the completion of the Ph.D., if possible.

Below is the suggested timeline for an incoming student in the program who does not transfer any course credits and who plans to complete the Ph.D. at the end of the 6th year. Note that this timeline will vary based on a variety of individual circumstances that students can discuss with the Graduate Director or Administrator.

Year in Program Fall Semester Spring Semester
1 ------ ------
2 ------ ------
3 3 3
4 6-8 6-8
5 1-2 1-2

Students should register for research credits with one of their advisers, that is, with either the primary adviser or the lead reader for their final qualifying paper (except when taking the Writing Seminar for research credits). Students should inform faculty that they are signing up for research credits with them and should agree upon the level of communication and work expected in order to earn an S grade. This generally involves making tangible progress on research and producing some piece of writing (e.g., a draft of a final qualifying paper, dissertation proposal, dissertation chapter, or article for submission). The student and adviser should stay in regular contact about the student's progress over the course of the semester.

ABD students are required to register for a minimum of 1 research credit per semester and should plan research credits accordingly. Once a student’s funding package is complete, research credits will be need to be paid by the student or external funding arrangements. Note: SAS will not provide financial support beyond 75 credits.

Any unapproved lapse in registration will be considered a voluntary withdrawal from the program and the student will be terminated. In extenuating circumstances, students may request a formal leave of absence or register as Matriculation Continued (maximum 2 semesters) with the permission of the Graduate Director.

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