Academic Calendar 2024-2025

Sociology - Doctor of Philosophy

The doctoral program comprises required course work in sociological theory and methods plus courses selected in one of the department's specializations Power, Inequalities and Social Justice; Criminology and Law; Media, Information and Surveillance; an oral qualifying exam, a written qualifying exam and successful defense of a thesis.


Doctoral candidates will normally take a minimum of four single-term courses in their first year. SOCY 901  and  SOCY 902 (or their equivalents) are normally compulsory.  However, if the Coordinator of Graduate Studies decides that the student's earlier work corresponds to materials covered in SOCY 901 and SOCY 902, alternative courses will be substituted (see below).

Students with an M.A. from Queen's who have already taken SOCY 901 and/or SOCY 902, or those determined to have taken its equivalent, will be required to take other graduate courses in theory and methods offered by the department at the time; or to take appropriate courses in theory and/or methods as Directed Special Readings; or (with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator and the Supervisor) appropriate courses in other departments.

In addition, at least one single-term course in the student's area of specialization must be taken.

With the recommendation of the Supervisor and the Graduate Coordinator, courses may be taken outside the Department.

In addition to the preceding requirement, SOCY 900 is a compulsory course (graded pass/fail).

Ph.D. Qualifying Examinations and Thesis Proposal Exam

By the end of the second term each student, in consultation with their supervisor, must choose up to two other faculty members from the Department to make up the Supervisory Committee. The faculty members on the Supervisory Committee will monitor the student's work towards completion of the dissertation.

By the end of the third term students aim to submit to their Supervisory Committee a written dissertation proposal. This proposal will be assessed in the context of a more general qualifying examination. The Qualification Examination Committee will consist of the student's supervisor and at least one of the other members of the Supervisory Committee, an internal/external examiner, the Head or delegate, and a Chair appointed by the Head (the Head can also serve as Chair).

This examination will be in two parts. The first is a one-week take-home written examination focusing on the relevant theoretical, methodological and substantive areas germane to the student's program. The second is an oral examination, approximately two hours in length, one to three weeks following the written exam, which focuses on the thesis proposal. The possible results of the oral exam are Pass, Refer or Fail. Both parts of the exam will test the student's understanding of the discipline, the viability, scope and coherence of the thesis proposal and the preparedness of the candidate to undertake the proposed research.


General procedures concerning the doctoral dissertation required of all candidates for the Ph.D. are defined in this Calendar (Thesis). The writing and final defense of the dissertation before an Examining Committee will proceed according to the regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.