Program of Study

Sociology Graduate Guide

The Curriculum: Required Courses

Several basic and advanced courses are required of all students who enter with only a bachelor's degree. In addition, they are required of other students who cannot demonstrate previous equivalent work at the graduate level. These courses include:

  • The above courses constitute 39 of the required 60 credit hours for completion of the doctoral program. Students can earn the remaining 21 credits required for their degree by enrolling in any combination of the following course offerings:Classical Sociological Theory, for three credit hours.
  • Contemporary Sociological Theory, for three credit hours.
  • Proseminar I: Professionalization, for two credit hours.
  • Proseminar II: Survey of Departmental Subfields, for one credit hour.
  • Two semesters of advanced social statistics for six credit hours. 
  • One semester of sociological research methods, for three credit hours.
  • One seminar in advanced sociological methods, for three credit hours.
  • Three semesters of "foundational" courses, for three credit hours each.
  • Three elective courses in a variety of substantive areas of the discipline, for a total of 9 credit hours.


  • Master’s thesis research credits (a maximum of 6 credits can be applied toward required total of 60)
  • Dissertation research credits (a maximum of 12 credits can be applied toward required total of 60)
  • Graduate seminars offered by the Sociology Department above and beyond the required courses
  • 1-credit training seminars offered by the Sociology Department
  • Graduate courses offered by other Notre Dame departments
  • Advanced undergraduate Sociology courses at the 40000 level (not to exceed 10 credit hours)
  • Directed Readings (not to exceed three credit hours per semester and six credit hours total)

Directed Reading courses ought to be confined to reading and research on highly specialized topics that are immediately relevant to the student's interests and that are not routinely covered in the regular curriculum. These courses are not to be employed as substitutes for readily accessible forms of classroom training.

To schedule a Directed Readings course, the student should obtain the permission of the cooperating faculty member and complete the appropriate form, copies of which are available in the departmental office. On this form, the student must explain the reasons for this unusual arrangement as well as list the materials to be explored. Forms signed by the cooperating faculty member are to be returned to the departmental office, where they are retained in the student's personal file.


Graduate Minors

Gender Studies Graduate Minor:

Peace Studies Graduate Minor:

Screen Cultures Graduate Minor:

Graduate Training Program in Environment and Society (GLOBES):