PhD in Sociology

photo of a graduate student participating in a group discussion

The PhD program, offered on a full– and part–time basis, is intended to develop research and teaching scholars who can accomplish major, independent research projects, who are able to advance the substantive and theoretical debates in the discipline through professional discourse and publication, and who are able to teach the basic perspectives in the discipline and at least two more specialized fields at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Duration of the PhD Program

All requirements for the PhD must be completed within six years of first registering as a doctoral student. During this period, continuous registration at York must be maintained.

Part–time study does not entitle students to extra time. Part–time doctoral study is feasible only if the student can collect data for the dissertation as part of their job, or if the student can switch to full–time study for a year or two.

A reasonable rate of progress for a full-time doctoral student who can study throughout the summer terms would be roughly:

PhD Starts
Fall Year 1–2021

Coursework
PhD Seminar 1
insert course selections
Winter Year 1–2022

Coursework
Insert course selections
Summer Year 1–2022

Coursework
insert course selections
Fall Year 2–2022

Coursework
insert course selections

First Comp might begin here
Winter Year 2–2023
PhD Seminar 2
First comp begins, continues or is completed
Second Comp might begin
PhD Supervisor MUST be identified and paperwork submitted to Grad Program Office
Coursework completed
Summer Year 2–2023

First Comp is completed

Second Comp begins continues or is completed
Fall Year 3–2023

Second Comp is completed

Comprehensive Exams completed
Winter Year 3–2024

Dissertation proposal and ethics begins
Full supervisory committee must be identified and paperwork submitted to Grad Program Office
Summer Year 3–2024

Dissertation proposal and ethics
Dissertation Research
data collection and analysis

Dissertation proposal and ethics approved
Fall Year 4– 2024

Dissertation Research
data collection and analysis
Winter Year 4–2025

Dissertation Research
data collection, analysis and chapter writing
Summer Year 4–2025

Dissertation Research
analysis, chapter writing, revisions
Fall Year 5–2025

Dissertation Research
analysis, chapter writing, final revisions
Winter Year 5–2026

Dissertation Research
Final revisions
Defence
Summer Year 5–2026

Dissertation Research
Final revisions
Defence
PhD Ends

If a student has not finished at the end of their sixth year (18th term), they will have to withdraw from the program and seek reinstatement when they have completed all outstanding work and have an examinable dissertation. In exceptional circumstances, an extension may be granted, and the student will be required to register as a part–time student. Such an extension requires formal approval by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and is not granted routinely. Students need the support of their committee supervisor and the Graduate Program Director. In addition, students must write a petition outlining why they have been unable to finish within the normal time period and submit a detailed work plan for finishing the dissertation within the requested extension period.

Degree Requirements

Candidates for the PhD degree must fulfil the following requirements:  (i) doctoral seminar; (ii) course work; (iii) comprehensives; (iv) dissertation proposal; (v) dissertation,