Graduate Handbook 2011-2012
Outline of the Graduate Program
Theses tables outline the expected schedule for progression through the Ph.D. program. (For important dates see the Graduate School’s Schedule of Academic Dates and Deadlines.)
|Semester 1||Semester 2|
|Statistics I||Statistics II|
|Theory||Logic of Emp. Soc. Research|
|Pro-Seminar (audit, no credit)||Workshop (ok to audit)|
|Semester 3||Semester 4|
|Research Paper Preparation||Research Paper Revision|
|Audit classes not previously offered|
|Semester 5||Semester 6|
|Teaching Fellowship||Teaching Fellowship|
|Field Exam||Thesis Prospectus|
|Teaching Fellowship and Dissertation Research/Writing|
|University Dissertation Fellowship (UDF): Students apply for UDF in either 5th or 6th year|
|Dependent on Student Progress and Available Funding|
Twelve (12) seminars to be completed in Years 1 and 2. Four required courses and eight electives, including at least one workshop.
This course provides an introduction to probability theory, sampling theory, distribution and measurement theory, linear regression and the general linear model.
This course provides training in multivariate methods including event history analysis, models with categorical and ordinal dependent variables, models for censored and sample selected data.
This course will be taught by a rotating group of faculty. Rather than specializing in one or another theorist or perspective, it will survey theoretical ideas from classical to modern to contemporary debates. The course may be organized around themes, or consider significant theorists one by one. It will provide a synthetic overview of conceptual issues and ways of thinking that mark the sociological imagination.
Logic of Empirical Social Research
This course focuses on broad strategies and issues in empirical research rather than on methodological techniques as such. It considers questions of causality, explanation, the relation of theory to research, problems of data interpretation, and research design.
Offered during the first semester on a weekly or biweekly basis, students will be presented with the full range of current faculty work. Very little student preparation will be required, and no examinations or papers. Students register as audit for course.
One semester of workshop is required; no more than two semesters of workshop can be taken for credit. Credit will be conferred if students do the full range of readings and develop a final paper. Students are encouraged at least to audit workshops outside their specialties.
Second Year Research Paper
In addition to finishing the course requirements, which should involve no more than four courses in the second year, the student’s second year focus will be on formulating, researching, writing, presenting, and revising an extended paper. This paper is supervised by a committee of two faculty members, the chair of which shall be the student’s adviser or, with the latter’s permission and the student’s agreement, another faculty member in Sociology. A draft of this paper shall be presented in a departmental workshop in the course of the second year. After receiving feedback from workshop participants, students will revise the paper in consultation with their committee, which will evaluate it no later than May, at the end of the student’s fourth semester.
Students should have the Research Paper form (available at the end of this handbook) signed by the committee and then submit it to the departmental registrar.
The aim of the second year Research Paper is to gain experience in the process of writing for publication. By making use of systematically generated evidence -- whether derived from survey research; archival documents; interviews; field observations; media or similar texts; experimental results; simulations, or other relevant empirical data -- the student should adjudicate among theoretical claims, address a research question in a fresh way, and/or solve an empirical puzzle. The result of this effort will not necessarily be itself a publishable paper, but will be a significant step towards this goal. Limited to around thirty pages, it will represent a reasonable product of one academic year’s part-time work.
The second year Research Paper may or may not be related to the student’s prior or subsequent graduate work.
A Field Exam must be completed by the end of the 5th semester. The Field Exam will be evaluated by a committee of two faculty members, typically composed of the student’s academic adviser and another faculty member chosen by the student in consultation with the adviser. (With permission of the adviser, another Sociology faculty member may serve as chair of the Field Exam committee.)
Students may choose between two types of Field Exam, General or Special. The exams are similar in the amount of work required but differ in character.
The General Field Exam covers one of the following broad subfields within sociology: (1) stratification and inequality; (2) historical-political sociology; (3) culture; (4) race and urban sociology; (5) gender and sexuality; (6) economic and organizational sociology; (7) sociological theory. Pre-established reading lists will be made available via the DGS, to which the student may contribute additional readings. The student will write a twenty to thirty page paper that reviews this material, addressing it in a distinctive way.
The Special Field Exam is more narrowly focused and based on a reading list compiled by the student in consultation with her or his Field Exam Committee. The student shall identify some centrally important theme and/or controversy in sociology, and will discuss it in a twenty to thirty page paper.
After the General or Special Field Exam is completed and has passed faculty scrutiny, a committee meeting to discuss the exam with the student is also required. Students should then have the Report of Field Exam Committee form (available at the end of the handbook) signed by the committee and submit it to the departmental registrar.
