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PhD Degree

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Doctoral Degree Program

The University of Oklahoma Department of Sociology proudly offers a PhD Degree. This is a highly competitive program that provides rigorous theoretical training and a state-of-the-field foundation in social scientific research methods. Students who complete this degree are expected to produce cutting-edge, high impact sociological/criminological research. Those who complete this degree will also be well positioned to serve as faculty at research universities, excel as instructors at teaching focused institutions, and will also be competitive to pursue non-academic research jobs anywhere in the world. 


Applications Due December 16th, 2024


Application Requirements


  • Completed MA Degree in Sociology, Criminology, or associated field
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Three Recommendation Letters
  • Writing Sample
  • College Transcript(s)


Test Scores:



We strive to provide up to 5-years of funding to most of our PhD students through graduate assistantship positions. This includes a monthly stipend (for 9 months), a tutition wavier, and student health insurance. We also offer competative opportunities for summer funding through our Grasmick/Riddle Summer Research Fellowships. To assist with travel to national and international conferences, the department and university also provide travel grants to graduate students who are presenting their own research.

Graduate Teaching

Our PhD program also emphasizes the importance of teaching. All of our PhD students receive hands-on training and experience in teaching. Our training program includes an orientation workshop for new teaching assistants, a teaching seminar for PhD students, and an opportunity for PhD students to design and teach their own courses. The university also offers extensive resources including the Graduate Teaching Academy through the University of Oklahoma Center for Teaching Excellence.

Why complete a PhD Degree in Sociology?

The PhD degree in Sociology is the pinnacle research degree offered in our discipline. Our program prepares students to conduct the highest levels of sociological and criminological research along with developing and implementing a wide variety of courses in the classroom. Students who have completed our PhD have gone on to fill tenure-track positions in sociology/criminology departments such as:    

  • University of New Hampshire
  • Brigham Young University
  • The University of Arkansas - Fayetteville
  • The University of Indiana - Bloomington
  • The University of Nevada - Las Vegas
  • The University of Wisconsin - River Falls
  • The University of Louisiana - Lafayette
  • among many other examples 


Those who have emphasized their teaching have gone on to be professors at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, Texas Tech University, Northern Arizona University, and many other universities and colleges in Oklahoma and beyond. We have also placed graduates in postdoctorial positions at the University of Indiana, Bloomington and Purdue University. Many of our graduates also go on to work as researchers in a wide variety of public and private agencies including Department of the US Census, Federal, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.


  • Complete 90 hours of graduate course work
    • Two Course Sociological Theory Sequence-  6 credit hours
    • Social Research Methods -  3 credit hours
    • Three Course Social Statistics Sequence - 9 credit hours
    • Professionalization Seminar - 1 credit hour
    • Teaching Seminar - 1 credit hour
    • Master's Degree Transfer Credits - up to 34 credit hours
    • Elective Coursework - minimum of 21 credit hours
    • Doctoral Dissertation Research - 2-24 credit hours

Beyond the required coursework, 6 or more hours must be housed in the Department of Sociology at the 5000-level or above. The remaining 15 hours of electives may be additional courses in department, Directed Readings (SOC 5960) or courses housed outside the department.

Basic Timeline to Complete PhD Degree

FALL SemesterSPRING Semester
Fundamentals of Social Statistics - 5283Advanced Regression Analysis - 5483
Sociological Theory - 5933Advanced Methods of Social Research - 5293
Professionalization Seminar - 5821Issues in Sociological Theory - 6903
Graduate Elective CourseTeaching Seminar - 5831
  • Apply for Summer Research Funding in April
  • Chose an PhD advisor to oversee Advisory Conference Report (ACR) 
FALL SemesterSPRING Semester
Cat, Panel, and Advanced Soc Stats - 5683Graduate Elective Course
Graduate Elective CourseGraduate Elective Course
Graduate Elective CourseGraduate Elective Course
  • Apply for Summer Research Funding in April (Max 2 summers)
  • Complete Advisory Conference Report (ACR) by Spring
  • Choose Comprehensive Exam Areas in Spring
  • Reorganize Committee to Exam Graders
  • Submit co-authored paper to peer reviewed journal
  • Present research at a professional meeting
FALL SemesterSPRING Semester
Complete General ExamsDefend Dissertation Proposal
Form Dissertation CommitteeComplete any Remaining Coursework 
Complete any Remaining Coursework 
  • Submit additional articles to peer-reviewed journal, first or solo authored if ready
  • Present research at a professional meeting
  • Prepare an upper level undergraduate course to teach
  • Seek out research funding 
  • Make substantial progress on your dissertation
  • Apply for external and university level funding for dissertation research 
  • Submit multiple articles to peer-reviewed journals
  • Present research at a professional meeting
  • Prepare for academic market in Fall of Year Five
  • Apply for jobs in the Fall and early Spring
  • Apply for additional year of funding from department by December
  • Apply to Graduate in Spring
  • Complete and Defend Dissertation by mid-late April 
  • Submit additional articles to peer-reviewed journal
  • Present research at a professional meeting