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Graduate Program Overview

Admission Deadline Fall Semester 2015

December 8 - Deadline for submission of Ph.D. applications for admission Fall 2015 semester. Applications must be submitted by 11:59:59 pm, Eastern U.S. time, December 8. All students seeking fall admission should meet the appropriate deadline. Late applications may be considered for admission only if all spaces have not been filled and for financial aid only if funds are still available. Go to for more information about the Duke application process and requirements

The Sociology Department at Duke University believes in fostering an inclusive environment where differences are respected, valued and integrated into every facet of the graduate experience. Through our commitment to diversity, we hope to create an atmosphere conducive to high quality education and research that supports the broad spectrum of differences of our students, faculty and staff. Our commitment to diversity extends to a belief in social activism and community involvement. These elements combined ensure that we produce both excellent social scientists and future leaders in academia and beyond.

The Duke University Department of Sociology is committed to maintaining its Ph.D. program at the highest level of quality, and entrance into our program is highly competitive. To those who are accepted and enroll at Duke, we offer an intensive program of study, a supportive research environment, and the opportunity to learn the craft of scholarship from Duke's productive and diverse faculty. Our placements of recent Ph.D.s in excellent jobs within academia and elsewhere is for us a source of pride and professional satisfaction.

The Department of Sociology offers a challenging and rigorous program of study and research training leading to the Ph.D. degree. Although graduate students headed for the Ph.D. receive a Master’s degree at an appropriate point in their graduate careers here, our program of study is organized primarily for Ph.D. candidates. Its main components include seventeen semester length courses, almost exclusively in a seminar setting; informal research training through a close working relationship with one or more faculty members; and, independent research for the doctoral dissertation. Course work usually is completed in two or two-and-one-half years with research training undertaken concurrently. First and second year students have faculty advising committee with whom they meet on a regular basis. The department requires year-long seminars for the first three years. All entering students in the Ph.D. program must complete five required department “core curriculum” courses as soon as possible during the first two years of study. They include courses in sociological theory, statistical analysis, and research methods, and are intended to provide basic skills for advanced work. Other course work includes requirements in two specialization areas. Before the third year, students establish a relationship with a faculty adviser, and work with this adviser to set up a supervisory committee. They also take part in scholarly activities arising out of the department’s seven specializations, and play an active role in shaping the reading lists for each specialization. In the third year, typically in the fall, students take two written qualifying exams based on these reading lists. Upon successful completion of the qualifying exam, students work with their supervisory committee to develop a dissertation proposal, and begin their dissertation research.

Please feel free to write or call the department if you have any questions at (919) 660-0780 or by email at .

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