Graduate study in sociology focuses on the Doctor of Philosophy. Students are awarded the M.A. as they fulfill requirements for the Ph.D.

The Doctor of Philosophy emphasizes research. Opportunities for research using survey, experimental, and observational methods are readily available in the department.

The Doctor of Philosophy program in sociology requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit. Most courses for the Ph.D. are taken in a student's two areas of interest, but all doctoral students must complete the following courses.

SOC:6170Introduction to Sociological Data Analysis (required for the M.A.)3
SOC:6180Linear Models in Sociological Research (required for the M.A.)3
Two elective courses in methods/statistics numbered 5000 or above
One advanced theory course such as SOC:6110

Students also must pass two area examinations, write and defend a dissertation prospectus, and write and successfully defend a dissertation.

Doctoral students take two area exams—one from list A, the other from list A or B. List A has seven standing committees: social psychology, crime, law, stratification, organizations, gender, and political sociology. For the list B exam, a student may propose any area that is not covered under list A and for which there is adequate faculty support.

For a detailed statement of graduate study regulations, contact the Department of Sociology. Prospective doctoral students should examine this document carefully.

Teaching Assistantship Training

All new graduate teaching assistants (TAs) are expected to attend a three-day orientation before classes begin. In addition, SOC:7010 Teaching Sociology is required for students who wish to teach their own courses.


The Department of Sociology and the College of Law offer the combined Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy. The program is highly individualized, allowing students to explore varied aspects of the relationship between law and society. Combined degree program Ph.D./J.D. students may count up to 12 s.h. of graduate credit toward both degrees, with approval from the Department of Sociology and the College of Law.

Separate application to each degree program is required. Applicants must be admitted to both programs before they may be admitted to the combined degree program. For information about the J.D., see Juris Doctor (College of Law) in the Catalog.

Admission to graduate study in sociology usually requires an undergraduate g.p.a. of at least 3.25 and a score of 300 or higher (total for quantitative and verbal) on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. Students whose first language is not English should submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Applicants also must complete the Graduate College application form, the supplemental sociology department application, and use the department's personal reference forms to obtain three letters of recommendation.

All application materials for fall admission must be received by January 1. Evaluation of applications begins in early January.

Admission decisions are based on consideration of prior academic performance, personal reference letters, scores on the GRE General Test, and the applicant's statement of reasons for pursuing advanced work in sociology at the University of Iowa. The department has no specific undergraduate course requirements for admission, but a background in the social sciences with some mathematical training is useful. A foreign language is not required for admission, and there is no foreign language requirement for a graduate degree in sociology. To inquire about admission, consult the chair of the admissions committee, Department of Sociology.

The Department of Sociology offers teaching assistantships and research assistantships for graduate students. Students who receive one-half-time teaching or research assistantships work 20 hours each week for faculty members on either teaching or research assignments. Out-of-state students who hold assistantships are assessed tuition at the resident rate. Graduate students also may be eligible for fellowships offered by the Graduate College.

The deadline for applying for departmental financial support is January 1.

The program of study for the Ph.D. primarily aims to prepare sociologists for academic positions in colleges and universities or for research positions in academic, private, and government institutions.

In addition to preparing students for careers in social service, criminal justice, and other areas, this major offers an integrated package of courses, research training, writing enhancement, international perspective, and internships to provide graduates with impressive credentials. The degree also prepares students for further graduate or professional study in areas such as social work, urban and regional planning, law, criminal justice, and social policy.

The Pomerantz Career Center and Graduate & Postdoctoral Career Services offer multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.