GRADUATE HANDBOOK

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Purpose of Handbook

 This handbook is intended to be a resource for prospective and current graduate students in the Department of Sociology at the University of Utah. It outlines the expectations, requirements, and policies governing the graduate program in Sociology. In addition to this handbook, students should regularly consult the Graduate School Policies and Guidelines located at the Graduate School website.

 Graduate School website:

www.gradschool.utah.edu

 Graduate School policies and requirements:

http://gradschool.utah.edu/graduate-catalog/degree-requirements/

 University of Utah Student Handbook:

http://registrar.utah.edu/handbook/

 

As graduate students, you are expected to be independent and proactive in managing and completing the requirements of your program of study.

Your success depends on you!

 

If after reading this handbook and consulting with the university guidelines and policies, the Director of Graduate Studies, any Sociology faculty, and your fellow graduate students may be invaluable resources.   Do not hesitate to ask any of us.

Department of Sociology

The Department of Sociology at the University of Utah is among the oldest sociology departments in the country. The department offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. As a department, it excels in both research and teaching.

 

The department’s webpage, with many helpful links, is located here:

http://soc.utah.edu/

 

Sociology Faculty

The Department of Sociology at the University of Utah currently consists of approximately 15 “Core Faculty” and a host of “Auxiliary Faculty.” The Core Faculty members are those individuals most responsible for the graduate program. Auxiliary Faculty members also participate in the graduate program by serving on student’s committees and offering seminars that are of interest to sociology graduate students.

 

A current list of Core Faculty, with links to their individual web pages, is available here:

http://soc.utah.edu/people/faculty.php.

 

A current list of Auxiliary Faculty is available here:

http://soc.utah.edu/people/adjunct.php.

 

Graduate Committee: Roles & Responsibilities

A tenured Core Faculty member serves as the Director of Graduate Studies (DOGS) for the Sociology PhD program. The Director chairs the Graduate Committee and supervises its functions. The Graduate Director is available to assist students with problems, especially those related to supervisory committees, departmental requirements, or university requirements.

 The Graduate Committee is composed of the Director of Graduate Studies and sociology faculty members chosen by the department chair. The Graduate Committee oversees the functioning of the graduate program and advises the faculty on issues of policy, curriculum, and degree requirements. The Graduate Committee conducts the admission process, reviews student progress annually, and selects the winner of the department’s annual graduate teaching and research awards.

 The Department Chairperson has the final authority in all actions taken by the DOGS and the Graduate Committee.

 The Graduate Advisor works with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Committee in administering the graduate program. The Graduate Advisor provides staff support for the committee. The Graduate Advisor assembles admission files, communicates with the Graduate Admissions Office about applicants, and assists students with the completion of required paperwork.

Admissions

 Prospective graduate students must apply for admission to the graduate program in sociology through the Graduate School at the University of Utah.

Online Application System

Applications must be submitted electronically through the ApplyYourself system at the following website:

        

http://admissions.utah.edu/apply/graduate/

 All required application materials must be submitted on or before February 1. The Graduate Committee in the Department of Sociology will review all application materials and makes recommendations for admission to the department faculty. Upon final approval by the Sociology faculty and the University of Utah Graduate School, the Director of Graduate Studies will notify applicants of their admission status by April 15.

Except in extraordinary circumstances, students may enter the program only during Fall term.

Graduate School Minimum Requirements

The requirements listed below are minimum requirements only and do not guarantee admission to a graduate program. Applicants are evaluated with respect to both Graduate School and departmental requirements and in reference to the pool of available applicants.

 

  1. An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, based on all undergraduate work or work completed during the last two years of undergraduate study
  2. A bachelor's degree from a fully accredited college or university
  3. Approval of the faculty in the Department of Sociology
  4. Approval of the Graduate School

 

International students must meet additional requirements and should consult the university’s Admissions Office web site.

            http://admissions.utah.edu/apply/international/

 

 Department Admissions Considerations

Admission to the graduate program in sociology requires a strong undergraduate foundation in sociology or a related field from a fully accredited college or university. Students are admitted only to work toward the M-Stat in Sociology or the PhD in Sociology (although a master's degree may be earned during the course of PhD study). We do not consider applicants seeking only a Master’s Degree in Sociology.

 Student’s interests and previous experiences are evaluated through three letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Applicants must also submit official scores from the GRE exam (quantitative, qualitative, writing subscores/percentiles). Admissions decisions are made based on the full packet of materials submitted and especially the student’s fit to the departmental program areas (Population & Health and Global Comparative Sociology) and faculty research expertise.

 

Accepting an Offer of Admission

An offer of acceptance is valid only for the semester the applicant is admitted. If an applicant does not attend during his/her admitted term, the applicant must reapply through the ApplyYourself online graduate admissions application and pay the application fee before the application deadline for the semester he/she wishes to begin.

 The University of Utah is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools and supports their "April 15 Resolution," which outlines the obligations of graduate institutions and prospective graduate students regarding offers and acceptances of financial support. The resolution reads:

 Acceptance of an offer of financial support* (such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by a prospective or enrolled graduate student completes an agreement that both student and graduate school expect to honor. In that context, the conditions affecting such offers and their acceptance must be defined carefully and understood by all parties.                                                                                                                                      

Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer. It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution or a link to the URL should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer.

 

This Resolution was renewed October 2009.

*This Resolution applies to offers of financial support only, not offers of admission.

 

Registration & Enrollment

Once admitted, students should become familiar with the registration process at the University of Utah. The Office of the Registrar’s website will have information on class schedules, academic calendars, registration deadlines. You should also speak with the Director of Graduate Studies or your advisor to discuss which courses are required and recommended for your program of study.

 

            http://registrar.utah.edu/

 

Once admitted and enrolled, graduate students are required by Graduate School policy to maintain continuous registration during the academic year of fall and spring semesters. If a graduate student must “stop out,” he/she should file for a Leave of Absence through their academic program. (See later section on “Leave of Absences” in this handbook). Students failing to maintain continuous registration and who have not been granted an official leave of absence will be discontinued from their graduate program.

 Graduate School Policy states that graduate students are required to maintain continuous registration and must acquire permission from their Graduate Department for a "Leave of Absence" before leaving the University. A graduate student who fails to register for a term (excluding summer term) and does not file for a leave of absence is immediately made ineligible to register for future terms. Continuing students that have been discontinued will be required to apply for readmission into their graduate program.

 

Non-Matriculated Status

Students who do not qualify for admission to graduate studies or non-degree-seeking students may enroll in graduate-level courses on a non-matriculated basis. Credits earned by non-matriculated students may or may not apply to a graduate degree program. Decisions on accepting course credit are made by the Graduate Committee in the Department of Sociology. Only nine semester hours of non-matriculated credit, taken no more than three years prior to approval, can be applied toward a graduate degree. Non-matriculated and second baccalaureate students registering for one or more graduate level courses in their undergraduate career will be charged graduate tuition rates for all courses taken.

 

Credit for Previous Graduate Work

Students entering the sociology PhD program can request to receive credit from prior graduate-level work. Students are responsible for submitting requests (including all documentation) to the Director of Graduate Studies before the end of Fall semester in the first year of the Sociology graduate program.

 

Credit Hours. Credit hours do not transfer automatically. Students, however, may request a waiver that would exempt them from 1 to 2 graduate seminars (equivalent to about 6 credit hours) if they took similar courses during prior graduate-level coursework at a different accredited university. A request must include a syllabus, evidence of a passing grade (transcript), and a short justification of how the previous course material is relevant to one of the core or elective courses in the Program of Study.

 

Exemption. Students admitted to the PhD program may request exemption from the “third-year” paper requirement if they completed an empirical research project (i.e., thesis) during a previous masters program. A request must include a copy of the paper and a short justification of how the project satisfies the requirements of the third-year paper.

The Graduate Committee will review all petitions. Each petition will be evaluated separately. The Committee may award a student a waiver for required course work (1-2 required courses), exemption from the paper requirement, or both. Committee decisions will be documented in writing and placed in the student file. The student remains responsible for meeting all minimum credit hours and residency required by the Graduate School at the University of Utah for graduation.

 

Funding & Benefits

 

Students admitted to the Sociology PhD program are typically offered funding (i.e., stipend) for their service as teaching or research assistants. Students admitted to the M-Stat in Sociology are not typically offered funding. Funding decisions are made upon admission and are based on meritorious achievement as outlined in the admissions application. Funded students are generally eligible for the Tuition Benefit Program, as well as subsidized health insurance (both described below).

 Doctoral students are eligible to receive up to 5 years of funding during fall and spring semesters (it is limited to 4 years for those who have a previous masters degree), assuming they make satisfactory progress in their academic requirements each year, as well as perform the expected duties and obligations of their assigned job. Each year, during an annual evaluation process, the faculty in the Department of Sociology will assess each student’s performance. Students who exhibit poor performance may be ineligible for funding in later years.

 

Tuition Benefit Program (TBP)

The Graduate School administers the Tuition Benefit Program. Assuming the student is offered a stipend at or above the minimum financial level (see https://gradschool.utah.edu/tbp as the minimum stipend changes each year), s/he will receive a waiver to cover up to 100% of tuition costs (special fees and differential tuition are not included). Partial tuition waivers (i.e., 25% or 50%) may be awarded for stipends that do not meet the minimum financial requirement.

 

TBP covers the cost of tuition associated with 9-12 graduate credit hours per semester during Fall and Spring, except for research assistants (RAs) whose tuition benefit is a minimum of nine and a maximum of 11 credit hours in Fall and Spring semesters and three credit hours in Summer semester. Non-resident tuition is covered in full, except for in cases of RAs who have exceeded 84 cumulative credit hours. At that point, the benefit will only cover resident tuition for RAs. This condition will be implemented in the semester when cumulative registration exceeds 84 credit hours as a University of Utah graduate student.

 

The four eligible job classifications that qualify a student for TBP participation are:

 

  1. Graduate Teaching Assistant (TA): A graduate student with instructional responsibilities as instructor of record or as assistant to the instructor of record. Duties may include lecturing, holding discussion or problem sessions, conducting laboratory sections, conducting studio or performance work, online instruction, grading, tutoring, and holding office hours. International students must be cleared through the International Teaching Assistant Program before being placed in jobs coded 9416.  In Sociology, students in the earlier stages of the program (i.e., years 1 and 2) typically work as TAs under other instructors, while more advanced students (i.e., years 3+) are eligible to teach their own courses.

 

Note: First year teaching assistants are required to attend the university's teaching assistant orientation and teaching workshop held by the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE). International students who have been appointed to teaching assistantships are required to take the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Training Workshop in addition to the university orientation. The Graduate School requires international students to obtain certification from the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Program. This certification is accomplished through full participation and a favorable evaluation from the ITA Workshop which is held once a year in August. For information on the certification process, see the ITA website: http://www.utah.edu/ita  

 

  1. Graduate Research Assistant (RA): A graduate student assigned directly to an externally funded research grant (5000 fund only) and doing research for that project. Please note that RA’s who participate in the subsidized health plan must have a benefit allotment attached to the 5000 fund that they are paid from that can cover the 80% of the premium for the health plan. The faculty member(s) managing the project/grant that is used to fund the student as an RA will outline and supervise the specific job expectations of the RA.

 

  1. Graduate Assistant (GA): A graduate student assigned work related to his/her degree program and not covered in the previous two categories. A GA must be funded by his/her department and not supported by external 5000 funding. If a student wishes to work as a GA outside his/her home department, prior approval must be granted by the Dean of The Graduate School. The job expectations of a GA will be outlined and supervised by the faculty member(s) sponsoring the research activities.

 

  1. Graduate Fellow (GF): A graduate student on a fellowship, whose tuition is not paid by the award. TBP has right of first refusal if other sources of tuition funding are available, meaning if tuition money is included in the fellowship award, the student should not use TBP. No employer-employee relationship exists in a fellowship. The University administers the award and a service expectation may or may not accompany it. Fellowships may be available through internal (University of Utah) or external sources. Most fellowships are for more advanced students in the dissertation stages, or for a specialized population or study area. When known, the Director of Graduate Studies will announce deadlines and application guidelines for relevant fellowship opportunities to all students through the departmental listserv.  

 

Nonmatriculated students, part-time students, and students on probationary status are ineligible for the TBP. Pursuant to SB-81, as of July 1, 2009, every University of Utah student who receives a scholarship, fellowship, or other financial aid administered by the University of Utah (including the TBP) are required by state law to certify that they are eligible to receive the scholarship as a U.S. citizen or a citizen of another country who is lawfully present in the U.S.

 

Registration Requirements: Students participating in the TBP must be:

  • Full-time, matriculated graduate students in good standing
  • Maintain cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Register for at least nine credit hours throughout the semester (Fall and Spring). Sociology encourages students to enroll in 12 credit hours per semester.
  • Cannot exceed an employment contract with FTE of .74. An FTE of .50 is the recommended maximum for graduate students.  (FTE = full time equivalent. An FTE of 1.0 is equivalent to a full-time worker)

 

Undergraduate, contract, and/or audited courses, repeated courses, and credit/noncredit courses count toward the required minimum nine credit hours but do not qualify for a tuition benefit. The benefit will not pay for those courses. A student registered for fewer than nine credit hours may make up the difference by registering for 6970, 6980, 7970, 7980, or other appropriate graduate credit such as 7800 (PDF). Students may register for a maximum 16 semester hours but are responsible for tuition for hours exceeding 12 credits.

 

IMPORTANT: Students adding and/or dropping courses after the semester’s published add/drop deadlines are responsible for any and all charges incurred, including withdrawals. Tuition benefit will not pay for withdrawn credit hours, and if registration falls below nine credit hours at any time during the semester, a student becomes ineligible for TBP participation and will be billed the full tuition for that semester.

 

 

Service Requirements: Graduate students receiving a tuition benefit are expected to fulfill the responsibilities appropriate to their specific assignments. No student is required to work more than 20 hours a week (0.50 FTE) in order to receive a tuition benefit. Faculty may expect up to 20 hours of work a week (0.50 FTE) from students receiving a 100% tuition benefit, 15 hours a week (0.375 FTE) from students receiving a 75% tuition benefit, and 10 hours a week (0.25 FTE) from students receiving a 50% tuition benefit. Students working one or more on-campus jobs with a combined FTE greater than a 0.74 FTE are ineligible to participate in the Graduate Tuition Benefit Program.

 

Note: It is important to remember that positions associated with the TA, RA, or GA classifications require work to be performed on an hourly/weekly basis. If a student does not meet the expectations or fulfill the duties associated with the “job” as outlined by a supervisor and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, s/he may be at risk of not being assigned a position (and thus, funding) in later semesters. Performance as a TA, RA, and GA will be considered during an annual evaluation process

 

Residency Status: As approved by the University of Utah president and according to Utah law and the Board of Regents’ policy, out-of-state TBP students are exempt from paying nonresident tuition. Their graduate tuition benefit is at the in-state rate. Tuition and fees not covered by the TBP are the student’s responsibility. Out-of-state, non-international graduate students receiving a tuition benefit must apply for Utah residency upon fulfilling 40 semester credit hours at a regionally accredited Utah institution of higher education. Thus, the Residency Reclassification Application is typically completed after the second year and before July 1, in order to be reclassified before Fall semester of your third year. A student’s ability to establish residency will not affect receipt of a tuition benefit.

 

All students submitting a Residency Reclassification Application must take overt steps to prove their intent to make Utah their permanent residence. For example, a person that holds a valid driver’s license from any other state must replace it with a Utah driver’s license. Or, if they have no driver’s license, they must get a Utah ID card. Go to http://admissions.utah.edu/apply/residency/ for details on how to apply and qualify for residency reclassification.

 

Restrictions: A graduate tuition benefit is available only to graduate students compensated through the University of Utah. The TBP covers general graduate tuition and mandatory fees. Differential tuition charged by various university graduate and professional programs is the responsibility of the graduate student, department, and/or college. Students may participate in the TBP for a limited number of semesters, which need not be sequential.

Time Limits for Participation

  1. Students in a master’s program are limited to two years (four semesters) of tuition benefit support.
  2. Students in a doctoral program who entered with a bachelor’s degree are limited to five years (10 semesters) of tuition benefit support.
  3. Students in a doctoral program who received a master’s degree at the University of Utah are limited to five years of tuition benefit support (two years for a master’s + three additional years for a doctorate).
  4. Students entering a doctoral program with a master’s degree from another university are eligible for four years (eight semesters) of tuition benefit support.

 

The student and department are responsible for maintaining an accurate count of the semesters of tuition benefit support a student has received. A student who receives more terms of tuition benefit than he or she is eligible for may be retroactively billed for the tuition of the ineligible semester(s).

Student Health Insurance Benefit Program (SHIBP)

Graduate students have an option to get affordable health insurance coverage through the Graduate School as part of their Tuition Benefit Program (TBP).

 

Q1. What health insurance is available for University of Utah graduate students?

A1. All eligible University of Utah students, graduate and undergraduate, can enroll in a student health insurance plan serviced by United HealthCare Student Resources. A brochure describing the existing plan is available at the U of U Student Health Center website or on-line at www.uhcsr.com/utah. Students may also enroll in a private plan not offered through the University, although international students who purchase a private plan will be required to complete a waiver process and the coverage purchased must fulfill certain requirements in order for the waiver to be approved – contact Kerry Hill at the Student Health Center for more information.

 

Q2. Who is eligible to participate in the Student Health Insurance Benefit Program (SHIBP)?

A2. Full-time graduate TAs, full-time graduate RAs, or graduate students with a full-time TA/RA combination appointment are eligible to receive the health insurance subsidy. Graduate Fellow (GF) and Graduate Assistant (GA) categories are not provided a Graduate School health insurance subsidy. Check with the departmental administrator to verify your eligibility each semester.

 

Q3. What are the requirements for qualifying for the SHIBP?

A3. The health insurance requirements match the graduate student tuition benefit plan (TBP) requirements for a full or 100% tuition benefit: (a) be a matriculated graduate student, (b) receive University funding equivalent to the 100% TBP eligibility level each semester, (c) be registered for at least nine credit hours (but no more than 16); and (d) be in good standing (cumulative GPA of 3.0, Law School, 2.0). The semester assignment must be 100% TA or 100% RA or 100% TA/RA mix. Tuition benefit time limits also apply to the health insurance benefit.

 

Q4. Is it mandatory to participate in the SHIBP?

A4. No. You may choose not to enroll in the subsidized plan, however international students are automatically enrolled in the student health plan unless they have waived coverage through the Student Health Center, see A1 above.

 

Q5. How can I participate in the SHIBP?

A5. At the start of Fall and Spring semesters, communicate to your departmental TBP coordinator that you wish to elect coverage under the subsidized health insurance benefit plan. After verifying your eligibility (see A3 above), your TBP coordinator will enter your data on the departmental TBP web page and check the health insurance box indicating your desire to participate. The signature sheet for the TBP has a column indicating whether or not you are enrolling. If your name is not entered on the TBP web page for that semester, you cannot participate in the subsidized health insurance plan for that semester.

 

 Q6. What if I am left off the TBP/SHIBP web list?

A6. It is your responsibility to verify with your department’s tuition benefit coordinator before the 15th day of classes that you have been entered on the departmental list. After the 15th day of classes each semester, no additional changes can be made to subsidized insurance enrollment. No retroactive benefits are available for the TBP, and none will be available for the SHIBP.

 

Q7. What if I enroll in the SHIBP but fail to satisfy the requirements?

A7. You will be responsible for the full amount of the premium.

 

Q8. What is the maximum benefit and covered services?

A8. Per the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the student insurance plan has no overall maximum dollar limit (per insured person, per policy year). Covered services are described in the plan booklet and on-line at www.uhcsr.com/utah.

 

Q9. Is maternity care available with the SHIBP?

A9. Yes. All student health insurance plans are required to include maternity benefits.

 

Q10. Are prescription drugs covered under the SHIBP?

A10. Yes. The benefit for Prescription Drugs reimburses the students for 50% of the cost of prescriptions.” Contraceptives and Generic prescription drugs are reimbursed at 100% at any pharmacy and both Brand and Generic are covered at 100% when filled at Madsen Pharmacy.

 

Q11. What is the cost of the insurance?

A11. If you are part of the subsidized plan, the University pays 80% of your annual premium and you pay 20% of the annual premium. This is typically a couple hundred dollars each semester. You will be billed by Income Accounting at the start of Fall semester and again at the start of Spring semester, if you choose to enroll for Spring. You are responsible for the full additional premium if you add a spouse and/or children.

 

Q13. If I have a spouse and/or dependent children, can they be added to my SHIBP coverage?

A13. If you wish to add coverage for spouse and/or children, you must enroll them online and pay the appropriate premium at your expense. Click “Request Dependent Coverage” at www.uhcsr.com/utah during the open enrollment period to reserve coverage for your dependents. The premium amounts for adding spouse or children for the subsidized plan are available at the beginning of the brochure found at www.uhcsr.com/utah.