No later than the beginning of the sixth semester, students will be required to appoint the Chair and two other members of the dissertation committee. By the end of the sixth semester, the student will be expected to defend the Dissertation Prospectus in an oral examination. If students do not pass this defense, they must retake the exam in the beginning of their fourth year (the seventh semester). The Prospectus should include (a) statement of the research problem, (b) elaboration of how the candidate will go about solving the problem, i.e. research design or equivalent, (c) discussion of sources or data to be used and, if appropriate, the methodology, (d) an outline of the planned chapters. Students should submit the completed dissertation prospectus form, signed by the committee, to the departmental registrar with a copy of the prospectus. Form is at the end of the handbook.
While students are expected to take their prospectus exams by the end of their third year — and to pass this exam no later than the beginning of their 4th year — we recognize that student progress through the subsequent, dissertation phase of the program will be variable. Graduate School funding after the fifth year is not guaranteed, but teaching fellowships are sometimes available, as are funds for dissertation research, awarded on a competitive basis by national and international agencies.
The dissertation represents a test of the candidate’s ability to select and carry out a major research project of professional quality. It should show the student’s mastery of the field of specialization, and it must demonstrably contribute to the body of sociological knowledge. The evaluation of the dissertation by the faculty is not a matter of whether or not the prospectus, as approved, was carried out. Rather, it is an independent assessment of the quality and intellectual contribution of the completed research itself as reported in the dissertation.
As well as the traditional style of dissertation we also allow essay style dissertations (normally three essays on a given topic together with an introduction and conclusion).
When a student is ready to submit the dissertation to the Graduate School, they should request a copy of the Dissertation Guidelines from the Graduate School Dissertation Office,141 HGS (phone #432-0461) or email@example.com.
Mentoring and Advising
The DGS will be the “general adviser” for entering first year students, and will continue to be responsible for monitoring students’ progress through the program through the Dissertation Prospectus exam. During their first year, however, after consulting with the DGS, students may request an Academic Adviser, who will replace the DGS as the student’s main academic mentor. By the end of the second semester, students will, in fact, be required to designate such an Academic Adviser, if they have not done so before. Note that students may and sometimes do change Academic Advisers as they proceed through the program.
Faculty will meet at the conclusion of every Spring semester to evaluate the progress of graduate students. The DGS will conduct this meeting, and will consult with students’ Academic Advisers in preparation.
Each semester, the DGS will conduct at least one Professional Development Workshop, in conjunction with other relevant faculty. These workshops will cover such topics as requirements for the graduate program; the preparation and submission of professional papers; grantsmanship, and job market issues.
Students entering the program with Masters Degrees will be eligible for two courses of reduction, though this is by no means automatic. These reductions may apply to electives or to the statistics requirements, but may not apply to Theory or The Logic of Inquiry.
Special arrangements will be worked out for students enrolled in joint Ph.D. or professional programs.
Arrangements between students and instructors concerning incomplete work are constrained by deadlines set by Graduate School regulations: in a single term, only one Temporary Incomplete (TI) is permitted. Temporary Incompletes received in an academic year must be converted to final grades by October 1 of the following academic year. If a grade is not received by the Graduate Registrar by this date, a TI will be converted to a permanent Incomplete (I) on the student’s record.
Serving as a Teaching Fellow or Part-Time Acting Instructor after the second year of full-time study is viewed as an integral part of the graduate education. The Graduate School requires that all students teach in each semester of their 3rd and 4th years unless no teaching positions are available in the department or if the student has research obligations elsewhere (in which case they can register in absentia and defer their teaching positions). Every effort is made to provide teaching positions within the Sociology Department, but if no positions are available, students may be asked by the Teaching Fellow Program office to fulfill their teaching obligations in other departments in the University.
M.A. and M.Phil. Degrees
After completing one year of the program leading to the Ph.D. degree, the student may make application for the Master of Arts degrees. Two of the eight term courses required for the M.A. must include statistics and theory. A grade of High Pass (HP) or above must be achieved in five of the eight required courses. A student may petition for the M.A. degree in the semester following the completion of the requirements.
After all requirements for the Ph.D. degree have been met except submission of the prospectus and the writing of the dissertation, and after at least one year of academic resident graduate study at Yale, the student will be eligible for the Master of Philosophy degree.
It is the responsibility of each qualified student to petition the Graduate School for the M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees at the appropriate times (see Yale University Graduate School Bulletin Programs and Policies). Before doing so, students should consult with the DGS to make sure that they have satisfied all requirements and that their files are in order.
Leave of Absence
Appendix: Forms for Completing Requirements
Following are forms that are used by all students during the course of their graduate studies. Copies may also be obtained from the department registrar (who can also answer any questions about how and when to use them). When completed, they should be returned to the department registrar.