Curriculum

MA Program

The M.A. in Sociology is awarded upon successful completion of at least 24 credits of coursework and a 6-credit thesis.

Total Credits: 18

Term 1 (9 credits)

  • SOCI 500: Classical Sociological Theory SOCI
  • SOCI 502: Quantitative Research Design SOCI
  • SOCI 503: Qualitative Research Design Elective Course (3 credits)
  • Professional Development Seminars

Term 2 (9 credits)

  • SOCI 514: Analyzing Quantitative Data in Sociology
  • SOCI 598*: Directed Studies (3 credits)
  • SOCI Elective Course (3 credits)
  • Professional Development Seminars
  • NOTE: *Focused on preparing a thesis proposal that is approved by the end of the term

Total Credits: 12

Term 1 (6 credits)

  • SOCI 515: Qualitative Data Analysis and Professional Writing Seminar (3 credits)
  • Thesis (3 credits)
  • Professional Development Seminars

Term 2 (6 credits)

  • Elective Course (3 credits)
  • Thesis (3 credits) & Defense
  • Professional Development Seminars

Students are required to complete a minimum of 24 graduate course credits. This includes completion of:

  • SOCI 500 (3 credits) Foundations of Sociological Thought
  • SOCI 502 (3 credits) Research Design and Techniques (Quantitative)
  • SOCI 503 (3 credits) Research Design and Techniques (Qualitative)
  • SOCI 514 (3 credits) Analyzing Quantitative Data in Sociology
  • SOCI 515 (3 credits) Analyzing Qualitative Data in Sociology
  • SOCI 598 (3 credits) Directed Studies (focused on completing an approved thesis proposal)

Occasionally other graduate-level methods and theory courses can substitute for these required courses with permission from the SGSC. At least 18 course credits should be from departmental graduate seminars; the remaining credits can be from upper-level undergraduate courses (300 or 400 level), directed studies courses and/or "external" courses offered by other departments.

The SGSC or Supervisor may recommend or require that a student take specific or additional courses. All requests for registration in undergraduate courses, directed studies courses and "external" courses must be submitted to and approved by the SGSC. Please note that students are required to register for specific courses each term. Students who have finished all of their coursework must register for the thesis course (SOCI 549) in order to be considered registered full-time and to be eligible for awards.

The Professional Development (Pro-D) Seminars will consist of several one-time events help each term that cover important professionalization issues. Pro-D seminars will be co-organized by graduate students and the Director of Graduate Studies, who, together, will select specific focal topics and recruit appropriate faculty panelists to participate. The dates and times of the Pro-D seminars will be announced at the start of each term.

It is expected that all graduate students attend each Pro-D seminar as well as all other departmental seminars, such as the visiting distinguished speaker series and job talks given by candidates for a department faculty hiring. Participation in these events will be one factor considered each year in evaluating each student’s standing in the program as well as in deciding teaching assistantship placements and other potential funding allocations.

Full-Time Study

MA students should expect to take two years to complete the program.

The first full-time study is typically devoted to the theory and methods seminars and the remaining credits of additional coursework. As indicated in the program outline above, students are expected to take three courses in each of the first two terms and the remaining courses during the following summer and/or fall terms. (Directed studies courses are especially suited to the summer session.)

To ensure timely progress, students are expected to work on—and ideally complete—their M.A. thesis proposal in the summer following their first year. The second year of study normally consists of coursework, thesis research and thesis writing.

Full-time M.A. candidates must spend at least one winter session (September-April) as a full-time student and are normally required to have completed at least 18 credits of course requirements within two years of registration in the program. Students should not expect to continue if they have not met this requirement.

Full-time M.A. students are required to pass the thesis examination within five years of registration. Students may request from the Faculty of Graduate Studies a year of leave for reasons of health or personal crisis which will not be counted towards the five year time limit. Parental leave is also available upon request.

Extensions beyond the five year limit are not normally granted and students who have not passed the thesis defence by the end of five years should not expect to continue in the program. Finally, note that full-time students cannot engage in remunerative work for more than 12 hours per week.

Part-Time Study

The Department offers part-time study for the M.A. in Sociology. There is a maximum time limit of five years for part-time students to complete the program. Admission to part-time studies is the same as for the regular M.A. program. A period of residence is not required of part-time students and part-time M.A. students are not eligible for graduate fellowships or loans.