 

Q14. What are the dates of SHIBP coverage?

A14. Coverage for the subsidized plan only is divided into biannual coverage periods: 8/16 – 2/14 (Fall enrollment), and 2/15 – 8/15 (Spring enrollment) each year. Note that this is different from coverage periods for the regular student plan (not subsidized), which coincide with semester dates: August 16 through December 31 for Fall semester, January 1 through May 15 for spring Semester, and May 16 through August 15 for Summer semester.

 

Q15. If I am covered by the SHIBP for both Fall and Spring semesters, who pays for Summer semester?

A15. When a graduate student participates in SHIBP for both Fall and Spring semesters, Summer semester is automatically included for the full 12-month coverage. See coverage periods in A15 above.

 

Q16. If I am qualified on the SHIBP for just a single semester (Fall or Spring) during the academic year, what happens to my insurance coverage for the next term and for the summer?

A16. If you are supported for a single semester on the TBP, you are encouraged to enroll in the voluntary plan for the subsequent semester(s) to keep continuous health insurance coverage. Please contact Graduate School to avoid coverage gaps.

 

Time Out

 

Students are expected to enter grad school and remain continuously enrolled until graduation. But sometimes, people need a break. Here we discuss how to arrange for time-away from your graduate program or for more time to finish your degree, should it be necessary.

 

Leave of Absence

Sometimes in the course of a graduate program it is necessary for a student to take time off for an extended period of time. Reasons might include:

  • Parental leave (see separate policy, next page)
  • Military service
  • Serious sickness or illness of student or family member
  • Conflict with outside work, especially if related to academic goals
  • Other compelling reasons that the department believes are in the best interests of both the student and the University

 

Requesting a Leave of Absence

If you need to temporarily leave graduate school (other than during the summer term), meet with your advisor and Director of Graduate Studies to discuss your circumstances and options. They, along with the Department Chair, must petition the Graduate School for an official leave of absence.

 

The “Request for Leave of Absence” form must be approved and signed by the student’s Supervisory Committee chair and department chair and then forwarded to the dean of The Graduate School for approval. The form requesting a leave of absence for a current semester must be completed and received in The Office of the Registrar by the last day of classes of that semester. Leaves of absence are not granted retroactively. Students must officially withdraw from classes in any semester for which a leave is granted; failure to formally withdraw results in the reporting of E or EU grades for all classes.

 

The period during which a leave of absence is granted does not count toward the period allowed to complete the degree. Leaves are granted for a maximum of one year at a time, and may be renewed by submitting a new form to The Office of the Registrar. The leave of absence is void if a student registers for classes in a semester for which a leave was granted.

 

A formal leave of absence means that the student is taking time-off from both coursework (enrollment) and work obligations, thus funding is typically suspended during a formal leave of absence.

 

Note: International students considering a leave of absence should consult with the International Students Services (ISS0 Office, as additional steps may be required to maintain legal immigration status.

 

Returning to the Program After an Absence

If the student took an official leave of absence, or maintained the minimum continuous registration, then there is no special arrangement necessary for the student’s return. Unfortunately, if the student did have a lapse in registration without a leave, then the student must reapply to the program. If this is you, please consult the Graduate School website for more details.

 

Extending Your Time Limits (Going Part-Time)

There are options for extending your tenure as a graduate student; this is most relevant to students who decide they need to go part-time. One way to do this is to maintain the minimum continuous registration, typically by enrolling for 3 credit hours. While you cannot claim Tuition Benefits with less than 9 credit hours, you can maintain your status as a graduate student in good standing at a relatively small cost. Note that you may have to reapply or request a timeline extension if you attempt to remain registered for more than 7 years. See this link for more information: gradschool.utah.edu/graduatecatalog/registration

 

Parental Leave

The Department of Sociology provides up to 12-weeks of parental leave to graduate students in good standing, provided that they have not yet defended their dissertation. Ordinarily, this benefit will be interpreted as a maternal leave policy, with the 12- week period including or immediately following the birth/adoption date of the child. A man who is the primary caregiver within the family may petition to be considered for a paternal leave. Funded students who are granted parental leave will be paid at their normal rate during the 12-week leave.  In other words, a parental leave will not jeopardize funding or tuition benefit.

 

Students granted parental leave will work with Director of Graduate Studies, his/her research advisor, and the department Chair to develop and approve a revised workload assignment to accommodate the approved leave period. A “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) outlining the dates of the approved leave and the revised workload accommodation will be signed by all parties involved, usually including the student, Director of Graduate Studies, Department Chair, and faculty advisor.  This MOU will be kept in the student’s file. Please talk with the Director of Graduate Studies ASAP if you wish to apply for parental leave, so a workload accommodation can be developed.

 

Note: Students who experience a medical condition associated with their pregnancy and need accommodations recommended by their medical provider, should contact the University's Title IX Coordinator, who will work with the student, cognizant faculty, and administration to determine what accommodations are reasonable and effective.


 Degree Programs

 

 The sociology department offers two degree programs:

 

  1. M-Stat in Sociology
  2. PhD in Sociology

 

The following pages describe the program of study and requirements for each degree.

 

 

M-Stat in Sociology

 

 

The Department of Sociology at the University of Utah offers a M-Stat in Sociology. This applied masters program is offered in several disciplines throughout the University of Utah campus: www.mstat.utah.edu

 

Program Purpose

The program is designed for students whose interest lies in the application of statistical methods to sociological and social problems. The program prepares students to be broadly knowledgeable in statistics and probability theory. Students learn state-of-the-art programming and applications in the Sociology area of concentration. Graduates are trained to pursue careers in industry, the public sector, or to continue doctoral studies.

 

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will gain working knowledge of the main theories and debates within sociology, the principles of social science, research design and data analysis.
  2. Students will gain the ability to synthesize state-of-the-art theory and research in their chosen areas of interest.
  3. Students will be equipped to conduct advanced statistical analysis, to apply statistical knowledge and interpret statistical results across a range of social science sub-fields.

 

Program Requirements

Prior to applying for admission to the M-Stat program, students must have completed a four-year bachelor degree from an accredited university with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and taken the GRE exam (and TOEFL for international applicants; minimum score of 600).

 

Students are expected to have the following prerequisite knowledge and training prior to completing the M-Stat required curriculum, which may extend the time to degree completion or delay a student’s ability to apply for the program:

 

  • At least 2 semesters of calculus, including calculus with multiple variables:

(Math 1260, 1280, and 2210 or equivalent)

  • 2 semesters of basic statistics (undergrad is fine)
  • Knowledge of matrix theory

Once admitted, students in the M-Stat in Sociology program must complete the required coursework (program of study), as well as a mentored capstone research project. See next pages.

 

Program of Study

M-Stat in Sociology

 

The coursework required by a graduate program is called the student’s “Program of Study”. Note: Credit hours used to meet the requirements of a master’s program may not be used to meet the credit hour requirements of another degree being pursued simultaneously. Please work with the Director of Graduate Studies if you want to pursue two degrees. 

 

Required Courses

The M-Stat in Sociology requires the successful completion of 37 credit hours, consisting of courses related to the research foundations and theories within the discipline of Sociology, Math/Statistics, and an independent research/capstone project.

 

Sociology Core

SOC 6010 Proseminar (1)

SOC 6050 Sociological Theory (3)

SOC 6110 Methods of Social Research (3)

SOC XXXX Sociology Elective (3)

 

Elective seminars are typically offered on a rotating basis every 2 to 3 years.

Population & Health

SOC 6720 Medical Sociology SOC 7072 Population Principles

SOC 7071 Population Techniques

 

Global Comparative Sociology

SOC 6846 Political Sociology

SOC 6845 Sociology of Development

SOC 6837 Sociology of Gender

SOC 6834 Sociology of Race

SOC 6840 Environmental Sociology

 

Math & Statistics Core

SOC 6120 Statistics I (3)

SOC 7130 Statistics II (3)

MATH 5010 Intro to Probability (3)

MATH 5080 Statistical Inference I (3)

MATH 5090 Statistical Inference II (3)

Quantitative Electives (6)

Choose from STAT 6969 Special Topics, or a quantitatively-oriented graduate-level course (5000 level or above) from a department within the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Political Science, Family & Consumer Studies, Anthropology).

 

Project & Capstone

STAT 6869 M-Stat Capstone Course (3)

SOC 6940 Individual Research, Masters (3)

 

Committee

A Supervisory Committee consisting of three faculty members, the majority of whom must be tenure-line faculty in the student’s major department, is appointed no later than the second semester of graduate work. One of the committee members should be appointed as a chair. All course work counted toward the degree must be approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee.  One semester prior to graduation, a complete program of study should be entered into the Graduate Records Tracking System by the department graduate coordinator and then approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Purpose of Handbook

 

This handbook is intended to be a resource for prospective and current graduate students in the Department of Sociology at the University of Utah. It outlines the expectations, requirements, and policies governing the graduate program in Sociology. In addition to this handbook, students should regularly consult the Graduate School Policies and Guidelines located at the Graduate School website.

 

Graduate School website:

www.gradschool.utah.edu

 

Graduate School policies and requirements:

http://gradschool.utah.edu/graduate-catalog/degree-requirements/

 

University of Utah Student Handbook:

http://registrar.utah.edu/handbook/

 

As graduate students, you are expected to be independent and proactive in

managing and completing the requirements of your program of study.

 Your success is dependent on you!

 

 If after reading this handbook and consulting with the university guidelines and policies, the Director of Graduate Studies, any Sociology faculty, and your fellow graduate students may be invaluable resources.   Do not hesitate to ask any of us.

  

Department of Sociology

The Department of Sociology at the University of Utah is among the oldest sociology departments in the country. The department offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. As a department, it excels in both research and teaching.

 

The department’s webpage, with many helpful links, is located here:

http://soc.utah.edu/

 

Sociology Faculty

The Department of Sociology at the University of Utah currently consists of approximately 15 “Core Faculty” and a host of “Auxiliary Faculty.” The Core Faculty members are those individuals most responsible for the graduate program. Auxiliary Faculty members also participate in the graduate program by serving on student’s committees and offering seminars that are of interest to sociology graduate students.

 

A current list of Core Faculty, with links to their individual web pages, is available here:

http://soc.utah.edu/people/faculty.php.

 

A current list of Auxiliary Faculty is available here:

http://soc.utah.edu/people/adjunct.php.

 

 Graduate Committee: Roles & Responsibilities

A tenured Core Faculty member serves as the Director of Graduate Studies (DOGS) for the Sociology PhD program. The Director chairs the Graduate Committee and supervises its functions. The Graduate Director is available to assist students with problems, especially those related to supervisory committees, departmental requirements, or university requirements.

 

The Graduate Committee is composed of the Director of Graduate Studies and sociology faculty members chosen by the department chair. The Graduate Committee oversees the functioning of the graduate program and advises the faculty on issues of policy, curriculum, and degree requirements. The Graduate Committee conducts the admission process, reviews student progress annually, and selects the winner of the department’s annual graduate teaching and research awards.

 

The Department Chairperson has the final authority in all actions taken by the DOGS and the Graduate Committee.

 

The Graduate Advisor works with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Committee in administering the graduate program. The Graduate Advisor provides staff support for the committee. The Graduate Advisor assembles admission files, communicates with the Graduate Admissions Office about applicants, and assists students with the completion of required paperwork.

Admissions

 

Prospective graduate students must apply for admission to the graduate program in sociology through the Graduate School at the University of Utah.

 

 Online Application System

Applications must be submitted electronically through the ApplyYourself system at the following website:

            http://admissions.utah.edu/apply/graduate/

 

All required application materials must be submitted on or before February 1. The Graduate Committee in the Department of Sociology will review all application materials and makes recommendations for admission to the department faculty. Upon final approval by the Sociology faculty and the University of Utah Graduate School, the Director of Graduate Studies will notify applicants of their admission status by April 15.

 

Except in extraordinary circumstances, students may enter the program only during Fall term.

 

Graduate School Minimum Requirements

The requirements listed below are minimum requirements only and do not guarantee admission to a graduate program. Applicants are evaluated with respect to both Graduate School and departmental requirements and in reference to the pool of available applicants.

 

  1. An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, based on all undergraduate work or work completed during the last two years of undergraduate study
  2. A bachelor's degree from a fully accredited college or university
  3. Approval of the faculty in the Department of Sociology
  4. Approval of the Graduate School

 

International students must meet additional requirements and should consult the university’s Admissions Office web site.

            http://admissions.utah.edu/apply/international/

 

 

Department Admissions Considerations

Admission to the graduate program in sociology requires a strong undergraduate foundation in sociology or a related field from a fully accredited college or university. Students are admitted only to work toward the M-Stat in Sociology or the PhD in Sociology (although a master's degree may be earned during the course of PhD study). We do not consider applicants seeking only a Master’s Degree in Sociology.

 

Student’s interests and previous experiences are evaluated through three letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Applicants must also submit official scores from the GRE exam (quantitative, qualitative, writing subscores/percentiles). Admissions decisions are made based on the full packet of materials submitted and especially the student’s fit to the departmental program areas (Population & Health and Global Comparative Sociology) and faculty research expertise.

 

 

Accepting an Offer of Admission

An offer of acceptance is valid only for the semester the applicant is admitted. If an applicant does not attend during his/her admitted term, the applicant must reapply through the ApplyYourself online graduate admissions application and pay the application fee before the application deadline for the semester he/she wishes to begin.

 

The University of Utah is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools and supports their "April 15 Resolution," which outlines the obligations of graduate institutions and prospective graduate students regarding offers and acceptances of financial support. The resolution reads:

 

Acceptance of an offer of financial support* (such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by a prospective or enrolled graduate student completes an agreement that both student and graduate school expect to honor. In that context, the conditions affecting such offers and their acceptance must be defined carefully and understood by all parties.

                                                                                                                                              

Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer. It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution or a link to the URL should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer.

 

This Resolution was renewed October 2009.

*This Resolution applies to offers of financial support only, not offers of admission.

 

 

Registration & Enrollment

Once admitted, students should become familiar with the registration process at the University of Utah. The Office of the Registrar’s website will have information on class schedules, academic calendars, registration deadlines. You should also speak with the Director of Graduate Studies or your advisor to discuss which courses are required and recommended for your program of study.

 

            http://registrar.utah.edu/

 

Once admitted and enrolled, graduate students are required by Graduate School policy to maintain continuous registration during the academic year of fall and spring semesters. If a graduate student must “stop out,” he/she should file for a Leave of Absence through their academic program. (See later section on “Leave of Absences” in this handbook). Students failing to maintain continuous registration and who have not been granted an official leave of absence will be discontinued from their graduate program.

 

Graduate School Policy states that graduate students are required to maintain continuous registration and must acquire permission from their Graduate Department for a "Leave of Absence" before leaving the University. A graduate student who fails to register for a term (excluding summer term) and does not file for a leave of absence is immediately made ineligible to register for future terms. Continuing students that have been discontinued will be required to apply for readmission into their graduate program.

 

Non-Matriculated Status

Students who do not qualify for admission to graduate studies or non-degree-seeking students may enroll in graduate-level courses on a non-matriculated basis. Credits earned by non-matriculated students may or may not apply to a graduate degree program. Decisions on accepting course credit are made by the Graduate Committee in the Department of Sociology. Only nine semester hours of non-matriculated credit, taken no more than three years prior to approval, can be applied toward a graduate degree. Non-matriculated and second baccalaureate students registering for one or more graduate level courses in their undergraduate career will be charged graduate tuition rates for all courses taken.

 

Credit for Previous Graduate Work

Students entering the sociology PhD program can request to receive credit from prior graduate-level work. Students are responsible for submitting requests (including all documentation) to the Director of Graduate Studies before the end of Fall semester in the first year of the Sociology graduate program.

 

Credit Hours. Credit hours do not transfer automatically. Students, however, may request a waiver that would exempt them from 1 to 2 graduate seminars (equivalent to about 6 credit hours) if they took similar courses during prior graduate-level coursework at a different accredited university. A request must include a syllabus, evidence of a passing grade (transcript), and a short justification of how the previous course material is relevant to one of the core or elective courses in the Program of Study.

 

Exemption. Students admitted to the PhD program may request exemption from the “third-year” paper requirement if they completed an empirical research project (i.e., thesis) during a previous masters program. A request must include a copy of the paper and a short justification of how the project satisfies the requirements of the third-year paper.

The Graduate Committee will review all petitions. Each petition will be evaluated separately. The Committee may award a student a waiver for required course work (1-2 required courses), exemption from the paper requirement, or both. Committee decisions will be documented in writing and placed in the student file. The student remains responsible for meeting all minimum credit hours and residency required by the Graduate School at the University of Utah for graduation.

 

 Funding & Benefits

 

Students admitted to the Sociology PhD program are typically offered funding (i.e., stipend) for their service as teaching or research assistants. Students admitted to the M-Stat in Sociology are not typically offered funding. Funding decisions are made upon admission and are based on meritorious achievement as outlined in the admissions application. Funded students are generally eligible for the Tuition Benefit Program, as well as subsidized health insurance (both described below).

 

Doctoral students are eligible to receive up to 5 years of funding during fall and spring semesters (it is limited to 4 years for those who have a previous masters degree), assuming they make satisfactory progress in their academic requirements each year, as well as perform the expected duties and obligations of their assigned job. Each year, during an annual evaluation process, the faculty in the Department of Sociology will assess each student’s performance. Students who exhibit poor performance may be ineligible for funding in later years.

 

Tuition Benefit Program (TBP)

The Graduate School administers the Tuition Benefit Program. Assuming the student is offered a stipend at or above the minimum financial level (see https://gradschool.utah.edu/tbp as the minimum stipend changes each year), s/he will receive a waiver to cover up to 100% of tuition costs (special fees and differential tuition are not included). Partial tuition waivers (i.e., 25% or 50%) may be awarded for stipends that do not meet the minimum financial requirement.

 

TBP covers the cost of tuition associated with 9-12 graduate credit hours per semester during Fall and Spring, except for research assistants (RAs) whose tuition benefit is a minimum of nine and a maximum of 11 credit hours in Fall and Spring semesters and three credit hours in Summer semester. Non-resident tuition is covered in full, except for in cases of RAs who have exceeded 84 cumulative credit hours. At that point, the benefit will only cover resident tuition for RAs. This condition will be implemented in the semester when cumulative registration exceeds 84 credit hours as a University of Utah graduate student.

 

The four eligible job classifications that qualify a student for TBP participation are:

 

  1. Graduate Teaching Assistant (TA): A graduate student with instructional responsibilities as instructor of record or as assistant to the instructor of record. Duties may include lecturing, holding discussion or problem sessions, conducting laboratory sections, conducting studio or performance work, online instruction, grading, tutoring, and holding office hours. International students must be cleared through the International Teaching Assistant Program before being placed in jobs coded 9416.  In Sociology, students in the earlier stages of the program (i.e., years 1 and 2) typically work as TAs under other instructors, while more advanced students (i.e., years 3+) are eligible to teach their own courses.

 

Note: First year teaching assistants are required to attend the university's teaching assistant orientation and teaching workshop held by the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE). International students who have been appointed to teaching assistantships are required to take the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Training Workshop in addition to the university orientation. The Graduate School requires international students to obtain certification from the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Program. This certification is accomplished through full participation and a favorable evaluation from the ITA Workshop which is held once a year in August. For information on the certification process, see the ITA website: http://www.utah.edu/ita  

 

  1. Graduate Research Assistant (RA): A graduate student assigned directly to an externally funded research grant (5000 fund only) and doing research for that project. Please note that RA’s who participate in the subsidized health plan must have a benefit allotment attached to the 5000 fund that they are paid from that can cover the 80% of the premium for the health plan. The faculty member(s) managing the project/grant that is used to fund the student as an RA will outline and supervise the specific job expectations of the RA.

 

  1. Graduate Assistant (GA): A graduate student assigned work related to his/her degree program and not covered in the previous two categories. A GA must be funded by his/her department and not supported by external 5000 funding. If a student wishes to work as a GA outside his/her home department, prior approval must be granted by the Dean of The Graduate School. The job expectations of a GA will be outlined and supervised by the faculty member(s) sponsoring the research activities.

 

  1. Graduate Fellow (GF): A graduate student on a fellowship, whose tuition is not paid by the award. TBP has right of first refusal if other sources of tuition funding are available, meaning if tuition money is included in the fellowship award, the student should not use TBP. No employer-employee relationship exists in a fellowship. The University administers the award and a service expectation may or may not accompany it. Fellowships may be available through internal (University of Utah) or external sources. Most fellowships are for more advanced students in the dissertation stages, or for a specialized population or study area. When known, the Director of Graduate Studies will announce deadlines and application guidelines for relevant fellowship opportunities to all students through the departmental listserv.  

