Degree Requirements

Admission Policy

Students are admitted on a competitive basis. Admitted students must have a Baccalaureate degree (BA or BS) or equivalent, a minimum 3.0 (B) GPA in undergraduate work, and the intent to complete a Ph.D. in sociology. We consider GRE scores, undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, writing samples, a personal essay, and professional experience when making admission decisions for the Ph.D. program. Please see our Application Process. We strongly encourage applications from women and minority groups. Application materials are due December 1st to be considered for the following fall’s entering class.

Five-Year Degree Program

The Ph.D. program is a five-year degree program. Students will normally obtain a master’s degree after two years of study and research, and will usually need an additional three years to complete the requirements for a Ph.D. The course work is sequenced and will typically be completed in 2½ years. By this point, students will be required to have written their Masters thesis and completed their Masters degree. This leaves 1 semester to take the comprehensive exams and 2 years to complete the dissertation.

Each student will attend a monthly Teaching and Professionalization Workshop that the department will hold throughout the academic school year. Read more about the Course of Study for a Ph.D. in Sociology.

Master’s Degree

The Sociology department does not have a M.A. program, and students seeking only a masters degree will not be admitted. The Master of Arts degree is earned as a student progresses toward the Ph.D. Students who currently hold a Master's Degree are welcome to apply. However, Ph.D. students must complete 4 semesters of residency and coursework at Rice University. At the department’s discretion, some credits may transfer from other graduate programs.