Department of SociologyGraduate Handbook2020 – 2021The requirements described in the Sociology Graduate Handbook apply to members ofthe Fall 2019 and subsequent graduate cohorts. Members of prior cohorts are subject tothe requirements in the 2016–2017 and 2017–2018 Sociology Graduate Handbook.
Table of roductionMajor Areas of the DepartmentPlanning a Course of StudyRequirements for the Ph.D. in SociologyRequirements for the M.A DegreeLearning to Teach: TATTO and Departmental GuidelinesFinancial, Teaching, and Research AwardsGraduate Student LifeBecoming a Professional SociologistFinding a JobGrievance 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.Checklist of Graduate RequirementsApplication for Graduate Research HoursRequest for Change of AdvisorCompletion of the Research Paper RequirementPreliminary Examination ApplicationDissertation Proposal ApprovalDoctoral Degree CompletionRequest for the Appointment of the Thesis CommitteeThesis Proposal ApprovalBypass Course RequirementTransfer Credit RequestApplication for Graduate Directed StudyCompletion of the Master’s DegreeIndividualized Development Plan2834353637383941424344454648
1I.IntroductionThe Department of Sociology Graduate Program trains students to become productive scholars,ready to pursue academic or other research-oriented careers. This Handbook outlines the programrequirements.They include: Courses in methods, statistics, and theorySpecialization in a major area, typically culture & social psychology or health & inequalitySecond-year research paperTeaching seminarPrelim ExamDissertation proposalTeaching a courseDissertationSeveral of the requirements, including core courses in theory and methods, aim to provide a strongbasis for independent scholarship. Substantive courses, the second-year research paper, and thePrelim Exam help to build the students’ expertise.In addition to training students to conduct high-quality research, the department strives to developtheir teaching skills, especially through a required seminar on teaching and at least oneindependently taught class. This dual focus on research and teaching strengthens studentachievement and placement.Two regular seminars guide students’ professional socialization. During the first year, studentsparticipate in a Pro-Seminar, which helps them navigate through the program and gain insight intothe sociology profession. The department also offers a Job Seminar to assist advanced students asthey apply for academic and other research-oriented positions.Excellent resources support our graduate training. Online databases, a great library, powerfulcomputational facilities, and local institutions such as the CDC and Carter Center are among theresources available. The library offers tours of its main building and instructions for use of itsservices. (Students may apply at the circulation desk of Woodruff Library for a carrel for purposes ofreading and studying.)We expect all students to know the provisions in the Handbook and fulfill the department and theuniversity's requirements for a degree. Since a successful graduate career involves more thanmeeting formal requirements, we also expect students to read widely, initiate independentresearch, engage in discussion with faculty and peers, attend departmental seminars and otherevents, and become active in the wider profession. In keeping with a tradition of active mentoring,we encourage students to consult with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), their advisors, andother members of the faculty to develop a course of study that reflects their personal interests andgrowing knowledge.
2II.Major Areas of the DepartmentThe Department focuses on four topical areas and, most importantly, on the intersection betweenthese topical areas. Those areas are 1) culture, 2) social psychology, 3) health, and 4) inequality.Students may focus on any intersection of the four major topical areas, such as health andinequality, or culture and social psychology. In particular, faculty in the Department: Describe and explain how culture is “organized” – such as patterns of aesthetic tastes amongsocioeconomic classes across time and place; patterns in the business models of large-scaleproducers (e.g., record companies, universities) that shape the type of goods they offer (e.g., music,knowledge); and patterns in the diffusion of value-systems (“cultural repertoires”) among nationsand amidst ongoing globalization. Put another way, we treat “culture” as collective cognition. Approach social psychology by describing and explaining how individual level processes arise andunfold – such as the development of an identity (and the memories that entails); the assessment ofwhat is fair and legitimate; and the evaluation of who and what is worthy. In doing so, wecomplement the work of those in psychology by interrogating and demonstrating how small groupsand ongoing social interaction contribute greatly to these individual-level processes. Describe and explain how social factors impinge upon (or “socially determine”) health. Thus, wecomplement a strictly biological approach by showing how socioeconomic class, education, religion,etc. matter for differential access to healthcare, for longevity, for mental health, and for the onsetof various maladies (e.g., diabetes) and practices (e.g., smoking). Describe and explain inequality while attending to its social context. For instance, we hone in onhow racial and gender inequality plays out similarly and differently across various labor markets –delving into why returns to education experienced by women and minorities are greater in somelabor markets than in others. In doing so, we treat such categories as race and gender not as fixedand essential, but rather, as malleable and shaped by context (or, to use a beloved phrase, as “socialconstructions”).Further, faculty make abundantly clear that those four topics are overlapping rather than separated.For example, while the sociological study of “culture” or “social psychology” each has distinctmethods, theories and topics, they also have overarching methods, theories and topics that allowfor dialogue between them. We therefore focus on the intersections between topics, in thecombination that the student chooses.This intersectional approach makes substantive sense. On the one hand, sociological study of bothculture and social psychology are dealing, in essence, with cognition. Cultural sociologists oftenaddress cognition at the meso-level (e.g., socioeconomic classes) and macro-level (e.g., nations),and social psychologists mostly do so at the micro-level (e.g., individuals and small groups). Thus,focusing on their intersection facilitates an investigation that links the micro with the meso andmacro and, in the process, creates exciting intellectual opportunities. On the other hand, thesociological study of health often results in a consideration of “disparities” – those outcomes thatare shaped by social inequalities. Hence, the intersection of health and inequality is a natural one