 

Nonmatriculated students, part-time students, and students on probationary status are ineligible for the TBP. Pursuant to SB-81, as of July 1, 2009, every University of Utah student who receives a scholarship, fellowship, or other financial aid administered by the University of Utah (including the TBP) are required by state law to certify that they are eligible to receive the scholarship as a U.S. citizen or a citizen of another country who is lawfully present in the U.S.

 

Registration Requirements: Students participating in the TBP must be:

  • Full-time, matriculated graduate students in good standing
  • Maintain cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Register for at least nine credit hours throughout the semester (Fall and Spring). Sociology encourages students to enroll in 12 credit hours per semester.
  • Cannot exceed an employment contract with FTE of .74. An FTE of .50 is the recommended maximum for graduate students.  (FTE = full time equivalent. An FTE of 1.0 is equivalent to a full-time worker)

 

Undergraduate, contract, and/or audited courses, repeated courses, and credit/noncredit courses count toward the required minimum nine credit hours but do not qualify for a tuition benefit. The benefit will not pay for those courses. A student registered for fewer than nine credit hours may make up the difference by registering for 6970, 6980, 7970, 7980, or other appropriate graduate credit such as 7800 (PDF). Students may register for a maximum 16 semester hours but are responsible for tuition for hours exceeding 12 credits.

 

IMPORTANT: Students adding and/or dropping courses after the semester’s published add/drop deadlines are responsible for any and all charges incurred, including withdrawals. Tuition benefit will not pay for withdrawn credit hours, and if registration falls below nine credit hours at any time during the semester, a student becomes ineligible for TBP participation and will be billed the full tuition for that semester.

 

 Service Requirements: Graduate students receiving a tuition benefit are expected to fulfill the responsibilities appropriate to their specific assignments. No student is required to work more than 20 hours a week (0.50 FTE) in order to receive a tuition benefit. Faculty may expect up to 20 hours of work a week (0.50 FTE) from students receiving a 100% tuition benefit, 15 hours a week (0.375 FTE) from students receiving a 75% tuition benefit, and 10 hours a week (0.25 FTE) from students receiving a 50% tuition benefit. Students working one or more on-campus jobs with a combined FTE greater than a 0.74 FTE are ineligible to participate in the Graduate Tuition Benefit Program.

 

Note: It is important to remember that positions associated with the TA, RA, or GA classifications require work to be performed on an hourly/weekly basis. If a student does not meet the expectations or fulfill the duties associated with the “job” as outlined by a supervisor and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, s/he may be at risk of not being assigned a position (and thus, funding) in later semesters. Performance as a TA, RA, and GA will be considered during an annual evaluation process

 

Residency Status: As approved by the University of Utah president and according to Utah law and the Board of Regents’ policy, out-of-state TBP students are exempt from paying nonresident tuition. Their graduate tuition benefit is at the in-state rate. Tuition and fees not covered by the TBP are the student’s responsibility. Out-of-state, non-international graduate students receiving a tuition benefit must apply for Utah residency upon fulfilling 40 semester credit hours at a regionally accredited Utah institution of higher education. Thus, the Residency Reclassification Application is typically completed after the second year and before July 1, in order to be reclassified before Fall semester of your third year. A student’s ability to establish residency will not affect receipt of a tuition benefit.

 

All students submitting a Residency Reclassification Application must take overt steps to prove their intent to make Utah their permanent residence. For example, a person that holds a valid driver’s license from any other state must replace it with a Utah driver’s license. Or, if they have no driver’s license, they must get a Utah ID card. Go to http://admissions.utah.edu/apply/residency/ for details on how to apply and qualify for residency reclassification.

 

Restrictions: A graduate tuition benefit is available only to graduate students compensated through the University of Utah. The TBP covers general graduate tuition and mandatory fees. Differential tuition charged by various university graduate and professional programs is the responsibility of the graduate student, department, and/or college. Students may participate in the TBP for a limited number of semesters, which need not be sequential.

Time Limits for Participation

  1. Students in a master’s program are limited to two years (four semesters) of tuition benefit support.
  2. Students in a doctoral program who entered with a bachelor’s degree are limited to five years (10 semesters) of tuition benefit support.
  3. Students in a doctoral program who received a master’s degree at the University of Utah are limited to five years of tuition benefit support (two years for a master’s + three additional years for a doctorate).
  4. Students entering a doctoral program with a master’s degree from another university are eligible for four years (eight semesters) of tuition benefit support.

 

The student and department are responsible for maintaining an accurate count of the semesters of tuition benefit support a student has received. A student who receives more terms of tuition benefit than he or she is eligible for may be retroactively billed for the tuition of the ineligible semester(s).

 

 

Student Health Insurance Benefit Program (SHIBP)

Graduate students have an option to get affordable health insurance coverage through the Graduate School as part of their Tuition Benefit Program (TBP).

 

Q1. What health insurance is available for University of Utah graduate students?

A1. All eligible University of Utah students, graduate and undergraduate, can enroll in a student health insurance plan serviced by United HealthCare Student Resources. A brochure describing the existing plan is available at the U of U Student Health Center website or on-line at www.uhcsr.com/utah. Students may also enroll in a private plan not offered through the University, although international students who purchase a private plan will be required to complete a waiver process and the coverage purchased must fulfill certain requirements in order for the waiver to be approved – contact Kerry Hill at the Student Health Center for more information.

 

Q2. Who is eligible to participate in the Student Health Insurance Benefit Program (SHIBP)?

A2. Full-time graduate TAs, full-time graduate RAs, or graduate students with a full-time TA/RA combination appointment are eligible to receive the health insurance subsidy. Graduate Fellow (GF) and Graduate Assistant (GA) categories are not provided a Graduate School health insurance subsidy. Check with the departmental administrator to verify your eligibility each semester.

 

Q3. What are the requirements for qualifying for the SHIBP?

A3. The health insurance requirements match the graduate student tuition benefit plan (TBP) requirements for a full or 100% tuition benefit: (a) be a matriculated graduate student, (b) receive University funding equivalent to the 100% TBP eligibility level each semester, (c) be registered for at least nine credit hours (but no more than 16); and (d) be in good standing (cumulative GPA of 3.0, Law School, 2.0). The semester assignment must be 100% TA or 100% RA or 100% TA/RA mix. Tuition benefit time limits also apply to the health insurance benefit.

 

 

Q4. Is it mandatory to participate in the SHIBP?

A4. No. You may choose not to enroll in the subsidized plan, however international students are automatically enrolled in the student health plan unless they have waived coverage through the Student Health Center, see A1 above.

 

Q5. How can I participate in the SHIBP?

A5. At the start of Fall and Spring semesters, communicate to your departmental TBP coordinator that you wish to elect coverage under the subsidized health insurance benefit plan. After verifying your eligibility (see A3 above), your TBP coordinator will enter your data on the departmental TBP web page and check the health insurance box indicating your desire to participate. The signature sheet for the TBP has a column indicating whether or not you are enrolling. If your name is not entered on the TBP web page for that semester, you cannot participate in the subsidized health insurance plan for that semester.

 

 Q6. What if I am left off the TBP/SHIBP web list?

A6. It is your responsibility to verify with your department’s tuition benefit coordinator before the 15th day of classes that you have been entered on the departmental list. After the 15th day of classes each semester, no additional changes can be made to subsidized insurance enrollment. No retroactive benefits are available for the TBP, and none will be available for the SHIBP.

 

Q7. What if I enroll in the SHIBP but fail to satisfy the requirements?

A7. You will be responsible for the full amount of the premium.

 

Q8. What is the maximum benefit and covered services?

A8. Per the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the student insurance plan has no overall maximum dollar limit (per insured person, per policy year). Covered services are described in the plan booklet and on-line at www.uhcsr.com/utah.

 

Q9. Is maternity care available with the SHIBP?

A9. Yes. All student health insurance plans are required to include maternity benefits.

 

Q10. Are prescription drugs covered under the SHIBP?

A10. Yes. The benefit for Prescription Drugs reimburses the students for 50% of the cost of prescriptions.” Contraceptives and Generic prescription drugs are reimbursed at 100% at any pharmacy and both Brand and Generic are covered at 100% when filled at Madsen Pharmacy.

 

Q11. What is the cost of the insurance?

A11. If you are part of the subsidized plan, the University pays 80% of your annual premium and you pay 20% of the annual premium. This is typically a couple hundred dollars each semester. You will be billed by Income Accounting at the start of Fall semester and again at the start of Spring semester, if you choose to enroll for Spring. You are responsible for the full additional premium if you add a spouse and/or children.

 

Q13. If I have a spouse and/or dependent children, can they be added to my SHIBP coverage?

A13. If you wish to add coverage for spouse and/or children, you must enroll them online and pay the appropriate premium at your expense. Click “Request Dependent Coverage” at www.uhcsr.com/utah during the open enrollment period to reserve coverage for your dependents. The premium amounts for adding spouse or children for the subsidized plan are available at the beginning of the brochure found at www.uhcsr.com/utah.

 

Q14. What are the dates of SHIBP coverage?

A14. Coverage for the subsidized plan only is divided into biannual coverage periods: 8/16 – 2/14 (Fall enrollment), and 2/15 – 8/15 (Spring enrollment) each year. Note that this is different from coverage periods for the regular student plan (not subsidized), which coincide with semester dates: August 16 through December 31 for Fall semester, January 1 through May 15 for spring Semester, and May 16 through August 15 for Summer semester.

 

Q15. If I am covered by the SHIBP for both Fall and Spring semesters, who pays for Summer semester?

A15. When a graduate student participates in SHIBP for both Fall and Spring semesters, Summer semester is automatically included for the full 12-month coverage. See coverage periods in A15 above.

 

Q16. If I am qualified on the SHIBP for just a single semester (Fall or Spring) during the academic year, what happens to my insurance coverage for the next term and for the summer?

A16. If you are supported for a single semester on the TBP, you are encouraged to enroll in the voluntary plan for the subsequent semester(s) to keep continuous health insurance coverage. Please contact Graduate School to avoid coverage gaps.

 

 

Time Out

 

Students are expected to enter grad school and remain continuously enrolled until graduation. But sometimes, people need a break. Here we discuss how to arrange for time-away from your graduate program or for more time to finish your degree, should it be necessary.

 

Leave of Absence

Sometimes in the course of a graduate program it is necessary for a student to take time off for an extended period of time. Reasons might include:

  • Parental leave (see separate policy, next page)
  • Military service
  • Serious sickness or illness of student or family member
  • Conflict with outside work, especially if related to academic goals
  • Other compelling reasons that the department believes are in the best interests of both the student and the University

 

Requesting a Leave of Absence

If you need to temporarily leave graduate school (other than during the summer term), meet with your advisor and Director of Graduate Studies to discuss your circumstances and options. They, along with the Department Chair, must petition the Graduate School for an official leave of absence.

 

The “Request for Leave of Absence” form must be approved and signed by the student’s Supervisory Committee chair and department chair and then forwarded to the dean of The Graduate School for approval. The form requesting a leave of absence for a current semester must be completed and received in The Office of the Registrar by the last day of classes of that semester. Leaves of absence are not granted retroactively. Students must officially withdraw from classes in any semester for which a leave is granted; failure to formally withdraw results in the reporting of E or EU grades for all classes.

 

The period during which a leave of absence is granted does not count toward the period allowed to complete the degree. Leaves are granted for a maximum of one year at a time, and may be renewed by submitting a new form to The Office of the Registrar. The leave of absence is void if a student registers for classes in a semester for which a leave was granted.

 

A formal leave of absence means that the student is taking time-off from both coursework (enrollment) and work obligations, thus funding is typically suspended during a formal leave of absence.

 

Note: International students considering a leave of absence should consult with the International Students Services (ISS0 Office, as additional steps may be required to maintain legal immigration status.

 

Returning to the Program After an Absence

If the student took an official leave of absence, or maintained the minimum continuous registration, then there is no special arrangement necessary for the student’s return. Unfortunately, if the student did have a lapse in registration without a leave, then the student must reapply to the program. If this is you, please consult the Graduate School website for more details.

 

 Extending Your Time Limits (Going Part-Time)

There are options for extending your tenure as a graduate student; this is most relevant to students who decide they need to go part-time. One way to do this is to maintain the minimum continuous registration, typically by enrolling for 3 credit hours. While you cannot claim Tuition Benefits with less than 9 credit hours, you can maintain your status as a graduate student in good standing at a relatively small cost. Note that you may have to reapply or request a timeline extension if you attempt to remain registered for more than 7 years. See this link for more information: gradschool.utah.edu/graduatecatalog/registration

 

Parental Leave

The Department of Sociology provides up to 12-weeks of parental leave to graduate students in good standing, provided that they have not yet defended their dissertation. Ordinarily, this benefit will be interpreted as a maternal leave policy, with the 12- week period including or immediately following the birth/adoption date of the child. A man who is the primary caregiver within the family may petition to be considered for a paternal leave. Funded students who are granted parental leave will be paid at their normal rate during the 12-week leave.  In other words, a parental leave will not jeopardize funding or tuition benefit.

 

Students granted parental leave will work with Director of Graduate Studies, his/her research advisor, and the department Chair to develop and approve a revised workload assignment to accommodate the approved leave period. A “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) outlining the dates of the approved leave and the revised workload accommodation will be signed by all parties involved, usually including the student, Director of Graduate Studies, Department Chair, and faculty advisor.  This MOU will be kept in the student’s file. Please talk with the Director of Graduate Studies ASAP if you wish to apply for parental leave, so a workload accommodation can be developed.

 

Note: Students who experience a medical condition associated with their pregnancy and need accommodations recommended by their medical provider, should contact the University's Title IX Coordinator, who will work with the student, cognizant faculty, and administration to determine what accommodations are reasonable and effective.


 Degree Programs

 

The sociology department offers two degree programs:

 

  1. M-Stat in Sociology
  2. PhD in Sociology

 

The following pages describe the program of study and requirements for each degree.

 

 M-Stat in Sociology

 

The Department of Sociology at the University of Utah offers a M-Stat in Sociology. This applied masters program is offered in several disciplines throughout the University of Utah campus: www.mstat.utah.edu

 

Program Purpose

The program is designed for students whose interest lies in the application of statistical methods to sociological and social problems. The program prepares students to be broadly knowledgeable in statistics and probability theory. Students learn state-of-the-art programming and applications in the Sociology area of concentration. Graduates are trained to pursue careers in industry, the public sector, or to continue doctoral studies.

 

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will gain working knowledge of the main theories and debates within sociology, the principles of social science, research design and data analysis.
  2. Students will gain the ability to synthesize state-of-the-art theory and research in their chosen areas of interest.
  3. Students will be equipped to conduct advanced statistical analysis, to apply statistical knowledge and interpret statistical results across a range of social science sub-fields.

 

Program Requirements

Prior to applying for admission to the M-Stat program, students must have completed a four-year bachelor degree from an accredited university with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and taken the GRE exam (and TOEFL for international applicants; minimum score of 600).

 

Students are expected to have the following prerequisite knowledge and training prior to completing the M-Stat required curriculum, which may extend the time to degree completion or delay a student’s ability to apply for the program:

 

  • At least 2 semesters of calculus, including calculus with multiple variables:

(Math 1260, 1280, and 2210 or equivalent)

  • 2 semesters of basic statistics (undergrad is fine)
  • Knowledge of matrix theory

Once admitted, students in the M-Stat in Sociology program must complete the required coursework (program of study), as well as a mentored capstone research project. See next pages.

 

Program of Study

M-Stat in Sociology

 

The coursework required by a graduate program is called the student’s “Program of Study”. Note: Credit hours used to meet the requirements of a master’s program may not be used to meet the credit hour requirements of another degree being pursued simultaneously. Please work with the Director of Graduate Studies if you want to pursue two degrees. 

 

Required Courses

The M-Stat in Sociology requires the successful completion of 37 credit hours, consisting of courses related to the research foundations and theories within the discipline of Sociology, Math/Statistics, and an independent research/capstone project.

 

Sociology Core

SOC 6010 Proseminar (1)

SOC 6050 Sociological Theory (3)

SOC 6110 Methods of Social Research (3)

SOC XXXX Sociology Elective (3)

 

Elective seminars are typically offered on a rotating basis every 2 to 3 years.

Population & Health

SOC 6720 Medical Sociology SOC 7072 Population Principles

SOC 7071 Population Techniques

 

Global Comparative Sociology

SOC 6846 Political Sociology

SOC 6845 Sociology of Development

SOC 6837 Sociology of Gender

SOC 6834 Sociology of Race

SOC 6840 Environmental Sociology

 

Math & Statistics Core

SOC 6120 Statistics I (3)

SOC 7130 Statistics II (3)

MATH 5010 Intro to Probability (3)

MATH 5080 Statistical Inference I (3)

MATH 5090 Statistical Inference II (3)

Quantitative Electives (6)

Choose from STAT 6969 Special Topics, or a quantitatively-oriented graduate-level course (5000 level or above) from a department within the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Political Science, Family & Consumer Studies, Anthropology).

 

Project & Capstone

STAT 6869 M-Stat Capstone Course (3)

SOC 6940 Individual Research, Masters (3)

 

Committee

A Supervisory Committee consisting of three faculty members, the majority of whom must be tenure-line faculty in the student’s major department, is appointed no later than the second semester of graduate work. One of the committee members should be appointed as a chair. All course work counted toward the degree must be approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee.  One semester prior to graduation, a complete program of study should be entered into the Graduate Records Tracking System by the department graduate coordinator and then approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Purpose of Handbook

 

This handbook is intended to be a resource for prospective and current graduate students in the Department of Sociology at the University of Utah. It outlines the expectations, requirements, and policies governing the graduate program in Sociology. In addition to this handbook, students should regularly consult the Graduate School Policies and Guidelines located at the Graduate School website.

 

Graduate School website:

www.gradschool.utah.edu

 

Graduate School policies and requirements:

http://gradschool.utah.edu/graduate-catalog/degree-requirements/

 

University of Utah Student Handbook:

http://registrar.utah.edu/handbook/

 

 

As graduate students, you are expected to be independent and proactive in

managing and completing the requirements of your program of study.

 

Your success is dependent on you!

 

  If after reading this handbook and consulting with the university guidelines and policies, the Director of Graduate Studies, any Sociology faculty, and your fellow graduate students may be invaluable resources.   Do not hesitate to ask any of us.

 
 

Department of Sociology

The Department of Sociology at the University of Utah is among the oldest sociology departments in the country. The department offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. As a department, it excels in both research and teaching.

 

The department’s webpage, with many helpful links, is located here:

http://soc.utah.edu/

 

 Sociology Faculty

The Department of Sociology at the University of Utah currently consists of approximately 15 “Core Faculty” and a host of “Auxiliary Faculty.” The Core Faculty members are those individuals most responsible for the graduate program. Auxiliary Faculty members also participate in the graduate program by serving on student’s committees and offering seminars that are of interest to sociology graduate students.

 

A current list of Core Faculty, with links to their individual web pages, is available here:

http://soc.utah.edu/people/faculty.php.

 

A current list of Auxiliary Faculty is available here:

http://soc.utah.edu/people/adjunct.php.

 

Graduate Committee: Roles & Responsibilities

A tenured Core Faculty member serves as the Director of Graduate Studies (DOGS) for the Sociology PhD program. The Director chairs the Graduate Committee and supervises its functions. The Graduate Director is available to assist students with problems, especially those related to supervisory committees, departmental requirements, or university requirements.

 

The Graduate Committee is composed of the Director of Graduate Studies and sociology faculty members chosen by the department chair. The Graduate Committee oversees the functioning of the graduate program and advises the faculty on issues of policy, curriculum, and degree requirements. The Graduate Committee conducts the admission process, reviews student progress annually, and selects the winner of the department’s annual graduate teaching and research awards.

 

The Department Chairperson has the final authority in all actions taken by the DOGS and the Graduate Committee.

 

The Graduate Advisor works with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Committee in administering the graduate program. The Graduate Advisor provides staff support for the committee. The Graduate Advisor assembles admission files, communicates with the Graduate Admissions Office about applicants, and assists students with the completion of required paperwork.

Admissions

 

Prospective graduate students must apply for admission to the graduate program in sociology through the Graduate School at the University of Utah.

 

Online Application System

Applications must be submitted electronically through the ApplyYourself system at the following website:

            http://admissions.utah.edu/apply/graduate/

 

All required application materials must be submitted on or before February 1. The Graduate Committee in the Department of Sociology will review all application materials and makes recommendations for admission to the department faculty. Upon final approval by the Sociology faculty and the University of Utah Graduate School, the Director of Graduate Studies will notify applicants of their admission status by April 15.

 

Except in extraordinary circumstances, students may enter the program only during Fall term.

 

Graduate School Minimum Requirements

The requirements listed below are minimum requirements only and do not guarantee admission to a graduate program. Applicants are evaluated with respect to both Graduate School and departmental requirements and in reference to the pool of available applicants.

