Area Exams

Area exams provide you the opportunity to develop a broad expertise in two subfields of sociology. To pass the exams, you must demonstrate the knowledge necessary for a literature review in their chosen subfields, but also mastery of an independent voice within those subfields. 

Upon completion of your exams, you should be able to: 

  • Interact with professional peers on the basis of shared knowledge and understanding
  • Teach in the field and organize a syllabus
  • Develop original research questions that contribute to the field

Exam Guidelines

See Appendix Two of the The Sociology Graduate Guide

Current Area Exam Committees


  • Terry McDonnell (Chair)
  • Chris Smith
    Lyn Spillman


  • Amy Langenkamp (Chair)
  • Bill Carbonaro
    Joel Mittleman


  • Elizabeth McClintock (Chair)
  • Joel Mittleman
    Abi Ocobock


  • Erin McDonnell (Chair)
  • David Gibson
  • Simone Zhang

Political Sociology

  • Rory McVeigh (Chair)
  • Dana Moss
  • Samuel Valenzuela


  • Anna Haskins (Chair)
  • Steven Alvarado
    Calvin Zimmerman


  • Kraig Beyerlein (Chair)
  • Kevin Christiano
    David Sikkink

Social Movements

  • Dana Moss (Chair)
  • Rory McVeigh
  • Erika Summers-Effler


  • David Hachen (Chair)
  • Steven Alvarado
  • Bill Carbonaro


  • David Gibson (Chair)
  • Ann Mische
    Erika Summers-Effler

Area Exam Dates

Week of October 24th, 2022

Area Specific Guidelines