Each doctoral student is required to select two areas of concentration and to complete an examination in each area by the 45th credit hour in the doctoral program. Successful completion of the area examinations is required before one may defend a dissertation prospectus.
A doctoral degree in sociology is granted only to those who have achieved a level of mastery that is necessary to become a professional in the field (i.e., one who is able to contribute to the knowledge base of sociology through research and teaching). The area examinations, therefore, are qualifying exams, and one's performance on both area examinations must demonstrate a level of mastery that is sufficient for becoming a viable professional in the field of sociology. Thus, the area examinations have two purposes:
Concentrations / Exams
Each of these concentration areas has a doctoral program committee which is responsible for general supervision and policy formation in its area.