 

  1. An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, based on all undergraduate work or work completed during the last two years of undergraduate study
  2. A bachelor's degree from a fully accredited college or university
  3. Approval of the faculty in the Department of Sociology
  4. Approval of the Graduate School

 

International students must meet additional requirements and should consult the university’s Admissions Office web site.

            http://admissions.utah.edu/apply/international/

 

 

Department Admissions Considerations

Admission to the graduate program in sociology requires a strong undergraduate foundation in sociology or a related field from a fully accredited college or university. Students are admitted only to work toward the M-Stat in Sociology or the PhD in Sociology (although a master's degree may be earned during the course of PhD study). We do not consider applicants seeking only a Master’s Degree in Sociology.

 

Student’s interests and previous experiences are evaluated through three letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Applicants must also submit official scores from the GRE exam (quantitative, qualitative, writing subscores/percentiles). Admissions decisions are made based on the full packet of materials submitted and especially the student’s fit to the departmental program areas (Population & Health and Global Comparative Sociology) and faculty research expertise.

 

Accepting an Offer of Admission

An offer of acceptance is valid only for the semester the applicant is admitted. If an applicant does not attend during his/her admitted term, the applicant must reapply through the ApplyYourself online graduate admissions application and pay the application fee before the application deadline for the semester he/she wishes to begin.

 

The University of Utah is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools and supports their "April 15 Resolution," which outlines the obligations of graduate institutions and prospective graduate students regarding offers and acceptances of financial support. The resolution reads:

 

Acceptance of an offer of financial support* (such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by a prospective or enrolled graduate student completes an agreement that both student and graduate school expect to honor. In that context, the conditions affecting such offers and their acceptance must be defined carefully and understood by all parties.

                                                                                                                                              

Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer. It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution or a link to the URL should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer.

 

This Resolution was renewed October 2009.

*This Resolution applies to offers of financial support only, not offers of admission.

 

Registration & Enrollment

Once admitted, students should become familiar with the registration process at the University of Utah. The Office of the Registrar’s website will have information on class schedules, academic calendars, registration deadlines. You should also speak with the Director of Graduate Studies or your advisor to discuss which courses are required and recommended for your program of study.

 

http://registrar.utah.edu/

 

Once admitted and enrolled, graduate students are required by Graduate School policy to maintain continuous registration during the academic year of fall and spring semesters. If a graduate student must “stop out,” he/she should file for a Leave of Absence through their academic program. (See later section on “Leave of Absences” in this handbook). Students failing to maintain continuous registration and who have not been granted an official leave of absence will be discontinued from their graduate program.

 

Graduate School Policy states that graduate students are required to maintain continuous registration and must acquire permission from their Graduate Department for a "Leave of Absence" before leaving the University. A graduate student who fails to register for a term (excluding summer term) and does not file for a leave of absence is immediately made ineligible to register for future terms. Continuing students that have been discontinued will be required to apply for readmission into their graduate program.

 

Non-Matriculated Status

Students who do not qualify for admission to graduate studies or non-degree-seeking students may enroll in graduate-level courses on a non-matriculated basis. Credits earned by non-matriculated students may or may not apply to a graduate degree program. Decisions on accepting course credit are made by the Graduate Committee in the Department of Sociology. Only nine semester hours of non-matriculated credit, taken no more than three years prior to approval, can be applied toward a graduate degree. Non-matriculated and second baccalaureate students registering for one or more graduate level courses in their undergraduate career will be charged graduate tuition rates for all courses taken.

 

Credit for Previous Graduate Work

Students entering the sociology PhD program can request to receive credit from prior graduate-level work. Students are responsible for submitting requests (including all documentation) to the Director of Graduate Studies before the end of Fall semester in the first year of the Sociology graduate program.

 

Credit Hours. Credit hours do not transfer automatically. Students, however, may request a waiver that would exempt them from 1 to 2 graduate seminars (equivalent to about 6 credit hours) if they took similar courses during prior graduate-level coursework at a different accredited university. A request must include a syllabus, evidence of a passing grade (transcript), and a short justification of how the previous course material is relevant to one of the core or elective courses in the Program of Study.

 

Exemption. Students admitted to the PhD program may request exemption from the “third-year” paper requirement if they completed an empirical research project (i.e., thesis) during a previous masters program. A request must include a copy of the paper and a short justification of how the project satisfies the requirements of the third-year paper.

The Graduate Committee will review all petitions. Each petition will be evaluated separately. The Committee may award a student a waiver for required course work (1-2 required courses), exemption from the paper requirement, or both. Committee decisions will be documented in writing and placed in the student file. The student remains responsible for meeting all minimum credit hours and residency required by the Graduate School at the University of Utah for graduation.

 

Funding & Benefits

 

Students admitted to the Sociology PhD program are typically offered funding (i.e., stipend) for their service as teaching or research assistants. Students admitted to the M-Stat in Sociology are not typically offered funding. Funding decisions are made upon admission and are based on meritorious achievement as outlined in the admissions application. Funded students are generally eligible for the Tuition Benefit Program, as well as subsidized health insurance (both described below).

 

Doctoral students are eligible to receive up to 5 years of funding during fall and spring semesters (it is limited to 4 years for those who have a previous masters degree), assuming they make satisfactory progress in their academic requirements each year, as well as perform the expected duties and obligations of their assigned job. Each year, during an annual evaluation process, the faculty in the Department of Sociology will assess each student’s performance. Students who exhibit poor performance may be ineligible for funding in later years.

 

Tuition Benefit Program (TBP)

The Graduate School administers the Tuition Benefit Program. Assuming the student is offered a stipend at or above the minimum financial level (see https://gradschool.utah.edu/tbp as the minimum stipend changes each year), s/he will receive a waiver to cover up to 100% of tuition costs (special fees and differential tuition are not included). Partial tuition waivers (i.e., 25% or 50%) may be awarded for stipends that do not meet the minimum financial requirement.

 

TBP covers the cost of tuition associated with 9-12 graduate credit hours per semester during Fall and Spring, except for research assistants (RAs) whose tuition benefit is a minimum of nine and a maximum of 11 credit hours in Fall and Spring semesters and three credit hours in Summer semester. Non-resident tuition is covered in full, except for in cases of RAs who have exceeded 84 cumulative credit hours. At that point, the benefit will only cover resident tuition for RAs. This condition will be implemented in the semester when cumulative registration exceeds 84 credit hours as a University of Utah graduate student.

 

The four eligible job classifications that qualify a student for TBP participation are:

 

  1. Graduate Teaching Assistant (TA): A graduate student with instructional responsibilities as instructor of record or as assistant to the instructor of record. Duties may include lecturing, holding discussion or problem sessions, conducting laboratory sections, conducting studio or performance work, online instruction, grading, tutoring, and holding office hours. International students must be cleared through the International Teaching Assistant Program before being placed in jobs coded 9416.  In Sociology, students in the earlier stages of the program (i.e., years 1 and 2) typically work as TAs under other instructors, while more advanced students (i.e., years 3+) are eligible to teach their own courses.

 

Note: First year teaching assistants are required to attend the university's teaching assistant orientation and teaching workshop held by the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE). International students who have been appointed to teaching assistantships are required to take the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Training Workshop in addition to the university orientation. The Graduate School requires international students to obtain certification from the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Program. This certification is accomplished through full participation and a favorable evaluation from the ITA Workshop which is held once a year in August. For information on the certification process, see the ITA website: http://www.utah.edu/ita  

 

  1. Graduate Research Assistant (RA): A graduate student assigned directly to an externally funded research grant (5000 fund only) and doing research for that project. Please note that RA’s who participate in the subsidized health plan must have a benefit allotment attached to the 5000 fund that they are paid from that can cover the 80% of the premium for the health plan. The faculty member(s) managing the project/grant that is used to fund the student as an RA will outline and supervise the specific job expectations of the RA.

 

  1. Graduate Assistant (GA): A graduate student assigned work related to his/her degree program and not covered in the previous two categories. A GA must be funded by his/her department and not supported by external 5000 funding. If a student wishes to work as a GA outside his/her home department, prior approval must be granted by the Dean of The Graduate School. The job expectations of a GA will be outlined and supervised by the faculty member(s) sponsoring the research activities.

 

  1. Graduate Fellow (GF): A graduate student on a fellowship, whose tuition is not paid by the award. TBP has right of first refusal if other sources of tuition funding are available, meaning if tuition money is included in the fellowship award, the student should not use TBP. No employer-employee relationship exists in a fellowship. The University administers the award and a service expectation may or may not accompany it. Fellowships may be available through internal (University of Utah) or external sources. Most fellowships are for more advanced students in the dissertation stages, or for a specialized population or study area. When known, the Director of Graduate Studies will announce deadlines and application guidelines for relevant fellowship opportunities to all students through the departmental listserv.  

 

Nonmatriculated students, part-time students, and students on probationary status are ineligible for the TBP. Pursuant to SB-81, as of July 1, 2009, every University of Utah student who receives a scholarship, fellowship, or other financial aid administered by the University of Utah (including the TBP) are required by state law to certify that they are eligible to receive the scholarship as a U.S. citizen or a citizen of another country who is lawfully present in the U.S.

 

Registration Requirements: Students participating in the TBP must be:

  • Full-time, matriculated graduate students in good standing
  • Maintain cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Register for at least nine credit hours throughout the semester (Fall and Spring). Sociology encourages students to enroll in 12 credit hours per semester.
  • Cannot exceed an employment contract with FTE of .74. An FTE of .50 is the recommended maximum for graduate students.  (FTE = full time equivalent. An FTE of 1.0 is equivalent to a full-time worker)

 

Undergraduate, contract, and/or audited courses, repeated courses, and credit/noncredit courses count toward the required minimum nine credit hours but do not qualify for a tuition benefit. The benefit will not pay for those courses. A student registered for fewer than nine credit hours may make up the difference by registering for 6970, 6980, 7970, 7980, or other appropriate graduate credit such as 7800 (PDF). Students may register for a maximum 16 semester hours but are responsible for tuition for hours exceeding 12 credits.

 

IMPORTANT: Students adding and/or dropping courses after the semester’s published add/drop deadlines are responsible for any and all charges incurred, including withdrawals. Tuition benefit will not pay for withdrawn credit hours, and if registration falls below nine credit hours at any time during the semester, a student becomes ineligible for TBP participation and will be billed the full tuition for that semester.

 

 

Service Requirements: Graduate students receiving a tuition benefit are expected to fulfill the responsibilities appropriate to their specific assignments. No student is required to work more than 20 hours a week (0.50 FTE) in order to receive a tuition benefit. Faculty may expect up to 20 hours of work a week (0.50 FTE) from students receiving a 100% tuition benefit, 15 hours a week (0.375 FTE) from students receiving a 75% tuition benefit, and 10 hours a week (0.25 FTE) from students receiving a 50% tuition benefit. Students working one or more on-campus jobs with a combined FTE greater than a 0.74 FTE are ineligible to participate in the Graduate Tuition Benefit Program.

 

Note: It is important to remember that positions associated with the TA, RA, or GA classifications require work to be performed on an hourly/weekly basis. If a student does not meet the expectations or fulfill the duties associated with the “job” as outlined by a supervisor and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, s/he may be at risk of not being assigned a position (and thus, funding) in later semesters. Performance as a TA, RA, and GA will be considered during an annual evaluation process

 

Residency Status: As approved by the University of Utah president and according to Utah law and the Board of Regents’ policy, out-of-state TBP students are exempt from paying nonresident tuition. Their graduate tuition benefit is at the in-state rate. Tuition and fees not covered by the TBP are the student’s responsibility. Out-of-state, non-international graduate students receiving a tuition benefit must apply for Utah residency upon fulfilling 40 semester credit hours at a regionally accredited Utah institution of higher education. Thus, the Residency Reclassification Application is typically completed after the second year and before July 1, in order to be reclassified before Fall semester of your third year. A student’s ability to establish residency will not affect receipt of a tuition benefit.

 

All students submitting a Residency Reclassification Application must take overt steps to prove their intent to make Utah their permanent residence. For example, a person that holds a valid driver’s license from any other state must replace it with a Utah driver’s license. Or, if they have no driver’s license, they must get a Utah ID card. Go to http://admissions.utah.edu/apply/residency/ for details on how to apply and qualify for residency reclassification.

 

Restrictions: A graduate tuition benefit is available only to graduate students compensated through the University of Utah. The TBP covers general graduate tuition and mandatory fees. Differential tuition charged by various university graduate and professional programs is the responsibility of the graduate student, department, and/or college. Students may participate in the TBP for a limited number of semesters, which need not be sequential.

Time Limits for Participation

  1. Students in a master’s program are limited to two years (four semesters) of tuition benefit support.
  2. Students in a doctoral program who entered with a bachelor’s degree are limited to five years (10 semesters) of tuition benefit support.
  3. Students in a doctoral program who received a master’s degree at the University of Utah are limited to five years of tuition benefit support (two years for a master’s + three additional years for a doctorate).
  4. Students entering a doctoral program with a master’s degree from another university are eligible for four years (eight semesters) of tuition benefit support.

 

The student and department are responsible for maintaining an accurate count of the semesters of tuition benefit support a student has received. A student who receives more terms of tuition benefit than he or she is eligible for may be retroactively billed for the tuition of the ineligible semester(s).

 

Student Health Insurance Benefit Program (SHIBP)

Graduate students have an option to get affordable health insurance coverage through the Graduate School as part of their Tuition Benefit Program (TBP).

 

Q1. What health insurance is available for University of Utah graduate students?

A1. All eligible University of Utah students, graduate and undergraduate, can enroll in a student health insurance plan serviced by United HealthCare Student Resources. A brochure describing the existing plan is available at the U of U Student Health Center website or on-line at www.uhcsr.com/utah. Students may also enroll in a private plan not offered through the University, although international students who purchase a private plan will be required to complete a waiver process and the coverage purchased must fulfill certain requirements in order for the waiver to be approved – contact Kerry Hill at the Student Health Center for more information.

 

Q2. Who is eligible to participate in the Student Health Insurance Benefit Program (SHIBP)?

A2. Full-time graduate TAs, full-time graduate RAs, or graduate students with a full-time TA/RA combination appointment are eligible to receive the health insurance subsidy. Graduate Fellow (GF) and Graduate Assistant (GA) categories are not provided a Graduate School health insurance subsidy. Check with the departmental administrator to verify your eligibility each semester.

 

Q3. What are the requirements for qualifying for the SHIBP?

A3. The health insurance requirements match the graduate student tuition benefit plan (TBP) requirements for a full or 100% tuition benefit: (a) be a matriculated graduate student, (b) receive University funding equivalent to the 100% TBP eligibility level each semester, (c) be registered for at least nine credit hours (but no more than 16); and (d) be in good standing (cumulative GPA of 3.0, Law School, 2.0). The semester assignment must be 100% TA or 100% RA or 100% TA/RA mix. Tuition benefit time limits also apply to the health insurance benefit.

 

Q4. Is it mandatory to participate in the SHIBP?

A4. No. You may choose not to enroll in the subsidized plan, however international students are automatically enrolled in the student health plan unless they have waived coverage through the Student Health Center, see A1 above.

 

Q5. How can I participate in the SHIBP?

A5. At the start of Fall and Spring semesters, communicate to your departmental TBP coordinator that you wish to elect coverage under the subsidized health insurance benefit plan. After verifying your eligibility (see A3 above), your TBP coordinator will enter your data on the departmental TBP web page and check the health insurance box indicating your desire to participate. The signature sheet for the TBP has a column indicating whether or not you are enrolling. If your name is not entered on the TBP web page for that semester, you cannot participate in the subsidized health insurance plan for that semester.

 

 Q6. What if I am left off the TBP/SHIBP web list?

A6. It is your responsibility to verify with your department’s tuition benefit coordinator before the 15th day of classes that you have been entered on the departmental list. After the 15th day of classes each semester, no additional changes can be made to subsidized insurance enrollment. No retroactive benefits are available for the TBP, and none will be available for the SHIBP.

 

Q7. What if I enroll in the SHIBP but fail to satisfy the requirements?

A7. You will be responsible for the full amount of the premium.

 

Q8. What is the maximum benefit and covered services?

A8. Per the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the student insurance plan has no overall maximum dollar limit (per insured person, per policy year). Covered services are described in the plan booklet and on-line at www.uhcsr.com/utah.

 

Q9. Is maternity care available with the SHIBP?

A9. Yes. All student health insurance plans are required to include maternity benefits.

 

Q10. Are prescription drugs covered under the SHIBP?

A10. Yes. The benefit for Prescription Drugs reimburses the students for 50% of the cost of prescriptions.” Contraceptives and Generic prescription drugs are reimbursed at 100% at any pharmacy and both Brand and Generic are covered at 100% when filled at Madsen Pharmacy.

 

Q11. What is the cost of the insurance?

A11. If you are part of the subsidized plan, the University pays 80% of your annual premium and you pay 20% of the annual premium. This is typically a couple hundred dollars each semester. You will be billed by Income Accounting at the start of Fall semester and again at the start of Spring semester, if you choose to enroll for Spring. You are responsible for the full additional premium if you add a spouse and/or children.

 

Q13. If I have a spouse and/or dependent children, can they be added to my SHIBP coverage?

A13. If you wish to add coverage for spouse and/or children, you must enroll them online and pay the appropriate premium at your expense. Click “Request Dependent Coverage” at www.uhcsr.com/utah during the open enrollment period to reserve coverage for your dependents. The premium amounts for adding spouse or children for the subsidized plan are available at the beginning of the brochure found at www.uhcsr.com/utah.

 

Q14. What are the dates of SHIBP coverage?

A14. Coverage for the subsidized plan only is divided into biannual coverage periods: 8/16 – 2/14 (Fall enrollment), and 2/15 – 8/15 (Spring enrollment) each year. Note that this is different from coverage periods for the regular student plan (not subsidized), which coincide with semester dates: August 16 through December 31 for Fall semester, January 1 through May 15 for spring Semester, and May 16 through August 15 for Summer semester.

 

Q15. If I am covered by the SHIBP for both Fall and Spring semesters, who pays for Summer semester?

A15. When a graduate student participates in SHIBP for both Fall and Spring semesters, Summer semester is automatically included for the full 12-month coverage. See coverage periods in A15 above.

 

Q16. If I am qualified on the SHIBP for just a single semester (Fall or Spring) during the academic year, what happens to my insurance coverage for the next term and for the summer?

A16. If you are supported for a single semester on the TBP, you are encouraged to enroll in the voluntary plan for the subsequent semester(s) to keep continuous health insurance coverage. Please contact Graduate School to avoid coverage gaps.

 

 Time Out

 

Students are expected to enter grad school and remain continuously enrolled until graduation. But sometimes, people need a break. Here we discuss how to arrange for time-away from your graduate program or for more time to finish your degree, should it be necessary.

 

Leave of Absence

Sometimes in the course of a graduate program it is necessary for a student to take time off for an extended period of time. Reasons might include:

  • Parental leave (see separate policy, next page)
  • Military service
  • Serious sickness or illness of student or family member
  • Conflict with outside work, especially if related to academic goals
  • Other compelling reasons that the department believes are in the best interests of both the student and the University

 

Requesting a Leave of Absence

If you need to temporarily leave graduate school (other than during the summer term), meet with your advisor and Director of Graduate Studies to discuss your circumstances and options. They, along with the Department Chair, must petition the Graduate School for an official leave of absence.

 

The “Request for Leave of Absence” form must be approved and signed by the student’s Supervisory Committee chair and department chair and then forwarded to the dean of The Graduate School for approval. The form requesting a leave of absence for a current semester must be completed and received in The Office of the Registrar by the last day of classes of that semester. Leaves of absence are not granted retroactively. Students must officially withdraw from classes in any semester for which a leave is granted; failure to formally withdraw results in the reporting of E or EU grades for all classes.

 

The period during which a leave of absence is granted does not count toward the period allowed to complete the degree. Leaves are granted for a maximum of one year at a time, and may be renewed by submitting a new form to The Office of the Registrar. The leave of absence is void if a student registers for classes in a semester for which a leave was granted.

 

A formal leave of absence means that the student is taking time-off from both coursework (enrollment) and work obligations, thus funding is typically suspended during a formal leave of absence.

 

Note: International students considering a leave of absence should consult with the International Students Services (ISS0 Office, as additional steps may be required to maintain legal immigration status.

 

Returning to the Program After an Absence

If the student took an official leave of absence, or maintained the minimum continuous registration, then there is no special arrangement necessary for the student’s return. Unfortunately, if the student did have a lapse in registration without a leave, then the student must reapply to the program. If this is you, please consult the Graduate School website for more details.

