Student Handbook



Independent Studies

Independent studies are based on arrangements made between a professor and one or more graduate students to study a mutually-agreed-upon subject for one semester. In order to register for an independent study, the student (in consultation with the professor) must compile a syllabus that specifies the required reading and writing requirements as well as the meeting schedule. This syllabus must be submitted to the graduate director for approval. Independent studies are considered as equivalent to seminars in workload and hence they count as elective courses for your degree requirements. Students may take no more than two independent studies during their time in the graduate program, one counted toward the M.A. requirements and one toward the Ph.D. requirements.

Courses Outside of the Sociology Department

a. Number of outside courses - Students may take up to two courses outside of the Sociology Department that count toward their elective requirements (1 for the M.A. degree requirements and 1 for the Ph.D. degree requirements)

b. Inter-University Doctoral Consortium Courses - Graduate students at Rutgers may take graduate courses at several other universities in the region (e.g., Columbia University, CUNY-Graduate Center, the New School, New York University, Princeton University) at no extra cost. Enrollment in courses at other institutions through this program requires the permission of the student’s advisor, the Sociology Graduate Director, and the instructor of the course at the host institution. The form required to register for courses in the consortium is available on the Graduate School webpage. These classes count as courses taken outside the department. Thus, no more than two such courses can be used to meet the program requirements.

Grades and Incompletes

a. Grades - You must receive grades of A or B in 14 of the 16 required and elective courses to receive a Ph.D. All required courses must have a B or higher.

b. Incompletes - We strongly discourage students from taking an incomplete in a course. Having an incomplete frequently impairs a student’s ability to complete subsequent work on time. If a student is unable to complete all the requirements for a course, the instructor may assign a grade of incomplete if they think the circumstances are warranted. The Graduate School requires that a student make up the work for an Incomplete within twelve months of the end of semester in which the incomplete grade was assigned (e.g., an incomplete in a course from the fall semester 2015 must be completed and the grade turned in by the end of the grading period for the fall semester 2016). Excessive Incompletes: Any student with more than 2 incompletes in any given semester will face discontinuation from the program. SGS requires that a student with 2 incompletes has only 1 semester to reduce the incompletes to 1. Any student who has not made-up their final incomplete within 1 year will face discontinuation from the program.

Transfer of Credits

a. Students may apply to transfer up to 12 credits towards the MA degree requirements at Rutgers. Students may apply to transfer an additional 12 credits towards the PhD degree requirements. These may be used for required or elective courses in the degree program upon approval of the graduate director.

b. All transfer courses must be regular numerical or letter graded classes (not courses graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory or pass/ fail). Courses with grades below B cannot be transferred for credit in our program. Individually arranged reading courses are also not accepted for transfer credit.

c. The transfer of credit can only be made after completion of 12 graduate credits at Rutgers University.

d. The Graduate School does not approve any credits to be transferred for the degree at Rutgers for courses that were taken more than 6 years before the transfer request.

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