3to emphasize. This intersectional approach also gives the Department and our students somethingof a distinctive focus in the discipline.III.Planning a Course of StudyNOTE: CHECKLISTS OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS, IN GENERAL AND FOR EACH YEAR OF THEPROGRAM, ARE PROVIDED IN THE APPENDIX. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU USE THESECHECKLISTS TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR PROGRESS IN THE PROGRAM.This Handbook, the Laney Graduate School Handbook and the Laney Graduate School website provideinformation on the requirements for advanced degrees. Students should read them carefully and takefull responsibility for understanding them. Each semester, students must anticipate requirements thataffect them, particularly those involving the Research Paper, the TATTO teaching requirements, thePrelim Exam, the application for admission to candidacy, the dissertation proposal, and the defense ofthe dissertation. Detailed information about these and other requirements, with the respective datesby which they should be fulfilled, is located in these sources. Whenever necessary, students mayconsult their advisors, the Director of Graduate Studies, or the Graduate Coordinator about anyrequirement.A. RegistrationStudents can be registered for course work, typically for credit (though in some cases, students mayopt to audit a course, thereby earning no credit), or for "Graduate Residence," which carries nocredit. Seminars, classes (such as the Methods sequence), and Directed Readings are considered“course work.” Students cannot be simultaneously registered for course work and GraduateResidence.Graduate Residence is for students who continue to study at Emory, receive assistantship and/orfellowship stipends, use the facilities, but are not enrolled in courses. Once a student reaches"tuition-paid status" he or she may register for courses or Graduate Residence Full-Time duringsummer semester and either SOC 599R or SOC 799R during the academic year. Students who havecompleted all credit requirements but need to maintain registration for various reasons must alsobe registered for either courses or residency.Students register for coursework through Patricia Hamilton, the Graduate Coordinator. With thehelp of the advisor, the student chooses the courses for the semester. Students may use thedepartment’s classification of its major topics (Social Psychology, Social Inequality, Health, andCulture) to guide their choice of relevant courses.The Graduate Program Coordinator assists with registration as long as fees are paid and there is nohold against the student’s account; in case of a hold or unpaid fees, the student must speak tosomeone in the Laney Graduate School (LGS) office.Students must be registered for courses or SOC 599 or SOC 799 during the summer, especially ifthey plan to use the library or computer facilities.According to immigration regulations, all international students holding student visas (J1) must beenrolled as full-time students (9 hours or more per semester) and carry full health insurance. ALLSTUDENTS must be registered for 9 credits during the summer, usually SOC 599 or SOC 799.
4B. Regulations Relating to Course WithdrawalsAfter the midpoint of the semester (Date of Record), a student will not be permitted to withdrawfrom a course unless there are clear mitigating circumstances beyond his or her control. The studentmust request that the Director of Graduate Studies send a letter supporting the proposed withdrawto the Graduate School. This letter must be accompanied by a request from the student explainingthe reasons for the withdrawal. Absolutely no change in a student's registration can be made pastthe end of the semester. This is a University regulation that cannot be waived under anycircumstance. Tuition refunds are only partial in all cases of cancellation or withdrawal; after thefifth week of the semester, there is no refund. This applies regardless of the source of the tuition(i.e., the tuition represented is lost to the department and Graduate School just as it is lost to anindividual, self-funded student). Students may not change the letter grade (L/G) option to thesatisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) option after the end of the L/G and S/U change period.IV.Requirements for the Ph.D. in SociologyThe following Five-Year Plan (FYP) gives students a general idea of their expected progress. Of course,individual needs and departmental fluctuations will cause variations. Courses and requirements areexplained in more detail in this Handbook. This plan will be referred to throughout this section.The Sociology graduate program focuses primarily on doctoral training. The department awards aMaster's degree when a student achieves Ph.D. candidacy after the completion of course work, researchpaper, preliminary examinations, and TATTO (teaching) requirements. Graduate students, however, mayopt to complete a Master's degree through a thesis option, as described in Section IV below.Five Year Plan of Graduate Student ProgressFALLSPRINGSUMMER1stYEARSOC 500SOC 501Substantive course (typically inmajor area)SOC 506SOC Theory Class (500, 740 or742)Substantive course (typicallyin major areas)Begin research paperTATTO training2ndYEARFourth Methods Course(509, 701 etc.)Substantive coursesTATT 605 Fall or SpringSOC 590R (Research Seminar)Substantive coursesPresent research paper MarchMayPrepare research paperfor publication
53rdYEARSOC 767 (Teaching Seminar)ElectivesPrelim Exam in JanuarySOC 597 GrantwritingDirected Study with AdvisorElectives4thYEARCandidacy by Sept. 15Work on dissertation proposalGrant submissionTeach course & TATT 610(Fall or Spring)Defend dissertation proposal by Dissertation ResearchMarch 15Dissertation ResearchSubmit Research paper forpublication by June 30Work on dissertationproposalTeach one course, typically during the fourth yearMust defend proposal by March 15 and be in Candidacy by September 15 at start of fourth year to beeligible for 5th year funding5thYEARDissertation researchTeach course or writeDissertation defenseTeach course or writeComplete dissertation and apply for degree within six yearsA. Residence RequirementsFull-time students must enroll for a minimum of 9 credit hours each semester and summer to fulfillresidence requirements, especially if they hold fellowships paid through Emory. In order to keepusing Emory’s facilities, such as the library, computer center, or PE center, a student must beregistered for course work. Students must accumulate a minimum of 54 hours in course or seminarwork at the 500 level or above to achieve candidacy. 36 of these credits must be taken for a lettergrade and a B average (GPA 3.0) must be maintained. With the approval of the DGS, courses takenfor a grade outside the department may count toward the 36 graded credits. Non-course/seminarcredits taken S/U, such as Sociology 599 do not count toward th