 

 Extending Your Time Limits (Going Part-Time)

There are options for extending your tenure as a graduate student; this is most relevant to students who decide they need to go part-time. One way to do this is to maintain the minimum continuous registration, typically by enrolling for 3 credit hours. While you cannot claim Tuition Benefits with less than 9 credit hours, you can maintain your status as a graduate student in good standing at a relatively small cost. Note that you may have to reapply or request a timeline extension if you attempt to remain registered for more than 7 years. See this link for more information: gradschool.utah.edu/graduatecatalog/registration

 

Parental Leave

The Department of Sociology provides up to 12-weeks of parental leave to graduate students in good standing, provided that they have not yet defended their dissertation. Ordinarily, this benefit will be interpreted as a maternal leave policy, with the 12- week period including or immediately following the birth/adoption date of the child. A man who is the primary caregiver within the family may petition to be considered for a paternal leave. Funded students who are granted parental leave will be paid at their normal rate during the 12-week leave.  In other words, a parental leave will not jeopardize funding or tuition benefit.

 

Students granted parental leave will work with Director of Graduate Studies, his/her research advisor, and the department Chair to develop and approve a revised workload assignment to accommodate the approved leave period. A “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) outlining the dates of the approved leave and the revised workload accommodation will be signed by all parties involved, usually including the student, Director of Graduate Studies, Department Chair, and faculty advisor.  This MOU will be kept in the student’s file. Please talk with the Director of Graduate Studies ASAP if you wish to apply for parental leave, so a workload accommodation can be developed.

 

Note: Students who experience a medical condition associated with their pregnancy and need accommodations recommended by their medical provider, should contact the University's Title IX Coordinator, who will work with the student, cognizant faculty, and administration to determine what accommodations are reasonable and effective.


 Degree Programs

 

 The sociology department offers two degree programs:

 

  1. M-Stat in Sociology
  2. PhD in Sociology

 

The following pages describe the program of study and requirements for each degree.

 

 

M-Stat in Sociology

 

 

The Department of Sociology at the University of Utah offers a M-Stat in Sociology. This applied masters program is offered in several disciplines throughout the University of Utah campus: www.mstat.utah.edu

 

Program Purpose

The program is designed for students whose interest lies in the application of statistical methods to sociological and social problems. The program prepares students to be broadly knowledgeable in statistics and probability theory. Students learn state-of-the-art programming and applications in the Sociology area of concentration. Graduates are trained to pursue careers in industry, the public sector, or to continue doctoral studies.

 

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will gain working knowledge of the main theories and debates within sociology, the principles of social science, research design and data analysis.
  2. Students will gain the ability to synthesize state-of-the-art theory and research in their chosen areas of interest.
  3. Students will be equipped to conduct advanced statistical analysis, to apply statistical knowledge and interpret statistical results across a range of social science sub-fields.

 

Program Requirements

Prior to applying for admission to the M-Stat program, students must have completed a four-year bachelor degree from an accredited university with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and taken the GRE exam (and TOEFL for international applicants; minimum score of 600).

 

Students are expected to have the following prerequisite knowledge and training prior to completing the M-Stat required curriculum, which may extend the time to degree completion or delay a student’s ability to apply for the program:

 

  • At least 2 semesters of calculus, including calculus with multiple variables:

(Math 1260, 1280, and 2210 or equivalent)

  • 2 semesters of basic statistics (undergrad is fine)
  • Knowledge of matrix theory

Once admitted, students in the M-Stat in Sociology program must complete the required coursework (program of study), as well as a mentored capstone research project. See next pages.

 

Program of Study

M-Stat in Sociology

 

The coursework required by a graduate program is called the student’s “Program of Study”. Note: Credit hours used to meet the requirements of a master’s program may not be used to meet the credit hour requirements of another degree being pursued simultaneously. Please work with the Director of Graduate Studies if you want to pursue two degrees. 

 

Required Courses

The M-Stat in Sociology requires the successful completion of 37 credit hours, consisting of courses related to the research foundations and theories within the discipline of Sociology, Math/Statistics, and an independent research/capstone project.

 

Sociology Core

SOC 6010 Proseminar (1)

SOC 6050 Sociological Theory (3)

SOC 6110 Methods of Social Research (3)

SOC XXXX Sociology Elective (3)

 

Elective seminars are typically offered on a rotating basis every 2 to 3 years.

Population & Health

SOC 6720 Medical Sociology SOC 7072 Population Principles

SOC 7071 Population Techniques

 

Global Comparative Sociology

SOC 6846 Political Sociology

SOC 6845 Sociology of Development

SOC 6837 Sociology of Gender

SOC 6834 Sociology of Race

SOC 6840 Environmental Sociology

 

Math & Statistics Core

SOC 6120 Statistics I (3)

SOC 7130 Statistics II (3)

MATH 5010 Intro to Probability (3)

MATH 5080 Statistical Inference I (3)

MATH 5090 Statistical Inference II (3)

Quantitative Electives (6)

Choose from STAT 6969 Special Topics, or a quantitatively-oriented graduate-level course (5000 level or above) from a department within the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Political Science, Family & Consumer Studies, Anthropology).

 

Project & Capstone

STAT 6869 M-Stat Capstone Course (3)

SOC 6940 Individual Research, Masters (3)

 

Committee

A Supervisory Committee consisting of three faculty members, the majority of whom must be tenure-line faculty in the student’s major department, is appointed no later than the second semester of graduate work. One of the committee members should be appointed as a chair. All course work counted toward the degree must be approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee.  One semester prior to graduation, a complete program of study should be entered into the Graduate Records Tracking System by the department graduate coordinator and then approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Syllabi

Many of the required courses will follow a traditional instructor-created syllabus that outlines the expectations, requirements, and grading guidelines associated with the course. Other courses that are more independent in nature, where a student works with an instructor to complete an independent project or directed reading, will require a student-generated syllabus where the student and instructor on record will create a brief contract of what will be accomplished during the semester and how the student will be evaluated/graded for that work.   This contract or syllabus should be created within the first few weeks of a semester. It should be signed and agreed to by both the student and the instructor.

 

Continuous Enrollment

All graduate students must be registered for at least one course (3 credit hours) from the time of formal admission through completion of all requirements for the degree they are seeking, unless granted an official leave of absence. Students not on campus and not using University facilities are not expected to register for summer term. Students must, however, be registered during summer term if they are defending the thesis project. If students do not comply with this continuous registration policy and do not obtain an official leave of absence, they will be automatically discontinued from graduate study. In this case, students will be required to reapply for admission to the University through Graduate Admissions upon approval of the home department.

 

Graduate students are not permitted to register for more than 16 credit hours in any single semester. Requests for exceptions to this policy must be submitted in writing to the dean of The Graduate School by the student’s advisor.

 

Time Limits

All work for the master’s degree must be completed within four consecutive calendar years. On recommendation of the student’s supervisory committee, the dean of The Graduate School can modify or waive this requirement. If the student exceeds the time limit and is not granted a modification or waiver, the department has the option to discontinue the student (they may reapply for admission). Students whose studies have been interrupted for long periods of time and who have been granted extended time to complete their degrees may be required to complete additional courses, pass examinations, or otherwise demonstrate that they are current in their field.

 

Residency Requirement

According to Graduate School policy, a minimum of 24 credit hours (out of the total 37) must be completed while in residence at the University of Utah.

 

Exceptions

If a student wants to request an exception to any of the requirements in the Program of Study, they must submit a written petition to the Director of Graduate Studies.   This petition should include explicit justification, including documentation (e.g., syllabi from alternate courses).

 

Relevant and equivalent graduate coursework completed previously at an accredited university may be used to waive some of the required courses listed in the Program of Study above. Typically, credit for previous coursework is limited to 6 credit hours. It is the student’s responsibility to prepare and submit a petition to count previous graduate to the Director of Graduate Studies upon admission.   Petitions will be reviewed by the full Graduate Committee in the Department of Sociology.

Research Project

M-Stat in Sociology

 

This requirement is intended to help students develop and execute an independent research project. It is an opportunity to conduct a research project that is closely mentored by a faculty member and that applies statistical training to a problem or question of sociological value. It is a “capstone” project that integrates and applies the learning of the full M-Stat program.

 

Description

This is an independent research project in which a student produces a publishable-like manuscript that uses statistical analysis to answer a specific research question within the traditions and theoretical perspectives of Sociology. Although the paper does not have to be published in order to complete this requirement, the manuscript produced typically leads to the student’s first solo-authored publication. The paper should be of a scope that can be completed in one year, given the students’ current capabilities, access to data and any other resources needed to complete the project.  

 

Students are encouraged to use a topic they have already considered in graduate coursework.  Students, for example, might implement the proposal they developed in Research Methods.  The project can also draw on a topic discussed in the Theory seminar.  Or, students may choose to complete and/or expand an analysis started in one of the required Stats classes. The paper produced for this requirement has to be unique, not identical to something that has already been graded in the context of another course. It is customary for students to use secondary (already existing) data to complete this project.

 

 

 

Committee

It is the student’s responsibility to select a Primary Reader (faculty advisor) for this project before enrolling in SOC 6940. When asking a faculty member to be the advisor of your project, you should be prepared to discuss the general direction and plan for this project, including the type of data to be used. The faculty advisor for the capstone research project is typically a tenure-track faculty member from the Department of Sociology who is the chair of the student’s Supervisory Committee. Please consult with the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Sociology, if you want to select an advisor outside of Sociology or outside of your Supervisory Committee.

 

In addition to the faculty advisor on record, students are welcome to consult with additional faculty advisors (within and outside of the Sociology department) should additional substantive or methodological advice and guidance be needed to complete the project.   As well, the chosen faculty advisor will often consult – formally or informally -- with the members of the student’s Supervisory Committee during the completion and approval of the final project.

 

 

 

Format

The final product will consist of a well-developed and polished empirical manuscript written by the student. An empirical paper typically includes an abstract, introduction, literature review, method, results, discussion, and references sections. Generally, the length of the paper should follow subdisciplinary or genre-specific guidelines used by sociology journals.   Students should work with their faculty advisor to identify a potential target journal for the topic and type of analysis selected for the project. Students are expected to produce a manuscript that follows the “author guidelines” for the selected target journal.

 

No formal presentation (defense) is required; however, students are encouraged to present their work (completed or in-progress) during a Department of Sociology brownbag presentation.

 

Enrollment

Students will enroll in SOC 6940 for a minimum of 3 credit hours during the semester in which they are completing their research project.

 

A separate section of SOC 6940 will be created, upon student request, with the chosen faculty advisor listed as the instructor.   Students may receive a “T” grade if the project is not completed during the semester enrolled, showing that they are making progress on the project but it is not yet complete. The “T” grade will be changed when the project is completed and approved by the faculty advisor.

 

 

Timing & Completion

M-Stat students are expected to complete the project during a single semester, often their final semester of the M-Stat program. At the end of the semester, the faculty advisor will review the produced manuscript and consider whether it should receive one of the following grades:

 

  • Pass -- the student is encouraged to consider submitting the paper for publication review and has finalized the “capstone research project” requirement of the M-Stat degree.

 

  • Conditional Pass -- the student should work with the faculty advisor to outline expected revisions. Revisions and final faculty approval must be completed before the M-Stat is completed.

 

  • Fail -- the student will be dismissed from the program and not allowed to continue in the program. This is a rare outcome.

 

The faculty advisor will report the outcome (grade) to the student’s Supervisory Committee. If the completion of the project is stalled or delayed (i.e., taking more than two semesters to complete), the student’s faculty advisor will work together with the student’s Supervisory Committee to provide specific timelines and expectations for the student to finish the project in a timely and successful manner. If progress remains stalled or lacks the minimum expectations for quality (as assessed by the student’s Supervisory Committee), the student’s overall progress in the program will be evaluated by the Graduate Committee. A student failing to make steady progress could be dismissed from the program.

 

As with all requirements, exceptions or deviations to these requirements will be made on a case-by-case decision.   Please speak with the Director Graduate Studies, who will discuss your case with the Graduate Committee.


 

Suggested Timeline

M-Stat in Sociology


Given the variability in individual circumstances and research interests, each students’ timeline will be unique. Students are encouraged to consult with their Supervisory Committee and/or the Director of Graduate Studies about course selection, timing, and strategies for degree completion. Below is a typical calendar that M-Stat students can use as a guideline to ensure they complete the program requirements in a timely fashion. This schedule assumes that the student enrolls in about 12 credit hours per semester and has completed all prerequisite requirements. This schedule also assumes that the student enters the program with no previous graduate work.

YEAR 1

Semester 1

SOC 6010 Proseminar (1)
SOC 6120 Stats I (3)

SOC 6050 Sociological Theory (3)

 

MATH 5010 Intro to Probability (3)

Elective Seminar (0 or 3)

 

 Semester 2

SOC 6110 Research Methods (3) 
SOC 7130 Stats II (3)

 

 

MATH 5080 Statistical Inference I (3)
Elective Seminar (3)

YEAR 2

Semester 1

Elective Seminar (3 or 6)

MATH 5090 Statistical Inference II (3)

 

Semester 2

SOC 6940 Individual Research (3)

STAT 6869 M-Stat Capstone (3)

Research Project

 

PhD in Sociology

 

 

The Department of Sociology at the University of Utah offers a PhD in Sociology.

 

Program Purpose

The PhD in Sociology provides training in sociological theory and research methodology to equip doctoral students with strong scholarly and pedagogical skills. Students will be prepared for a wide range of academic, research, government, policy, or industry positions with strong critical thinking, analytical, communication, and teamwork skills.

 

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will gain working knowledge of the main theories and debates within sociology, the principles of social science, research design and data analysis.
  2. Students will gain the ability to synthesize state-of-the-art theory and research in their chosen areas of interest.
  3. Students will gain the ability to conduct independent, original, and scientifically meritorious work. This ability is built upon the knowledge of social theory, research design, and quantitative and qualitative analytical approaches developed in required coursework, preliminary exam preparation, and through faculty mentorship.
  4. Students will become competent teachers. Students will receive training in pedagogical techniques, and/or have opportunities to be a teaching assistant or an independent instructor teaching their own courses.
  5. Students will develop skills in communicating research study design and results to diverse audiences. The program encourages students to attend academic conferences to present their research.
  6. Students will gain skills in grant writing and / or other modes of seeking relevant research support. Students are encouraged to apply for relevant internal and external support for their graduate studies and research program. Students will receive mentoring from faculty and be introduced to grant writing support resources across campus.

 

 

Description of the PhD Program

The PhD in Sociology will provide students with a foundation in sociological theory and research methods (including statistics). The PhD program also provides students instruction on pedagogy and research ethics to provide specific skills related to potential careers. The program is designed to offer a lot of flexibility for students to develop their own research interests and topics. PhD students will select to specialize in one of two emphasis areas.

 

  1. Global and Comparative Sociology
  2. Sociology of Population and Health

 

The Global and Comparative Sociology (GCS) program area focuses on the empirical study of social structures and processes in comparative perspective. In addition to comparative analyses of nation-states, faculty members in this area routinely study social, political, economic, and cultural phenomena at the sub-, trans-, and supra-national levels of analysis. The GCS program trains students to conduct theoretically grounded, methodologically sound, and empirically rigorous research in both political sociology and political economy of development. These interconnected subareas address fundamental questions pertaining to the distribution of power and resources within and among national societies. Within these broad subareas, GCS faculty members conduct qualitative and quantitative research on a wide variety of topics such as stratification on the basis of gender, race, and class; health and well-being; global environmental change; economic development; globalization and cultural change; urbanization and global cities; collective action and social movements; international human rights; and the politics of class formation. Many of these substantive foci overlap with the department’s other core program area, the Sociology of Population and Health, giving interested students the opportunity to conduct research at the intersection of both content areas.

 

The GCS program area provides students with the theoretical, methodological, and substantive training necessary for conducting independent research. Alongside required courses in social theory, research methods, and statistical analysis, GCS students enroll in discussion-based seminars focusing on political sociology and political economy of development. Additional seminars introduce students to substantive literatures in the areas of sociology of gender, racial/ethnic relations, and the environment. Students choosing to specialize in GCS will take a comprehensive exam at the end of their second year in the program, based on reading lists in political sociology, political economy (sociology of development), and one of the program’s three subsidiary areas. Students will also have ample opportunities to collaborate directly with GCS faculty members on research projects. These courses and experiences prepare students to conduct high-quality, evidence-based research in a range of academic and policy-related careers.

 

The general focus of the Population and Health (PH) program area is on describing characteristics of human populations and how population dynamics affect human health and well-being.  This unique area blends training in medical sociology, social epidemiology, gerontology, and demography.  Faculty mentors in this area are conducting research examining the demographic (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, immigrant and legal status, marital status, and living arrangements) behavioral (e.g., physical activity, smoking), and socio-environmental (e.g., neighborhood and family contexts) determinants of health, mortality, and well-being across the life course.  Other faculty projects are exploring population-related issues through the study of family, gender, race/ethnicity, crime and violence, and migration.  This research has covered settings in the United States, Asia, and Europe.  International comparative studies of population health outcomes (e.g., healthcare and mortality) are also conducted, providing a natural bridge between the PH and GCS core areas of emphasis in the department.

 

A central goal of the PH program area is to provide students with both the theoretical background and methodological competency necessary to conduct high quality, evidence-based research in academic and policy related careers.  To that end, the doctoral program provides extensive training for students in research methodology and statistical analysis, as well as courses in social theory.  Students choosing to specialize in PH enroll in a sequence of courses taught by Sociology faculty that are specifically related to the study of populations and health, including an introductory seminar on population measures and dynamics, a discussion-based seminar on contemporary population health issues, and a seminar on medical sociology which focuses heavily on the social determinants of health.  Additional seminars on migration, advanced demographic methods, family, gender, environment, and global health are other electives that students can choose to take.  Students choosing to specialize in PH will take a comprehensive exam at the end of their second year, based on the area’s reading list.

 

Program Requirements

In order to earn a PhD in Sociology and regardless of which emphasis area one chooses, students must complete the following program requirements:

 

  • Required Coursework (Program of Study)
  • Comprehensive Area Exam
  • Third-Year Paper
  • Qualifying Exam
  • Dissertation Project

 

Program of Study

PhD in Sociology

 

The coursework and credit hours required by a graduate program is called the student’s “Program of Study”. To be eligible for the PhD in Sociology, students must be in residence at least two consecutive semesters, complete a minimum of 14 credit hours of SOC 7977 “Dissertation Research,” and successfully finish all required courses in the Program of Study outlined below.   Doctoral students who wish to apply for a master’s degree (M.S. in Sociology) may do so after completing a minimum of 30 credit hours, including the completion of the specific courses designated below in bold.

Required Courses

A PhD in Sociology requires the successful completion of the following courses.

 

SOC 6010   Proseminar (1)

SOC 7800 Professional Development Forum (3)

 

SOC 6050 Sociological Theory (3)

SOC 6110 Methods of Social Research (3)

SOC 6120 Statistics I (3)

SOC 7130 Statistics II   (3)

 

PHL 7570 Research Ethics (1)

CTLE 6000 Teaching in Higher Education (3)

 

Advanced Research Methods or Statistics (3 )

 

Elective Seminars (9)

This requirement can be fulfilled by courses inside or outside of the Sociology Department. The Sociology seminars listed below are recommended, since they will be useful in preparing for the Comprehensive Area Exam in the chosen area. Each of these listed seminars will be offered on a rotating basis, typically every 2 to 3 years. Other substantive seminars and/or advanced Sociological methods courses such as Longitudinal Data Analysis or Qualitative Methods will be offered occasionally, as instructors are available and student demand requires.

      

Population & Health

SOC 6720 Medical Sociology

SOC 7072 Population Principles

SOC 7071 Population Techniques

FCS 6120 Demographic Methods

Global Comparative Sociology

SOC 6846 Political Sociology

SOC 6845 Sociology of Development

SOC 6837 Sociology of Gender

SOC 6834 Sociology of Race

SOC 6840 Environmental Sociology

 

SOC 6931 Comprehensive Area Exam: Population & Health(6)

- or-

SOC 6932 Comprehensive Area Exam: Global Comparative Sociology (6)

 

SOC 7910 Third Year Research Paper (minimum of 3)

 

SOC 7931 Qualifying Exam: Extended Review of Literature (6)

SOC 7950 Qualifying Exam: Dissertation Proposal (6)

 

SOC 7977 Dissertation Research (14)

 

Committee

A student’s Supervisory Committee, along with the Director of Graduate Studies, will approve each student’s Program of Study, when a degree has been completed and/or a student applies for graduation. The administrative staff in the main sociology office will update the student’s “tracking” report as an official record with the Graduate School.  This committee must be formed prior to a student applying for graduation.

 

Syllabi

Many of the required courses will follow a traditional instructor-created syllabus that outlines the expectations, requirements, and grading guidelines associated with the course. Other courses that are more independent in nature, where a student works with an instructor to complete an independent project or directed reading will require a student-generated syllabus where the student and instructor on record will create a brief contract of what will be accomplished during the semester and how the student will be evaluated/graded for that work. This contract or syllabus should be created within the first few weeks of a semester. It should be signed and agreed to by both the student and the instructor.

 

Minimum GPA and Grades

A student will be dismissed from the program if s/he receives a cumulative GPA below 3.0. A student must pass all required courses with a grade of "B" or better. Students cannot select the credit/no credit or pass/fail option for a required course (except for PHL 7570) and have it count toward the degree.

