Ph.D. Requirements

The Duke Sociology Department has designed a rigorous graduate program to prepare students for successful careers in academia and in related fields that demand advanced research and teaching skills. The following materials, together with the University's Graduate Bulletin, should answer most of the questions students usually raise. You should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) if you are in doubt about how the statements made here or in the Bulletin pertain to you. Each student is responsible for knowing and meeting the requirements of the Department and the Graduate School.

Basic Requirements


  • 6 core courses (2 theory, 2 statistics, 2 research methods)
  • 2 methods electives (in qualitative or quantitative methods)
  • 7 electives (including up to 4 half courses)

Professional Development

  • First-year professionalization seminar
  • Second-year empirical paper seminar
  • Participation in department colloquium
  • Participation in department workshops
  • Research collaboration with faculty
  • Teaching experience

Exams and Milestones

  • Completion of first-year essay exam
  • Certification in two specialty areas
  • Preliminary Exam (i.e., dissertation proposal defense)