Students can transfer from one status to the other with permission from G+PS. If the time in a degree program has expired, a student must apply for readmission rather than reinstatement. Upon re-admission, the student can receive up to 12 credits towards the degree at the Department's recommendation. In exceptional instances the Department can recommend "reinstatement". Reinstatement implies that the student never left the program and that tuition fees must be paid for the time away.

For master's students registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Fail (F) for individual courses is defined as below 60%:

Grading Scale:

  • 90-100 (A+)
  • 85-89 (A)
  • 80-84 (A-)
  • 76-79 (B+)
  • 72-75 (B)
  • 68-71 (B-)
  • 0-67 (F: Fail)

Only 6 credits of pass standing (60-67%) may be counted toward a master's program. For all other courses, a minimum of 68% must be obtained. Some graduate programs may require a higher passing grade for specific courses.

If a course is repeated, both marks will appear on the transcript. The higher mark will be used to determine promotion in a program and in any decision to admit or withdraw a student from a program. For all other purposes, averages will be calculated using both marks.

Evaluation

M.A. and Ph.D. students are evaluated twice a year by the Sociology Graduate Studies Committee. Students are also evaluated in May by all faculty members at an annual departmental meeting. Evaluations are generally based on coursework, progress on the thesis proposal, and research and writing of the thesis/dissertation as appropriate and according to specified time limits.


PhD Program

The Ph.D. in Sociology is awarded to students who successfully complete:

  • All of the M.A. course requirements or equivalent
  • At least 12 additional credits of coursework (including SOCI 501)
  • Two comprehensive examinations
  • A dissertation proposal
  • A dissertation
  • A defense of the dissertation in a university examination

The first year of study is typically devoted to coursework and preparation for the comprehensive examinations. The second year combines comprehensive examinations and work on a dissertation proposal. The third and subsequent years are devoted to dissertation research and writing.

Full-time Ph.D. students are required to have completed their program within six years of registration. All course requirements and comprehensive examinations should be completed prior to registration for a fourth year of Ph.D. study.

Total Credits: 6

Term 1 (3 credits)

  • SOCI 501: Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • Comprehensive Area 1 Examination
  • Professional Development Seminars

Term 2 (3 credits)

  • SOCI Elective Course (3 credits)
  • Comprehensive Area 2 Examination
  • Professional Development Seminars

Students are required to write two separate comprehensive examinations which are normally taken in the third year of the program and must be completed prior to commencement of the fourth year of the program.

Whenever possible, students should select comprehensive examinations that build upon their prior coursework and training. Students who do not pass both comprehensive examinations will not be advanced to candidacy and may not continue in the program. A student failing a comprehensive examination may repeat it once.

The Department offers comprehensive examinations in 10 areas. Below is the list of these areas and potential faculty examiners for each area:

  1. Community and Urban Sociology: Carpiano, Fu, Hanser, Lauer, Lauster, Mawani, Richardson, Tindall
  2. Culture: Abrutyn, Duina, Ghaziani, Hanser, Veenstra
  3. Family: Elliott, Johnson, Lauster, Martin-Matthews, Qian, Stecklov, Yodanis
  4. Gender: Creese, Currie, Elliott, Fuller, Ross, Qian
  5. Health: Abrutyn, Carpiano, Fu, Martin-Matthews, Richardson, Veenstra
  6. Race/Ethnicity: Creese, Elliott, Mawani, Roth, Stecklov, Wilkes
  7. Social Inequality: Corrigall-Brown, Creese, Fu, Fuller, Guppy, Hirsh, Lauer, Roth, Veenstra, Wilkes, Yodanis
  8. Social Movements: Corrigall-Brown, Ghaziani, Tindall, Wilkes
  9. Sociological Theory: Abrutyn, Duina, Kemple, Mawani
  10. Work/Economy: Creese, Fuller, Hanser, Hirsh

Total Credits: 6

Term 1 (3 credits)

  • Dissertation Prospectus
  • SOCI Elective Course (3 Credits)
  • Professional Development Seminars

Term 2 (3 credits)

  • Prospectus Defense/Dissertation
  • SOCI Elective Course (3 credits)
  • Professional Development Seminars

After satisfactory completion of coursework and comprehensive examinations, a dissertation research proposal may then be formulated for acceptance by the student's Advisory Committee. The specific contents of the proposal document are to be determined by the student’s committee, but generally include a discussion of the study aims and hypotheses, background literature motivating the project, methodology, and estimated project timeline.