 

If a grade of B- or lower is received in any required course or if the GPA falls below a 3.0, a student can be automatically terminated from the program, unless a petition is filed within 40 working days from the posting of semester grades. The petition will be evaluated by the Graduate Committee. A decision will be made and notification given to the student within 15 working days after the receipt of the petition. A student may be granted permission to continue, on probation.   It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Graduate Committee of any failing grades (B- or lower) or subpar GPAs (below 3.0) as they happen. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the petition process.

 

Continuous Enrollment

All graduate students must be registered for at least one course (3 credit hours) from the time of formal admission through completion of all requirements for the degree they are seeking, unless granted an official leave of absence. Students are not expected to register for summer term, unless they are taking a course, completing an exam, or defending theses/dissertations during the summer semester. If students do not comply with this continuous registration policy and do not obtain an official leave of absence, they will be automatically discontinued from graduate study. In this case, students will be required to reapply for admission to the University through Graduate Admissions upon approval of the home department.

 

After completing all requirements in the ‘program of study’ (including the dissertation defense), a doctoral student may register for “Continuing Registration” (SOC 7999) if the candidate is not using faculty time or University facilities, except for the library. Course number 7999 is limited to a maximum of four semesters with no exceptions. “Continuing Registration” (course number 7999) cannot be used for verification of half- or full-time enrollment in order to qualify for deferment of student loan repayments or to receive student loan funds.

 

Minimum & Maximum Enrollment (per semester)

In general, students are encouraged to enroll in 12 credit hours per semester. Graduate students are not permitted to register for more than 16 credit hours in any single semester. A schedule of 9 hours is considered the minimum “full” load. Requests for exceptions to this policy must be submitted in writing to the dean of The Graduate School by the student’s advisor. Students in the Tuition Benefit Program (TBP) are advised to refer to the TBP information page to review policies related to maximum hours. http://gradschool.utah.edu/tbp/tuition-benefit-program-guidelines/.

Time Limits

All program requirements are ideally completed within five years, given the limits imposed by the Tuition Benefit Program.

 

Students who exceed the time limits imposed by the TBP (4-5 years, depending on whether the student enters the program with previous graduate work), for whatever reason, will be automatically discontinued from the Sociology program after seven consecutive calendar years, according to Graduate School policy on time limits. Upon written recommendation from one’s dissertation committee and the Director of Graduate Studies, the Dean of the Graduate School may extend the 7-year time limit in extraordinary cases.

 

Residency Requirements

According to Graduate School policy, a doctorate requires a minimum of 24 credit hours and one full year (two consecutive semesters) be spent in full-time academic work while in residence at the University of Utah. This residency requirement may be fulfilled at any time during the course of study.

 

Exceptions

If a student wants to request an exception to any of the requirements in the Program of Study, they must submit a written petition to the Director of Graduate Studies.   This petition should include explicit justification, including documentation (e.g., syllabi from alternate courses). The Graduate Committee will consider the petition and make exceptions if/when reasonable. Exceptions may include course substitutions or waived requirements. Waived requirements are typically only available to students who have done graduate level course work prior to being admitted to the Department of Sociology PhD program. Please see the section on Admissions for possible exceptions made for people entering with previous graduate work.

Multiple Degrees & Graduate Certificates

Many graduate students choose to do a Graduate Certificate while completing the requirements for their primary degree. A listing of graduate degrees and certificates offered outside of the Sociology department can be found here:   http://www.utah.edu/academics/colleges.php

 

Some students may wish to apply for the Masters in Sociology en route to completing the requirements of the PhD in Sociology. Other students may wish to complete an M-Stat in Sociology, along with the PhD in Sociology. Completing multiple degrees simultaneously can be done, but strategically and carefully planning coursework is required.

 

A hard-and-fast rule is that credit hours that have been or will count toward one degree/certificate cannot count for another degree/certificate. For example, credit hours that have been counted towards the M.S. degree cannot count toward the PhD. And, credit hours that have been counted for the M-Stat program cannot count toward a MS in Sociology.  

 

Students in the Sociology doctoral program who would like to apply for the M.S. degree in Sociology typically have to declare this during their second semester (spring in Year 1). Students must complete all master’s-level requirements within four consecutive calendar years. Upon written recommendation of one's Master's supervisory committee and the Director of Graduate Studies, the Dean of The Graduate School may modify this time limit in extraordinary cases.

 

If you are interested in pursuing multiple degrees simultaneously or adding a Graduate Certificate to your program of study, please consult with the Director of Graduate Studies to ensure that you are meeting the minimum credit hour requirements of both programs, and are able to efficiently fulfill both Programs of Study.


Comprehensive Area Exam

PhD in Sociology

 

The Comprehensive Area Exam evaluates the students’ ability to demonstrate a commanding knowledge of the relevant theories, methods, and current research literature in a substantive area. Students must demonstrate an ability to synthesize and critically assess the scholarly literature in one of the department’s two areas of emphasis.

 

Description

Students will select which of the department’s two areas of emphasis to be tested on: Global and Comparative Sociology (GCS) or Population and Health (P&H).

 

The comprehensive area exam in GCS assesses students’ knowledge in two core subfields: political sociology and political economy (sociology of development). In addition to these core areas, the GCS Area Exam will also address one of three specialized research areas: sociology of gender, sociology of race, or environmental sociology. Students may select which of these three specialized areas in which to test. There are separate reading lists for each of these five subfields.

 

The comprehensive area exam in P&H evaluates students’ command of the literatures related to population studies (demography) and medical sociology. In particular, the exam will cover the basic demographic processes and dynamics associated with mortality, fertility, and migration; population aging, with an emphasis on major trends, causes, and consequences; the social contexts of health, including an overview of health disparities on the basis of sex, race, socioeconomic status, and nativity; and the role of the family and family dynamics with respect to each of these topics. There is one comprehensive reading list that covers these literatures.

 

Satisfactory completion of the Comprehensive Area Exam (i.e., earning a Pass) is associated with the conferral of the Master’s degree and permission to continue in the doctoral program. These two outcomes are distinct. For example, students may earn a terminal Master’s degree upon completion of the Comprehensive Exam, but not be given permission to continue in the program. Thus, in addition to a Pass, the following grades may be awarded:

 

Fail                           Dismissal from program without a Master’s degree

Marginal pass         Conferral of a terminal Master’s degree; not allowed to continue in the program

Conditional pass    Requires revisions; if revisions are acceptable, allowed to continue in PhD program.

                                         Revisions must be approved no later than the 1st week of the following Fall semester.

 

Students will have only one opportunity to take the exam. Students entering the program with a Master’s degree may elect to take this exam at the end of their first year, but cannot waive this requirement under any circumstance; they must pass the comprehensive area exam to continue their doctoral studies.

 

 

Committee

Exams are written and graded by a committee consisting of the core tenure-track faculty members in the Department of Sociology that are associated with the program area (GCS or P&H). The “area” committees will consist of at least 3 Sociology faculty members and chaired by the Area Coordinators. Refer to the departmental website to identify which faculty members are affiliated with each Area.

 

The Area Committee will provide students with an approved and occasionally updated reading list of seminal papers, articles, and books that are relevant to each program area.

 

Format

The exam consists of a series of questions related to the bodies of research identified by the GCS and P&H Supervisory Committees as critical to their respective fields. Exam questions will reflect the general topics (more so than the details of any individual reading) included on the reading list compiled for each area.

 

During the exam period, students will construct essays answering those questions. Students are expected to write well-organized essays, showing both a depth and breadth of knowledge related to each question. Exams will consist of three essays, each of which is typically 10 to 12 double-spaced pages in length (3,000 to 3,600 words), not including references.

 

The Supervisory Committee will designate a 72-hour period (generally commencing at 12 noon on a Friday and ending at 12 noon on a Monday) during which students will complete the exam.   Students can access all readings, notes, and the internet during the exam period, but cannot consult with faculty or other students (beyond minor issues of clarification) during the exam period.

 

Enrollment

To prepare for the exam, students will enroll in SOC 6931 (for P&H) or SOC 6932 (GCS) for a total of 6 credits that can be distributed across semesters. These credit hours are intended to be independent study, in which the student prepares for the exam on their own schedule. Students are welcome and encouraged to consult with other students taking the exam, as well as the faculty in their chosen area, as needed, while enrolled in SOC 6931 or SOC 6932.    

 

Within the GCS area, two core seminars will be offered to help students prepare for the exam. These two courses are typically offered one per year on an alternating basis: Political Sociology (SOC 6846) and the Sociology of Development (SOC 6845).   In addition to these two core areas, students will select a specialized subfield (Gender, Race, Environment) for their GCS Comprehensive Area Exam. Seminars in each of the specialized subfields—Sociology of Gender (SOC 6837), Sociology of Race (SOC 6834), and Environmental Sociology (SOC 6840)—are offered periodically based on student demand and faculty availability.  

 

Within the P&H area, students are encouraged to take the two Population and Health Seminars (SOC 7071 and SOC 7072) and the Medical Sociology Seminar (SOC 6720) when preparing for the exam.   These three courses will typically be offered on a two-year rotation. Demographic Methods (FCS 6120) may also be useful in preparing for the P&H area exam.

 

Timing & Completion

As a general rule, Comprehensive Area Exams are administered toward the end of the Spring semester in the students’ second year. The 72-hour exam period must be scheduled and completed by the final day of classes of spring semester during the 2nd year. Students who enter the PhD program with previous graduate work may opt to take the exam at the end of their first year.

 

The Area Committee will grade each exam and provide written feedback justifying the grade assigned (Fail, Marginal Pass, Conditional Pass, Pass). Each individual essay will be read and assessed by at least two faculty members.

 

In the case of a Conditional Pass, if the approval of any required revisions are significantly delayed (i.e., not completed and approved by the first week of classes during the student’s 3rd year), the student’s overall progress in the program will be evaluated by the Graduate Committee. A student failing to make steady progress could be dismissed from the program.

 

As with all requirements, exceptions or deviations to these requirements will be made on a case-by-case decision.   Please speak with the Director Graduate Studies, who will discuss your case with the Graduate Committee.

 

Third-Year Paper

PhD in Sociology

 

This requirement is intended to help students develop and execute an independent research project. It is an opportunity to conduct a research project that is closely mentored by a faculty member.

 

Description

The Third Year Paper (7910) is an independent research project in which a student produces a publishable-like manuscript that contains empirical analysis.   Students will work on this project over two semesters (fall and spring) of their third year, after they have successfully passed their Comprehensive Area Exam. Although the paper does not have to be published in order to complete this requirement, this project hopefully produces the student’s first first-authored or solo-authored publication. The paper should be of a scope that can be completed in one year, given the students’ current capabilities, access to data and any other resources needed to complete the project.  

 

Students are encouraged to use a topic they have already considered in prior courses.     Students, for example, might implement the proposal they developed in Research Methods.  The project can also draw on a topic discussed in the Theory seminar.  Or, students may choose to complete and/or expand an analysis started in one of the required Stats classes. Students may choose to use the Third Year Paper requirement as a way to explore a topic, data, or analyses they want to consider for the dissertation.  It is common for students to produce multiple papers/projects while in graduate school utilizing the same data and/or related to the same topic. Just keep in mind: The paper produced for this requirement has to be unique and not identical to something that has already been graded in the context of a course and cannot be used verbatim as part of an eventual dissertation.

 

Please note: Given that the paper has to be conceptualized and executed within a single year, it will be common to see third-year papers that analyze secondary quantitative data. However, “empirical analysis” does not mean quantitative analysis. It is defined as a paper that specifies a research question(s), situates it within a larger body of literature, has a method section detailing the data and processes used to analyze that data, and reports and discusses findings. Thus, the paper may adopt quantitative, qualitative, historical, or a mixed-method data and analytic strategies.

 

Committee

The project requires a Primary and Secondary Reader. The Primary Reader should be a tenure-track faculty member from within the Department of Sociology. This is the ‘faculty member on record’ who will appear on the transcript and who will award the grade. The Secondary Reader can be a faculty member from within or outside of the Sociology Department. This faculty member serves as a consultant and will not appear on the transcript or course listing. It is the student’s responsibility to select a Primary Reader (advisor) for this project before the drop/add deadline of Fall semester of their third year. When asking a faculty member to be the Primary Reader, the student should be prepared to discuss the general direction and plan for this project.

 

The Primary Reader will provide the most direct advice, oversight, and mentoring to the student. A Secondary Reader will provide additional expertise, as required or requested by the student or Primary Reader. The Primary Reader and student should discuss who should serve as the Secondary Reader.

Format

An empirical paper typically includes an abstract, introduction, literature review, method, results, discussion, and references sections. Generally, the length of the paper should follow subdisciplinary or genre-specific guidelines used by sociology journals.   Students should work with their Primary and Secondary Readers to identify a potential target journal for the topic and type of analysis selected for the project. Students are expected to produce a manuscript that follows the “author guidelines” for the selected target journal. No formal presentation or defense is required; however, students are encouraged to present their work (completed or in-progress) during a Department of Sociology brownbag presentation.

 

Enrollment

Students will enroll in SOC 7910 for a minimum of 3 credit hours and a maximum of 12 credit hours, which can be distributed across the fall and spring semesters of their third year while working on this project. For example, a student may enroll in 3 credit hours in the fall and 6 credit hours in the spring.   [Variable credit hours are available each semester: 1 to 6]. A separate section of SOC 7910 will be created, upon student request, with the chosen faculty advisor (Primary Reader) listed as the instructor. Students will receive a “T” grade during Fall semester, showing that they are making progress on the project but it is not yet complete. The “T” grade will be changed at the end of Spring semester when the project is completed.

 

Timing & Completion

The third-year paper must be completed by the final day of classes of Spring Semester of the third year. The draft submitted by this deadline should be considered a “final” draft that has already undergone revision and review by faculty committee.

 

Once a final draft is submitted, the Primary and Secondary Readers will vote on whether the paper is acceptable (pass), whether it requires additional revisions (conditional), or whether it is not acceptable (fail). If the Primary and Secondary Readers cannot agree on whether this paper is completed to a satisfactory level, a Tertiary Reader will be appointed by the Graduate Committee to be the tie-breaker.

 

  • Pass -- the student is encouraged to consider submitting the paper for publication review and can progress forward in the program toward the dissertation-related requirements.

 

  • Conditional Pass -- the student should work with the Primary and Secondary Readers to outline expected revisions. Revisions and final faculty approval should be completed before the start of the 4th year.

 

  • Fail -- the student will be dismissed from the program and not allowed to continue on to the dissertation-related requirements.

 

If the completion of the third-year paper is significantly delayed (i.e., not completed and approved by the first week of classes during the student’s 4th year), the student’s overall progress will be evaluated by the Graduate Committee. A student failing to make steady progress could be dismissed from the program.

 

As with all requirements, exceptions or deviations to these requirements will be made on a case-by-case decision.   Please speak with the Director Graduate Studies, who will discuss your case with the Graduate Committee.

 

Qualifying Exam

PhD in Sociology

 

The Qualifying Exam is a series of projects related to establishing one’s own research agenda, and when completed, mark the important transition from a doctoral student to a doctoral candidate.

 

Description

The Qualifying Exam requires a student to select and consult with a Supervisory Committee and develop a clear plan for the dissertation project. The Qualifying Exam includes two components:

 

1) written research proposal

2) oral defense of the research proposal.

 

The research proposal outlines a detailed plan for the dissertation project, as well as a clear description of how the project is framed within and contributes to the literature associated with that topic. The first part of the document includes an extended analytic literature review. The second part of the document will include a clear statement of the research question(s), a description of the methodology including a description of the data or data collection plan as well as how the data will be analyzed, and a proposed timeline for a dissertation project.

 

Students are required to discuss the written research proposal during an oral defense that is approximately two hours in length. During this defense, the Supervisory Committee will ask questions about the literature review to ensure the student knows the relevant literature deeply and broadly. The Supervisory Committee will also ask the student to justify the proposed research design and offer critique and suggestions on how to improve the research design. At the end of this defense, the student and Supervisory Committee should agree on the scope and direction of the Dissertation.

 

Completing the qualifying exam requirements (written proposal and oral defense) produces a type of ‘contract’ between the doctoral candidate and the Supervisory committee. It is an agreement about what the dissertation will be, including the specific research questions to be answered, the theoretical frameworks to be employed, the methods and data to be used, and how the completed project will contribute to the existing literature. The student agrees to execute this plan, while the committee agrees to be satisfied when the student does so.

 

Committee

The Qualifying Exam is overseen by a five-person committee called the Supervisory Committee. This committee is responsible for providing guidance and advice to the student throughout the development and completion of the Qualifying Exam requirements, as well as the final Dissertation Project as described on the next pages. In other words, this committee is the student’s dissertation committee.

 

The Supervisory Committee must consist of five faculty members, including at least three regular sociology faculty. The chair of the committee must be a core faculty member in the Department of Sociology. One member of the committee must be appointed from a department other than Sociology.

 

Note: Typically, the Chair has the most contact and direct supervision of the student.   The other two members of the committee from the Sociology Department may play a more direct role in advising the student (especially in the construction and review of literature review component of the written research proposal), compared to the outside member.

 

Format

The research proposal should be a single, coherently written document that contains the two primary elements indicated in the “description” above.   In total, the research proposal should not be more than 15,000 words (approximately 50 pages). The extended analytical literature review should comprise a significant proportion of the proposal, and will typically be about 7,500-9,000 words in length (approximately 25-30 pages), not including references. The dissertation research proposal will vary depending on the type of research being proposed.   Students should discuss with their Chair and committee members the expectations regarding content, structure, and length of proposal component. All proposals must include a detailed plan of how the project will be executed, including descriptions of data, measurement, data analysis, and timelines for completion

 

The oral defense will consist of a two hour meeting in which the student will provide a brief oral presentation of the proposal (typically about 20-30 minutes) and answer questions from the committee members. This meeting will also typically include a period where committee members provide feedback and advice to the student about how to move forward with the dissertation project.

 

Enrollment

To complete the Qualifying Exam, students will enroll in SOC 7931 for a minimum of 6 credit hours and SOC 7950 for a minimum of 6 credit hours. These 12 credit hours may be taken in any order and may be split across semesters when the student is preparing for the Qualifying Exam (typically Year 4).

 

Separate sections of SOC 7931 and SOC 7950 will be created, upon student request, with the primary faculty advisor (Chair of Supervisory Committee) listed as the instructor.   Students will receive a “T” grade during Fall semester, showing that they are making progress on the requirements, though not yet complete.   The “T” grade will be changed at the end of Spring semester when the Qualifying Exam is satisfactorily completed (Pass).

 

Timing & Completion

Scheduling of the oral defense should not occur until the written research proposal is sufficiently developed. Once the chair has indicated that the student is ready (i.e., when the written research proposal has been reviewed and revised according to initial feedback from some or all of the Supervisory Committee), s/he should contact the entire 5-person committee to find a date and location that is agreeable for all committee members.   The full written research proposal must be submitted to all members of the committee at least 14 days in advance of the date of the oral defense.

 

The Qualifying Exam will be evaluated using the following grades:

  • Pass -- the student has satisfactorily completed the Qualifying Exam. The committee believes that the student has the potential for success and that the dissertation project has the potential to make a significant contribution to the field.   The student is invited to commence/continue research for the dissertation project.

 

  • Conditional Pass – The committee believes that either the proposed research project or the student’s ability to defend/articulate the project has potential, but is not yet satisfactory.   In this case, the committee will request that the student revise the research proposal document, as well as potentially reschedule another oral defense at a later date. The committee will provide specific suggestions to the student on how to proceed and how to remedy the noted deficiencies.         Revisions should typically be completed and submitted within 30 days of the original oral defense. Typically, the chair will make a final determination about whether the revisions are sufficient to merit passing grade, though the chair may choose to consult other committee members for further review. Once the committee (or chair) provides final approval, the student is invited to commence/continue research for the dissertation project.

 

  • Fail -- the Qualifying Exam is deficient in quality and the student shows little, to no, potential for success. A student who receives a “Fail” can be dismissed from the program and not allowed to continue on to the dissertation-related requirements.

 

Typically, the Qualifying Examination will be completed by the end of the 4th year (or by the end of the 3rd year if the student enters the program with previous graduate work). If the completion of the Qualifying Exam is significantly delayed (i.e., not completed and approved by the first week of classes during the student’s 5th year), the student’s overall progress will be evaluated by the Graduate Committee. A student failing to make steady progress could be dismissed from the program.

 

As with all requirements, exceptions or deviations to these requirements will be made on a case-by-case decision.     Please speak with the Director Graduate Studies, who will discuss your case with the Graduate Committee.

 

 

If you have made it to this point, you are now called a Doctoral Candidate or ABD.

This stands for “All But Dissertation.” Be warned, entering this final phase of a program is where many doctoral students (no matter what discipline) stall and stay far longer than they should. Keep in contact with your Supervisory Committee and ensure that you are making steady progress in completing the research plan that you just got approved.

