Placeholder image for Sociology

Sociology, Ph. D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months


The Ph.D. program in Sociology is designed to prepare students for professional careers in teaching, research and creative activity, and applied or practice-related sociology in academic, government and industry setting areas. Students are encouraged to identify areas of interest that connect with faculty areas of expertise and interest. Students seeking admission must have an approved Master’s degree (thesis option), not necessarily in Sociology. 


  • Students receive intensive and extensive classroom and practical training in teaching in-class and online courses at the college/university level.
  • Students receive intensive and extensive classroom and practical training in applied and public sociology.
  • Students acquire the skills to engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), so they can determine the extent to which their instruction makes a difference in their students’ academic development.
  • Students receive a solid grounding in the core areas of sociological theory and both qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Students develop research and practice and/or teaching expertise in a sociological emphasis area.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Credits
    60 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include

  • Sociological Practice and Public Policy 
  • Research Methods 
  • Qualitative Research Methods 
  • Sociological Theory I 
  •  Sociological Theory II
Courses are generally delivered face-to-face in small seminar settings. A limited number of courses may be offered via DDN or on-line.

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®

General Requirements

  • Doctor of Philosophy students seeking entrance must have an approved Bachelor’s and Master’s degree (thesis option), not necessarily in Sociology. 
  • Each applicant should have 2 signed letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the student’s academic record.
  • It is required that applicants also include a writing sample and personal statement. The personal statement should identify the student’s academic goals and describe how those goals fit with the faculty expertise and interests.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    626 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 626 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.
  • National

    326 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 326 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Brookings

  • 1085 - 1890 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


The graduate student may obtain financial assistance from various sources. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for outside funding sources, such as grants, awards and fellowships. Some hourly work is available for qualified students not on assistantships. In general, hourly work will be connected with existing research projects, thereby providing a student an opportunity to participate in and learn about research activities in the department or elsewhere on campus.

Graduate students may also apply for financial assistance through the SDSU Financial Aid Office. For the students who have a determined financial need, opportunities for College Work Study employment or a National Direct Student Loan are available (limited to availability of federal funding). Graduate students in need of financial assistance can also apply for a Guaranteed Student Loan through their local lending institution and SDSU Financial Aids.

In addition to the financial aids identified above, graduate students who are married may apply for an apartment in graduate student housing. This housing is located on campus and, in general, is designed for those with a limited income. Information on married student housing may be obtained from the Housing Office on campus.

If financial aid is desired, it should be requested at the time of application for admission by the Graduate School.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


Did you know you can compare your wishlisted programmes with our new Comparison tool?