While there are no formal procedures regarding the conduct of the proposal defense, the Advisory Committee is expected to meet with the student to discuss the proposed research. A common format consists of the student first presenting to the committee a brief (15 minute) powerpoint presentation of their proposed project and then engaging in a question and answer session with the committee members. Doctoral students cannot begin any formally supervised work on the dissertation proposal until all coursework and comprehensive examinations have been completed and the dissertation proposal has been formally approved by all members of the Advisory Committee.

In year 4, students are required to complete a 3 credit advanced methods course. This course, which can be focused on either qualitative or quantitative methods, is intended to provide a student with more specialized methodological training in order to facilitate the student’s dissertation research. The course does not have to be a Sociology course and can be an advanced (3 credit) methods course offered in other units on campus (e.g., Education, Nursing, and Psychology) or beyond (e.g., another university).

In selecting which course to take, students should consult with their faculty advisor as well as the UBC course catalog for considering potential options. Please note that, for some courses, students may need to contact the course instructor in order to obtain permission to enrol in the course.

The Sociology Ph.D. program involves successful completion of at least 12 course credits (including SOCI 501). Incoming students who have not already completed courses which are deemed to be close equivalents to the required courses in years one and two will be required to complete the missing courses in addition to the required 12-credit program. At least 6 course credits should be from departmental seminars.

Where appropriate, students may take additional coursework in Sociology and/or other relevant fields, although it may be advisable to only audit courses that are not needed for credit. The SGSC, Supervisor or Advisory Committee may recommend or require that a student take specific or additional courses.

Please note that students are required to register for specific courses each term. Students who are not enrolled in any graduate-level courses must register for the dissertation course (SOCI 649) to be considered registered full-time and to be eligible for awards.

Term 1

  • Dissertation
  • Professional Development Seminars

Term 2

  • Dissertation
  • Professional Development Seminars

Term 1

  • Dissertation
  • Professional Development Seminars

Term 2

  • Dissertation Defense
  • Professional Development Seminars

The Professional Development (Pro-D) Seminars will consist of several one-time events held each term that cover important professionalization issues. Pro-D seminars will be co-organized by graduate students and the Director of Graduate Studies, who, together, will select specific focal topics and recruit appropriate faculty panelists to participate. The dates and times of the Pro-D seminars will be announced at the start of each term.

It is expected that all graduate students attend each Pro-D seminar as well as all other departmental seminars, such as the visiting distinguished speaker series and job talks given by candidates for a department faculty hiring. Participation in these events will be one factor considered each year in evaluating each student’s standing in the program as well as in deciding teaching assistantship placements and other potential funding allocations.

Ph.D. students are required to complete a dissertation that makes an original contribution to knowledge. Dissertation work is supervised and evaluated by the student's Advisory Committee. As well, the dissertation is evaluated by two examiners from UBC outside the Advisory Committee and one examiner external to UBC. Copies of completed dissertations are available in the AnSo Thesis Room.

For doctoral students registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Fail (F) for individual courses is defined as below 68%. Some graduate programs may require a higher passing grade for specific courses.

Grading Scale:

  • 90-100 (A+)
  • 85-89 (A)
  • 80-84 (A-)
  • 76-79 (B+)
  • 72-75 (B)
  • 68-71 (B-)
  • 0-67 (F: Fail)

If a course is repeated, both marks will appear on the transcript. The higher mark will be used to determine promotion in a program and in any decision to admit or withdraw a student from a program. For all other purposes, averages will be calculated using both marks.

Evaluation

M.A. and Ph.D. students are evaluated twice a year by the Sociology Graduate Studies Committee. Students are also evaluated in May by all faculty members at an annual departmental meeting. Evaluations are generally based on coursework, progress on the thesis proposal, and research and writing of the thesis/dissertation as appropriate and according to specified time limits.