 

Dissertation

PhD in Sociology

 

A dissertation is the final requirement of a doctoral degree (PhD). A dissertation is an original piece of research that provides evidence of a student's ability to conduct an independent investigation. A dissertation should make a unique contribution to a specialized field of knowledge in Sociology.

 

 

Description

To complete this final requirement, students will

1)      prepare a written manuscript called a thesis

2)      pass an oral examination, called the finaldefense

 

Dissertation projects, as well as the two products you complete (i.e., the thesis and defense), will vary based on the type of research conducted. As a general rule, dissertation projects in the Department of Sociology will include empirical analysis. “Empirical analysis” does not mean quantitative analysis. It is defined as a project that specifies a research question(s), situates it within a larger body of literature, uses a research methodology to collect and/or analyze the data, and reports and discusses findings. A dissertation project in the Department of Sociology may adopt quantitative, qualitative, historical, or mixed-method data and analytic strategies. A dissertation project in the Department of Sociology is typically longer and more in-depth than a single paper/analysis that would appear in a published journal article. Examples of dissertations completed by previous Sociology students can be viewed in the department archives, the Marriott Library, or through ProQuest dissertation database. Faculty advisors can also provide feedback on the scope of a dissertation project.

 

Before beginning dissertation research, students are expected to have completed their Qualifying Exam requirements, which include an extended literature review, detailed research plan or proposal, and oral defense of the proposed dissertation project.   In addition, projects that involve human subjects must obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Once the student successfully passes the Qualifying Exam requirements and obtains IRB approval (if necessary), he/she may commence the dissertation research.

Dissertation research is to be closely supervised by a five-person Supervisory Committee chosen by the student to provide guidance and expertise related to the substantive topic and methodological needs of the proposed research. Students are also responsible for consulting the Graduate School Handbook for specific formatting guidelines, and rules about use of illustrations or copyrighted materials, and other aspects of thesis preparation.

 

 

Committee

The Supervisory Committee is responsible for evaluating and assessing the dissertation requirements (e.g., thesis & defense), as well as providing guidance and advice during the development and execution of the dissertation research project. This same Supervisory Committee is also responsible for approving the student's Program of Study and Qualifying Exam (see previous pages).

The Supervisory Committee consists of five faculty members, the majority of whom must be regular faculty in the Department of Sociology. The chair of the committee must be a core faculty member in the Department of Sociology. One member of the committee must be appointed from a department other than Sociology.

 

Format

The format, structure, and length of a dissertation will vary depending on the type of research and project that is being conducted. Students should work closely with their Supervisory Committee to outline the unique expectations and format for their dissertation project.

 

Despite variability across projects, all students are required to adhere to the specific style guidelines set out in the Handbook of Theses and Dissertations available from the Graduate School. This Handbook also outlines the steps students must follow to formally submit and bind their dissertations.

 

Handbook

http://documents.gradschool.utah.edu/thesis-handbook

 

Templates

https://gradschool.utah.edu/thesis/thesis-templates/

 

Forms

https://gradschool.utah.edu/thesis/forms/

 

 Enrollment

 

Students must take at least 14 credit hours of SOC 7977 when completing the dissertation project.

 

Students must be enrolled in at least 3 credit hours of SOC 7977 during the semester in which they defend the dissertation.  

 

Separate sections of SOC 7977 will be created, upon student request, with the primary faculty advisor (Chair of Supervisory Committee) listed as the instructor.   Students will receive a “T” grade during semesters in which they are working on the dissertation, showing that they are making progress on the requirements, though not yet complete. The “T” grade will be changed at the end of semester when the student successfully defends the dissertation (Pass).

 

Timing & Completion

Once the student has completed the dissertation research and has drafted a complete thesis document (to be done under the ongoing advice, guidance, and supervision of the Supervisory Committee), an oral defense will be scheduled.

 

The Defense

Scheduling of the defense requires the approval of the Chair of the Supervisory Committee. That is, a student cannot schedule a defense if s/he has not received permission from the Chair. In the rare circumstance when a student would like to contest their Chair’s decision about scheduling a defense date (or more likely, not scheduling one) the procedures outlined in 6-400 Section IV.B of University policy should be consulted.  

 

The defense should be scheduled early enough for the student to finish all requirements (including the defense meeting and receiving final approval of the thesis document), no later than 7 weeks prior to the closing date of the semester in which the student wants to graduate, or 8 weeks for manuscripts in excess of 200 pages.  

 

Once an oral defense is scheduled, the Department of Sociology will formally announce the event. The oral defense is public, meaning that other faculty, students, and guests are welcome to attend the meeting. The student must provide a copy of the thesis to the members of the Supervisory Committee at least 2 weeks before the final oral defense is scheduled. Students must also submit a hard-copy of the complete thesis to the main Department of Sociology office for purposes of public review. Prior to the scheduled defense date, a student should prepare one copy of the Supervisory Committee Approval and Final Reading Approval forms. See the Graduate School website, “Thesis and Dissertations Forms.”

 

During the defense itself, the student will deliver a formal presentation of the dissertation project. The presentation is typically about 30-45 minutes and will succinctly detail the research questions, methodology, and results of the dissertation project. (Students are encouraged to consult with their Chair about specific expectations and guidelines regarding the defense meeting.) Following the formal presentation, the audience, including the full Supervisory Committee, will ask the student questions about the research s/he conducted as part of the dissertation project. After the Q&A is over, the Supervisory Committee will ask the public audience to leave. The Supervisory Committee will then ask additional questions of the candidate and confer about the completion of the dissertation requirements. The committee will agree on a list of revisions that need to be made before the dissertation is considered finished.

 

Grading of Dissertation

Before the defense meeting is over, the Supervisory Committee will decide whether the student should receive a PASS or FAIL on the oral defense, and will announce to the student whether there are required revisions to complete the dissertation.  

 

è If a student receives a FAIL at the defense, s/he may be dismissed from the program and is no longer eligible to receive the PhD. The more likely scenario of a FAIL is the Supervisory Committee asking that the student do additional work and repeat a defense at a later time.

  

è If a student receives a PASS at the defense, congratulations! A major milestone has been met!   However, this does not mean that the student has finished the dissertation and all degree requirements.   Several additional layers of approval must happen before the dissertation is complete:

 

o   The Supervisory Committee must sign (in ink) the “Supervisory Committee Approval” form. By majority vote, the members of the Supervisory Committee certify that the dissertation project (including the written thesis and the oral defense) are satisfactory for the degree.

 

 

o   The Chair of the Supervisory Committee and the Chair of the Department of Sociology must sign the “Final Reading Approval” form. This form is not signed until the student has satisfactorily completed all required revisions that were outlined and agreed-upon by the Supervisory Committee during the defense.

 

 

Once these two approvals are granted, the student will then submit their manuscript to the Thesis Office for final approval and formatting. This final step should not be taken lightly.It has been said that it can be as hard to pass the Thesis Office formatting requirements as it is to complete the dissertation research.

 

 Working with the Thesis Office

A full draft of the thesis manuscript (hard copy only) may be submitted to the University of Utah Thesis Office (AKA, the thesis editor) for “preliminary review” at any time before the defense occurs. The manuscript will not be read at this time, but it will be examined for obvious errors in University format.   Students are strongly encouraged to do a pre-review.

 

A manuscript will not be accepted by the Thesis Office for Format Approval until it has been successfully defended and signatures of a majority of the Supervisory Committee, the final reader, and the chair of the department have been obtained.   The signature forms are not included in the published manuscript (they are replaced by the Statement of Approval, which is not signed), but must be present when submitted to the Thesis Office. Note: The signature of the Dean of The Graduate School is given after the final manuscript is approved by the thesis editor, not before the first submission to the Thesis Office.

 

Students are to submit a single-sided hard copy of the thesis manuscript, along with the two signed approval forms, to the University of Utah Thesis Office for format approval. Manuscripts are reviewed in the order in which they are received. Students will meet with the Thesis Editor regarding any corrections. Discussion of corrections is by appointment only. Once all corrections have been made, a Format Approval is issued by the Thesis Editor. The student will be given instructions for uploading a PDF file to ProQuest/UMI.   The final manuscript should be uploaded no later than the Monday before examination week (the final week of the semester; refer to Graduate School website for detailed calendar).   The dean of The Graduate School then signs the Final Reading Approval form and a Thesis Release is issued.   If a Thesis Release cannot be issued by the closing date of the semester (i.e., the last date of the semester), the student will need to reapply for graduation the next semester.   http://gradschool.utah.edu/thesis/

 

As with all requirements, exceptions or deviations to these requirements will be made on a case-by-case decision.   Please speak with the Director Graduate Studies, who will discuss your case with the Graduate Committee.

 

When you have made it this far, you have earned your PhD.

Congratulations!

 

Note: the diploma will be dated the semester in which all approvals and final processing was completed. If necessary, the student may obtain a “Statement of Completion” from the Office of the Registrar while they wait for their diploma to be issued.

 

See also section on “Graduation”


 


Suggested Timeline

PhD in Sociology

 

Below is a typical calendar that students can use as a guideline to ensure they complete the program requirements in a timely fashion. This schedule assumes that the student enrolls in 12 credit hours per semester. This schedule also assumes that the student enters the program with no previous graduate work.

Note: Given the variability in individual circumstances and research interests, each student’s timeline will be unique. Students should consult with their advisor and/or the Director of Graduate Studies about course selection, timing, and strategies for degree completion.

YEAR 1

Semester 1

SOC 6010 Proseminar (1)
SOC 7800 Professional Development Forum (2)

SOC 6120 Stats I (3)

SOC 6050 Soc Theory (3)

Elective Seminar(3)

 Semester 2

SOC 7800 Professional Development Forum (3) 
SOC 6110 Research Methods (3) 
SOC 7130 Stats II (3)
Elective Seminar (3)

Declare the MS degree (if desired)

YEAR 2

Semester 1

SOC 7800 Professional Development Forum (0-3)
SOC 6931/6932 Exam Reading Hours (3-6)
Elective Seminar (3-6)
PHL 7570 Research Ethics (1)

Semester 2

SOC 7800 Professional Development Forum (0-3)
SOC 6931/6932 Exam Reading Hours (3-6)
Elective Seminar (3-6)

CTLE 6000 Teaching in Higher Education (3)

Comprehensive Area Exam: PH or CIS

YEAR 3

Semester 1

SOC 7800 Professional Development Forum (0-3)
SOC 7910 Third-Year Research Paper (3-6)
Elective (3-6)

Semester 2

SOC 7800 Professional Development (0-3) 
SOC 7910 Third-Year Research Project (3-6)
Elective (3-6)

Independent Research Project

YEAR 4

Semester 1

SOC 7800 Professional Development (0-3)

SOC 7931 Qualifying Exam – Extended Lit Review (0-6)
SOC 7950 Dissertation Proposal Development (0-6) 

Independent Study Credit Hours; Elective Seminars (0-6)

 

Semester 2

SOC 7800 Professional Development (0-3)

SOC 7931 Qual Exam – Extended Lit Review (0-6)
SOC 7950 Dissertation Proposal Development (0-6)

Independent Study; Elective Seminars (0-6)

 

Qualifying Exam

Includes written document & oral defense

YEAR 5

Semester 1

SOC 7800 Professional Development (0-3) 
SOC 7977 Dissertation Research (0-9)

Independent Study Hours; Continuing Registration (0-12)

Semester 2

SOC 7800 Prof. Development (0-3)
SOC 7977 Dissertation Research (3-12)

Independent Study; Continuing Registration (0-9)

Dissertation

Includes written document & oral defense

 



Professional & Intellectual Engagement

 

In addition to the training available through coursework and program requirements, becoming a successful sociologist involves engaging in the broader intellectual life of the department and university and participating in the professional development opportunities that the program affords.

 

Graduate students in the doctoral program are expected to attend scholarly presentations by the department’s faculty, other graduate students, and visiting scholars, including those who may be applicants for faculty positions in the department.   Such events provide opportunities to learn about new scholarship, methodologies, and data, and they provide settings in which graduate students can learn through the exchange of ideas that occurs in the process of collegial debate. Participating in such presentations will also help graduate students to develop their own public scholarly presence. For the same reasons, graduate students should also be alert to opportunities to attend lectures beyond the department.

 

First year graduate students must enroll in the Proseminar in Sociology (SOC 6010) where they will meet all core faculty members of the department, learning about their interests and research projects. This information will help students to select appropriate advisors/mentors by the end of that crucial first year and can lead to opportunities to participate in specific research projects.

 

All graduate students must participate in the Professional Development Forum (PDF—SOC 7800). The PDF is designed to provide practical skills and information related to becoming professional scholars, independent researchers, and effective college teachers. The topics covered vary from year to year. The Director of Graduate Studies will work with the current graduate students to determine a schedule of workshops, townhall meetings, and research “brownbag” symposium for each semester.  

 

Note about PDF: Faculty encourage and expect all graduate students to participate in PDF activities during every semester, even those in which they are not officially enrolled. The Program of Study only requires three credit hours of SOC 7800 total, but students are able to enroll in SOC 7800 (1-3 credit hours) during any semester in which they need to reach 12 credit hours. Students who are not officially enrolled in SOC 7800 are invited and expected to attend PDF activities.

 

 

 


 

 

Student Responsibility & Conduct

 

Graduate students in the Department of Sociology are expected to be familiar with the policies, expectations, rights, and responsibilities associated with being a student at the University of Utah, and with being a trainee in the field of Sociology.

 

University of Utah

 

First and foremost, academic honesty is expected from all students in our graduate program. Standards of academic honesty apply to all work including course requirements, area examinations, and independent research. An act of academic misconduct is a violation of the university's regulations regarding student conduct. As such, an act of academic misconduct may result in a failing grade for an assignment or a failing grade for a course. An act of academic misconduct may result in a recommendation to university officials for additional disciplinary action including dismissal from the graduate program.

 

The following definition is from the university's Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (Policy 8-10, Rev 6, February 2006): 'Academic misconduct' includes, but is not limited to, cheating, misrepresenting one's work, inappropriately collaborating, plagiarism, and fabrication or falsification of information. It also includes facilitating academic misconduct by intentionally helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic misconduct. Definitions of these terms as well as information regarding your rights and responsibilities as a student are available in the university's policies and procedures manual, located here:

http://www.admin.utah.edu/ppmanual/8/8-10.html  

 

Additional rights and responsibilities of students are outlined in the University of Utah Student Code. The most relevant policies include:

 

  • Student Code-Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (Bill of Rights, Student Behavior, Academic Performance, Academic Conduct, Professional and Ethical Conduct, and Student Records) (6-400)
  • Amendments of Student Code-Role of Committee on Student Affairs (6-401)
  • Student Academic Performance & Grades-Standards of Academic Performance, Grade Appeals, Academic Appeals Committees (6-400)
  • Student Misconduct (Academic, Behavioral, Professional/Ethical)-Standards of Conduct, Sanctions, Appeals, Academic Appeals Committees/Student Behavior Committee (6-400)
  • Student Records (6-400).

 

It is important to note that as graduate students enter the later stages of the program, they may be teaching their own courses. As such, they are expected to uphold the expectations associated with being an instructor. See Faculty duties to students under Faculty Code (6-316, Section 4)

 

All of these University of Utah policies and expectations can be found at: http://regulations.utah.edu/

 

 

 

The American Sociological Association (ASA)

 

The ASA Code of Ethics sets forth the principles and ethical standards that underlie sociologists’ professional responsibilities and conduct. These principles and standards should be used as a guideline when examining everyday professional activities. They constitute normative statements for sociologists and provide guidance on issues that sociologists may encounter in their work.

 

This document can be found here: http://www.asanet.org/about/ethics.cfm

Student Progress & Evaluation

 

In order to successfully meet the requirements of the graduate program, students are expected to (a) meet the academic requirements of each course, (b) meet the academic requirements of the entire program, (c) adhere to generally accepted standards of academic honesty, and (d) uphold the professional and ethical standards of the discipline for which the student is preparing.

 

General Advice

Graduate school can be very fast paced and hectic; other times, it can feel isolating since so much of the work has to be directed and completed by you only. Students are expected to individually manage their time, so they successfully meet the major program milestones. In general, students should set both short and long term goals to ensure their success in graduate school. These goals should be shared with faculty advisors and peers. Here are some ideas to aid you in managing your time:

 

  • Get up early. Plan your daily activity each morning.
  • Post daily, weekly and yearly goals in visible places. Check off items as completed.
  • Stay on schedule; reassess and adjust goals to maximize time.
  • Avoid time killers; misguided work, procrastination
  • Schedule regular meetings with your advisor; solicit feedback regarding your progress.
  • Stay healthy, exercise and get regular sleep.
  • Do not ignore personal needs or relationships.
  • Check in with yourself to assure your time management strategy is effective and working for you.

 

 

 

Annual Self-Evaluation

All students in the sociology graduate programs are required to complete a self-evaluation each spring. This self-evaluation focuses on the accomplishments and progress of the student for the past academic year, with specific attention paid to whether or not s/he has successfully completed program requirements that keep him/her on track and in good standing in the program.

 

A self-evaluation template is provided to students by the Director of Graduate Studies. Students are expected to complete the self-evaluation form each spring and to submit it to the Director of Graduate Studies by the specified deadline (typically April 1). Failure to complete and submit the annual self-evaluation could have negative consequences for students that receive funding from the department, including, but not limited to, the suspension (temporary or permanent) of funding and TBP.  

 

 

Annual Evaluation

The full faculty in the Department of Sociology reads the self-evaluation forms and conducts an annual evaluation of every graduate student in the program. Each spring, an extended faculty meeting is devoted to the discussion and evaluation of each graduate student. During this evaluation period, faculty members consult the self-evaluation forms submitted by each student, as well as additional documentation including: official grades, teaching evaluations (if applicable), online grad tracking system, and written and verbal assessments from any faculty member in the department. Funded students will also be assessed on their performance as a TA, GA, or RA, as evaluated by the faculty member who supervised their work.

 

Based on the evaluation and discussion, members of the Graduate Committee will write personalized letters of evaluation to each student. All letters will be approved and signed by the Director of Graduate Studies. A signed copy of the evaluation letter is provided, in hard copy, to each student by the end of the academic year (typically around May 15). An additional copy is kept in the student’s file.

 

The evaluation letter contains

  • A review of the student’s progress, performance, and achievement of academic goals
  • Advice for what the student should focus on in upcoming years
  • Specific timelines and expectations, if the student is deficient in any regard
  • An evaluation of the student’s performance as a TA, RA, or GA, if funded as one of these job classifications
  • Status of the student’s funding (if applicable), including if they will receive funding from the department for the following academic year (including how much), as well as the number of years of remaining TBP eligibility the student has.

 

In general, the annual evaluation process is intended to provide constructive feedback and specific advice for students. Most students receive positive and laudatory evaluation letters. Students receiving less-than-satisfactory evaluations may be at risk of losing funding, being placed on probation, or being dismissed from the program. Those students will be asked to schedule an appointment with the Director of Graduate Studies to further discuss the evaluation.  

Probation & Dismissal

 

While most students succeed in the graduate program, sometimes there are situations when graduation is not an option. Students may be placed on probation or dismissed from the program.

                                                      

Probation

Reasons for probation include:

  • cumulative GPA below 3.0
  • not making reasonable progress toward the degree, as indicated by accumulation of incompletes in coursework and/or delays in reaching program milestones.

 

Probation will be lifted if the student raises his/her cumulative GPA to 3.0 or above by the end of the following semester. Probation will be lifted if the student demonstrates reasonable progress on the completion of degree milestones by the end of the following semester.

 

Dismissal

Reasons for dismissal include:

  • Gross ethical or legal misconduct by a student
  • An offense of academic misconduct
  • Enrolled past the allowed time to complete a degree (4 calendar years for a MS and 7 years for a PhD) - although in this case, the student might reapply
  • A “Fail” grade on any of the major program milestone requirements

 

Whenever possible, students will be placed on probation prior to being formally dismissed from the program. If placed on probation, the student will have specific goals to meet by specified timelines in order to be taken off of probation. At the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the Department Chair and the Graduate Studies Committee, dismissal from the graduate program may occur when the student remains on probation for two consecutive semesters.

 

All probation and dismissal decisions will be made by the Graduate Committee, with full approval of the Sociology faculty. These decisions are typically made in conjunction with the annual evaluation process; though, they may occur at any time of the year if the situation warrants. The Director of Graduate Studies will meet individually with the student and provide a written letter outlining the reasons for probation or dismissal.    

 

 


 

Appeals

 

If a student wishes to appeal the recommendations and/or decisions of an individual instructor, his/her Supervisory Committee, the Director of Graduate Studies, or the Department in general, several levels of appeals are possible and should be pursued in the following order.  The policies and guidelines for appeals are provided from the University of Utah Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Policy 6-400

http://regulations.utah.edu/academics/6-400.php

 

Informal Appeals Process

The University encourages the informal resolution of problems. Students are urged to informally discuss any problems or concerns with the involved faculty member(s), Director of Graduate Studies, department Chair, Dean of the college, and/or Dean of Students.

