Courses & Requirements
Courses Heading link
For the MA, there is a minimum of 37 semester hours required. For the PhD, there is a minimum of 24-40 semester hours required and 19-35 dissertation research hours. The minimum number of hours beyond the baccalaureate is 96. For more detailed information on courses, please see the graduate manual.
Required First Year Courses
- Classical Sociological Theory (Soc 585)
- Sociological Statistics (Soc 401)
- Sociological Research Methods (Soc 500)
- Proseminar (Soc 595)
- Contemporary Sociological Theory (Soc 587)
- Sociological Statistics (Soc 402)
- Sociological Research Methods (Soc 501)**
**Soc 501 is the first part of a two semester methods course. The second part is Soc 509. Students can choose to enroll in 501 in their second year if interests align more.
Required Second Year Courses
- Sociology of Inequality (Soc 542)
- 500 level seminar from available core or specialty courses**
- Independent Study (Soc 596) for 4 credits to work on publishable paper
**Students may take additional advanced seminars in their second year, but the above courses are required for the MA. See our full list of core courses and specialty courses below.
Required Courses for the PhD
Course Requirements Beyond the MA
- Sociological Research Methods (Soc 509)**
- Three 500 level seminars (2 out of the 4 must be from the core courses, 2 of the 4 can be from specialty courses)
- Colloquium on College Teaching of Sociology (Soc 593)
** Students can take the 509 that is associated with the 501 to fulfill this requirement or take any other 509 offered in the program.
Prior to defending the dissertation proposal, students should register for Soc 596 for research hours. After defending the proposal, students should register for Soc 599.
- Race (Soc 525)
- Gender (Soc 524)
- Organizations (Soc 547)
- Children and Youth (Soc 515)
- Global and Transnational (Soc 549)
- Political Sociology (Soc 565)
These courses vary due to faculty availability and interests:
- Sociology of the Body
- Economic Sociology
- Racial Capitalism
- State Violence
- Feminist Theory
- Race, Gender and the Law
Requirements Heading link
Students are required to complete their course requirements for their MA within two years. Once students have taken this coursework, they may apply to the PhD program. No MA thesis is required to earn an MA in Sociology at UIC. Please see the graduate manual for more details.
Students who have already earned Masters of Arts (MAs) in Sociology from peer institutions still must earn their MA at UIC. Students coming into UIC’s program with an MA in Sociology may petition the Director of Graduate Studies to have two courses from their previous institution count towards their MA at UIC. These are usually first-year courses (like theory, methods, or statistics). Students may only ‘opt out’ of two required courses (8 credits) in our program. And, these courses must be replaced by advanced seminars at UIC.
The Area Exam measures students’ broad expertise in a designated substantive area of sociology which includes: 1) being able to trace the genealogy of the area and map out core debates; 2) to synthesize and apply broad theoretical approaches; and to 3) effectively communicate knowledge of the field in written form. Students should also be able to offer their own unique analysis of the material – pointing out key lacks, making critiques of certain approaches and applying the theory to empirical cases.
Students will take the Area Exam after their second year in the program. Students must be admitted into the PhD program (at the end of their second year) to be eligible to sit for area exams. Area Exams are currently offered in the following areas:
- Race and Ethnicity
- Race, Class & Gender
- Organizations & the Economy
- Global and Transnational Sociology
- Political Sociology & Social Movements
- Spatial Inequality
Students may also create a new exam area. The student would need the support of three faculty (two of whom must be at least 50% in the department, all of whom must be at least 0% appointments in the Department) who indicate their willingness to evaluate the exam.
Registration & Enrollment Policies
Full time graduate students must be enrolled for at least 8 credit hours each spring and fall semester. (If a student is on financial aid, they must be enrolled for 9 credit hours each spring and fall semester.) This requirement may vary based on other factors, such as outside of department waivers or fellowships.
Registration Post Proposal Defense: Students must remain registered from the time they defend the dissertation proposal until the dissertation defense. They cannot take a leave of absence. For more information, see the Graduate College registration policies.
Doctoral Degree Requirements
Dissertation Proposal and Defense: Students are expected to defend their dissertation proposals by December of the fourth year. The dissertation proposal is a prospectus of the dissertation. The dissertation proposal defense is considered the preliminary exam requirement for the Graduate College.
The Graduate College must approve all steps needed to obtain a doctoral degree. Generally, the College asks for 3 weeks to process paperwork.
The Graduate College has limits on time to degree. An extension can be granted through advisor, departmental, and Director of Graduate Studies approval.