 

If no informal solution can be found, then formal procedures for the resolution of the problem are detailed below. The academic action can be formally overturned only if it is judged to have been arbitrary or capricious.

 

Formal Appeals Process

The first formal level of appeals is to the Chair of the Department. This appeal needs to be filed within 40 working days of notification of the original academic action or decision. The chair, at his/her discretion, may then ask that the appeal be heard by the departmental Graduate Committee. It is most helpful if the student writes a petition (memo) to the departmental Chair, outlining the reasons why she or he believes the recommendation/decision should be reconsidered. The role of the Graduate Committee, in this context, primarily involves insuring that proper procedures were followed when the recommendations and/or decisions were made. Within 15 working days of the notification by the student, the chair will notify the student and faculty involved in writing of his or her decision. If student or faculty members disagree with the Chair’s decision, they have 15 working days to appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee.

 

The next level of appeals is to the Academic Appeals Committee. Procedures for this appeal are outlined in the University Of Utah Code Of Student Rights and Responsibilities (see link above).

 

                                    -------------------------------------------------------

 

Grade appeals and appeals of academic decisions typically succeed only if the student can show that the grade or decision was “arbitrary and capricious”. For example, if the grade was not based on course grading policies stated in the syllabus, this can be grounds for a successful appeal. Similarly, if comprehensive examinations or their evaluation did not follow departmental policies, an appeal might be successful. Appeals are usually not successful when they involve questioning academic standards or faculty member’s academic judgment. Both student and instructors who are involved in appeals should provide documentation and evidence to support their perspectives.

 

 

 

Resources for Graduate Students

 

There are various resources provided to graduate students through the Department of Sociology, the University of Utah, or professional organizations.

 

Office Space

Under most circumstances each student enrolled in the graduate program will be provided with office space. This is subject to availability as well as broader departmental needs. Priority will be given to students that work as teaching assistants and graduate instructors. Marriott Library has areas reserved for use by graduate students, if space is not available within the Department.

 

Keys

Students who receive office space will be issued keys by the department’s staff for their office. These keys are the sole responsibility of the student, and if lost, the student is responsible for any costs for key replacement. Students in good standing will also have the option of obtaining keys to the building. Upon completion of study here and before leaving the University of Utah campus, the student is responsible for turning in all keys issued in their name. As stated on the key request (signed at the time the keys were issued): "I will return this key when my need or employment terminates." The keys must be returned to the main Department of Sociology office (301 BEHS).

 

Contact Information

The department’s office staff maintains contact information for all students, faculty, and other employees for the department. It is the students’ responsibility to inform the office staff of any changes in their contact information.

 

Email

All graduate students will be issued a unique university email address. All emails associated with students in the Sociology graduate programs will be added to a department listserv (socgradstudents@lists.utah.edu). It is expected that students will use their university-issued email addresses (Umail) for all official departmental and university communications. Students are cautioned to not use a different email address for such correspondence.

 

Computer Lab

The department provides and maintains a graduate student computer lab, located on the fourth floor. These facilities are to be used by graduate students for coursework, research, teaching, and any other program-related activities. The facilities should not be used for other purposes without the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies or the department chair. Other computer facilities are available for student use around the university campus.

Copying, Fax, Printer

Graduate students in good standing have access to the department’s copy machine, FAX machine, printers, and other miscellaneous office equipment. The department’s office staff provides each student with a unique identification code for the copy machine. The copy machine, FAX machine, and printers should only be used for coursework, research, and teaching purposes / materials. Personal copying should be avoided. As well, those students who have more than average copier use will be asked to contribute financially to cover the costs.

 

Mailbox

All graduate students in good standing will be issued a personal mailbox to receive mail. These mailboxes are located in the graduate lounge and are not locked. Thus, students are cautioned to not receive confidential and expensive mail items. Any thefts are not the responsibility of the department or university more generally.

 

Personal Wellness

Central to your success as a graduate student is your personal health and wellness.  Personal concerns such as stress, anxiety, relationship difficulties, depression, cross-cultural differences, etc., can interfere with a student’s ability to succeed and thrive in the program and at the University of Utah. Please speak with your instructors and/or the Director of Graduate Studies before issues become problems. For helpful resources, contact the Center for Student Wellness at www.wellness.utah.edu or 801-581-7776.  The Student Counseling Center also provides considerable resources and services for students. Contact them 801-581-6826 or in 426 Student Services Building, Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm. For after-hour emergencies, contact the 24/7 Crisis Line 801-587-3000.  

 

Americans with Disabilities Act

The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services, and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations to complete the requirements of the graduate program, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, (801) 581-5020. CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations. All written information in this course can be made available in an alternative format with prior notification to the Center for Disability Services.

 

Sexual Misconduct

Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender (which includes sexual orientation and gender identity/expression) is a civil rights offense subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, color, religion, age, status as a person with a disability, veteran’s status or genetic information.  If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you are encouraged to report it to the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 135 Park Building, 801-581-8365, or the Office of the Dean of Students, 270 Union Building, 801-581-7066.  For support and confidential consultation, contact the Center for Student Wellness, 426 SSB, 801-581-7776.  To report to the police, contact the Department of Public Safety, 801-585-2677(COPS).

LGBT Resource Center

The U of Utah has an LGBT Resource Center on campus. They are located in Room 409 in the Olpin Union Building. Hours: M-F 8-5pm. You can visit their website to find more information about the support they can offer, a list of events through the center and links to additional resources: http://lgbt.utah.edu/.

Learners of English as an Additional/Second Language

If you are an English language learner, please be aware of several resources on campus that will support you with your language and writing development. These resources include: the Writing Center (http://writingcenter.utah.edu/); the Writing Program (http://writing-program.utah.edu/); the English Language Institute (http://continue.utah.edu/eli/). Please let us know if there is any additional support you feel that you would need.

 

Honor Society - AKD

Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) is the international sociology honor society. AKD seeks to acknowledge and promote excellence in scholarship in the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and such other social and intellectual activities as will lead to improvement in the human condition. Students who have completed at least one semester in the Sociology graduate program are eligible to apply for membership. Membership fees are typically about $40-50, and are for a lifetime. Interested students should consult with the AKD advisor in the department to submit an application. AKD members are eligible to apply for a series of awards and funding, including travel grants, funds to organize and host research symposium, paper competitions, scholarships and fellowships.    

 

Professional Associations

The identity shift from student to sociologist is an integral part of a grad student’s professional development. To assist with this transition, students are encouraged to consider becoming student members of our discipline’s primary professional organization, the American Sociological Association: www.asanet.org

 

Professional organizations often include opportunities, resources, and information for students to develop their professional identity. See, for example, the resources and benefits available to student members in ASA:

http://www.asanet.org/students/student_involvement.cfm

 

Some graduate students choose to participate in a smaller, regional group called Pacific Sociological Association. http://www.pacificsoc.org/ Some graduate students seek membership in specialized groups related to their chosen area of study, such as the Gerontological Society of America and Population Association of America. Within ASA, there are also a series of sections that may fill a student’s individualized interests as well.

 

Travel Funds

Graduate students who need to travel as part of their training and professional development – most typically, to a professional conference for the purposes of presenting their own research though not limited to that – can request travel funding from the department. The amount awarded to students is limited to a maximum of $400 per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30), and is dependent on available funds. To request travel funding from the department, students should submit a memo to the Director of Graduate Studies outlining why the student needs to travel and their travel expenses and needs. Travel requests should be made in advance of planned travel.

 

Currently enrolled graduate students whose research project has been accepted for presentation at a professional meeting are also eligible to request travel funds from the Graduate Student Travel Assistance program, administered by the Graduate School at the University of Utah. Applications must be received in The Graduate School prior to travel dates. Requests are considered up to a maximum of $400 and must be supported with a dollar-for-dollar match from university funds, such as a travel award from the Department of Sociology. Graduate students are eligible to receive only one travel award from the Graduate School during each fiscal year (July 1-June 30). Funding can reimburse airfare, car mileage (in lieu of airfare), ground transportation fares such as shuttles or taxis, lodging, abstract fees, and conference registration fees. The award will not reimburse meals, per diem, society memberships, or poster preparation fees. Students are responsible for submitting all receipts and documentation in order to receive reimbursement for their travel expenses.

 

For more information and application:

http://gradschool.utah.edu/current-students/graduate-student-travel-assistance-award/

 

Please note: Requests for funds often exceed funds available.   Funding is granted on a first come, first served basis until funds are exhausted.


 

Graduation

 

Applying for Graduation

Upon completion of all requirements for a degree program, students must complete an Application for Graduate Degree with the Registrar’s Office (window 15 Student Services Building). This is done several months before a planned semester of graduation. Deadlines for graduation applications are:

 

  • Fall semester (December) Graduation —June 1st
  • Spring semester (May) Graduation —November 1st
  • Summer semester (August) Graduation —February 1st

 

Application for Graduate Degree form:

http://registrar.utah.edu/_pdf/Graduate%20Student%20Graduation%20Application.pdf

 

Information about the graduation process can be found here.

http://registrar.utah.edu/handbook/graduategraduation.php

 

Graduating students should closely work with the Sociology Department Graduate secretary to ensure that the electronic Graduate Tracking form is up to date and that the student has fulfilled all requirements of the Program of Study:

 

Convocation

Dates, times, and locations for convocation ceremonies will be announced and posted on the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences (CSBS) webage. Students choosing to be recognized during the commencement ceremony can purchase regalia at the campus bookstore. If you have completed the PhD, please speak with your supervisory committee members to ensure that one of them will be at the ceremony and is able to “hood” you.

 

How to Apply to Earn a Milestone Master’s Degree

PhD students who want to officially earn the MS-Sociology degree part way through their doctoral training, need to decide early on, as there are a few steps that must be completed in order, and during specific semesters. International students must follow these dates closely.

 

  1. During Spring semester of your first year, notify the Graduate Secretary of your intent to earn the MS in Sociology en-route to your PhD. The Graduate Secretary must submit a “Change of Graduate Classification” in order to add the Master’s degree option to your record (you are currently only listed as a Ph.D. student). This classification change must be completed prior to the semester you apply for graduation.
  2. In Fall semester of your second year,
    1. Add a MS Supervisory Committee to your electronic Graduate Tracking report. This is a set committee made up of faculty in your area (P&H or GCS) who will read your comprehensive exam. Work with the Graduate Secretary in Sociology to update the committee in your electronic Tracking report.
  3. Complete the Graduation Application form by November 1st for Spring graduation.

Exit Interview

 

Upon leaving the department, students must return keys and vacate their offices. In addition, students are asked to leave the following information with the staff in the main Sociology office:

 

            Name

            Affiliation after leaving the University of Utah

            Address (business and/or home)

            Phone number

 

 

 

 

We wish you luck as you transition to the next stage of your career.

We thank you for choosing to study at the University of Utah Department of Sociology.

 


 

Tips & Additional Information

First-Year Students

 

The first year of a graduate program can be overwhelming and daunting, primarily because you are learning what is expected of you as a graduate student. (Hint: It is not the same as being an undergraduate student.) You may also be moving from somewhere else, having to learn how to live your life in a new city.

 

Knowing about the available resources can help ease the transition into this new environment. Engaging with the peers in your cohort and interacting with the staff and faculty in the department will also help answer whatever questions you are having.

 

The info below only scratches the surface on what you may be experiencing as a first-year student. It is likely not exhaustive. So, please know – there are no dumb questions – just ask!

 

Administrative Orientation

The administrative staff in the main office of the Department of Sociology will meet with new students individually at the beginning of the semester to set up payroll, hand out office keys, and provide a basic tour and introduction to the department. The administrative staff can also provide instruction on how to enroll in your first semester classes.

 

Setting up your Degree Tracking Status

Students admitted to the doctoral program have the option to add a masters degree to their graduation track; this process can be finalized with the administrative staff at the start of your first year. A masters degree is not necessary for completion and attainment of the PhD, but it will add an additional credential (earned approximately after the first two years of the program) and may allow students to teach at a university level at other universities. Some students choose to receive this milestone degree; others do not. Whatever the case, talk with the administrative staff if you think you might want to receive this degree, so they can set you up correctly in the Graduate School Degree Tracking System.

 

Student ID Cards

Student ID cards are necessary and can be obtained on the second level of the Student Union building; new students should be sure to bring photo identification and a form of payment when applying for the ID card. The student ID card can be used as a pass for local public transportation (bus, trax, frontrunner), discounted arts events, and access to recreational amenities on campus. It is also a key card to certain computer labs and can be used as a Ucash card (a card with money on it that can be used at the University).

 

First-Year Mentor

All first year students will be assigned a faculty mentor, who is a faculty member that will guide a first-year student through the transition to graduate school. This assigned “first-year” mentor may or may not be a mentor that the student selects for his/her Supervisory Committee later in the program. The first-year mentor can be a resource when thinking about which classes to enroll in, may be able to discuss potential research ideas with you, and hopefully will provide a welcoming and supportive introduction to the department.

 

Get to Know the Other Students

We encourage all students to develop relationships with their student peers, including those in their cohort as well as those in more advanced cohorts. Student peers provide both educational resources and shared experiences that are specific to this graduate program. Sometimes, others students (especially those that are just ahead of you) can provide the best advice and guidance to you. Plus, it is nice to have a supportive group of friends and colleagues to go through the program with. Please try to consider the other students in the program to be your colleagues and supporters, not your competitors.

 

Get Involved, Be Present

While it is encouraged (even expected) that all graduate students become active and present members in the departmental community – by attending talks and social events in the department – we especially encourage first-year students to have an active presence in the department. Working in the computer lab on the fourth floor, eating your lunch in the lounge on the third floor, attending brownbags and other events hosted by the department will give you plenty of opportunities to meet and get to know other students and faculty.

 

Relax, No One Really Knows What they Are Doing Yet!

As a first-year, you have to introduce yourself a lot. Everyone will ask you what you want to study. You should be prepared to answer this question (preferably in a succinct and articulate way), but do not be too hard on yourself when you hear everyone else’s introductions. No matter how articulate their introduction was, they are likely feeling the same way as you are: a bit insecure and not at all confident in their ideas. Graduate students often shift their goals and research interests as they go through their classes. You will too. Stay open to possibilities. Enjoy exploring new ideas. You will eventually settle into what you want to study. And, with time, you will feel more settled and secure in your role a graduate student.  

 

Remember, You Are an Employee AND a Student

If you are funded by the department, you will be expected to perform the duties and uphold the expectations associated with your position as a TA, RA, or GA. First-year students are often so focused on their own coursework that they do not prioritize the position that funds their studies. This is not acceptable. You are expected to work up to 20 hours a week, in addition to your coursework, if you are receiving funding from the department as a TA, RA, or GA. Failing to do so may result in a less-than-satisfactory evaluation at the end of the year, which may jeopardize your funding in future years.  

 

--------------------------------

 

Last but not least, there is a unique opportunity that first-year and second-year students may want to consider:

 

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSFGRFP)

The NSFGRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research based Masters and Doctoral degrees in the United States. The fellowship includes a three-year annual stipend of $34,000, in addition to a $12,000 cost of education allowance. The application requires a personal statement, research plan, three letters of recommendation, and transcripts. It is due at the end of October and letters of recommendations are due at the beginning of November. Yes, that is just a few months into your graduate program!

 

The goal of the program is to fund promising researchers, rather than promising projects (though, you do have to have a compelling project idea for your application to be competitive). The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.  The NSF welcomes applications from all qualified students and strongly encourages under-represented populations, including women, under-represented racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities, to apply for this fellowship.

 

Students who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States are eligible to apply. First-year graduate students are especially encouraged to apply because after an initial submission, if the student does not receive the grant, the foundation will read the application and provide feedback, allowing the applicant to reapply during their second year.

 

Students who are applying for the NSFGRFP are encouraged to enroll in a one credit hour course provided through the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences that guides students through the process of applying for the NSFGRFP and is taught by faculty members who have been reviewers for the NSF. The class allows students to become acquainted with the grant writing process at a very early stage in the graduate training. Although it is an intensive and fast paced course (and makes the first-year transition potentially even more overwhelming), it allows students the opportunity to master the fundamentals of grant writing, identify campus resources that help students complete research, and meet with professors inside and outside the department with similar research interests. And, if you develop a competitive proposal (in year 1 or year 2 of the program), you may receive some really generous fellowship support for your graduate training. Who wouldn’t want that?

 

More information about the NSFGRFP can be found here: http://www.nsfgrfp.org.

 

 

 


 

Tips & Information

International Students

 

Welcome to the US and welcome to the U! This page provides a few important links to help you get off to a good start with your international student experience at the University of Utah.

 

Admission

If North American English is not your native language, you will have to prove your level of proficiency by providing TOEFL scores at the time of admission. To get ready, you can find a testing center nearby as well as material to prepare for the test: www.ets.org/toefl

 

Orientation

Once you are accepted, you must attend an orientation session on campus, typically one week before the beginning of the semester. It consists of required and optional events designed to help your transition to life at the U. You will have the opportunity to subscribe to a phone provider, to open a bank account, to visit the campus, and also to gather essential information regarding immigration and health. This is a mandatory session that you will have to attend. For more information, http://ic.utah.edu/students/orientation-arrival/orientation.php

 

Students who have been offered a teaching assistant position are asked to be certified by the International Teaching Assistance Program prior to beginning their assignment. To obtain such clearance, two requirements are necessary: an adequate level of spoken English proficiency (TOEFL scores), and the completion of ITA training. The training is meant to provide cultural awareness of higher education in the United States and will occur on campus one to two weeks before the semester. For more information, http://gradschool.utah.edu/ita/

 

Health & Immunizations

All international students must provide proof of immunization for Tuberculosis and Measles/Mumps/Rubella. If you do not have it upon arrival, you should contact the Student Health Center (http://studenthealth.utah.edu/) The center also offers affordable, convenient medical services for all your health needs.

 

Immigration

For any question, including those related to immigration status, international students should be familiar with the International Student & Scholar Services Center. For more information: http://internationalcenter.utah.edu/

 

Note: International students should be particularly careful to follow all requirements regarding continuous enrollment, sine the implications of not doing so have larger ramification on their immigration status. International students who wish to pursue two degrees (i.e., M.S. in Sociology en route to PhD) should speak with the Director of Graduate Studies to ensure they carefully balance the two degrees in their graduate tracking forms.


 

Tips & Information

Living in Salt Lake City

 

                                                                                                         Photo Courtesy: utah.edu

 

Salt Lake City, often shortened to Salt Lake or SLC, is the capital and the most populous city in the state of Utah. SLC lies within Salt Lake County, and is the core of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a total population of about 1.1 million (2014 estimate). The SLC-Ogden-Provo area is a corridor of contiguous urban and suburban development stretched along an approximately 120-mile (190 km) segment of the Wasatch Front, comprising a total population of about 2.4 million (2014 estimate). It is one of only two major urban areas in the Great Basin (the other being Reno, Nevada), and the largest in the Intermountain West.

 

Housing

For students preferring to live ON-campus, refer to this listing from the Graduate School:

http://gradschool.utah.edu/why_utah/housing.php

 

If you are looking for off-campus housing, below is a link to an article with a rundown of Salt Lake City neighborhoods.

www.cityweekly.net/utah/salt-lake-city-neighborhoods/Content?oid=2160273

 

As in most cities, Craigslist is a good place to start when searching for off-campus housing. A lot of Salt Lake residents use KSL.com’s classifieds and housing page as well.

 

Transportation

Your student ID gives you free access to public transportation. See rideuta.com for bus and Trax routes and stops.

 

Entertainment

You can use your student ID for the Arts Pass, which gives you free access to various events. For information on what is included and FAQs about the Arts Pass, visit the following webpage: www.finearts.utah.edu/arts-pass.

 

Check out other activities, events, and food/restaurants around the Salt Lake City area through CityWeekly.net and VisitSaltLake.com.


 Tips & Information

Teaching

 

During your time as a graduate student in the Sociology department you will likely serve as a teaching assistant (TA) or instructor. Interacting with students in the classroom can be a rewarding experience with some preparation and practice.

 

The department is committed to helping you become a great instructor, so do not hesitate to seek teaching advice and mentorship from your advisor, other departmental faculty, and fellow graduate students. In addition, in this section of the Handbook you will find a list of resources and recommendations for new instructors and TAs.

 

TA & Teaching Assistant

Graduate students who are funded as TAs are typically assigned to faculty instructors as “assistants” during the first two years of the program. TA assignments are made by the Director of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the Undergraduate Committee and Department Chair.

 

Considerations for TA assignment include:

  • Student’s experience with the subject matter
  • Departmental needs, such as the level of enrollment in courses
  • Student’s future teaching interests (i.e., TAs are often assigned to apprentice under a faculty who is teaching a course that the student may eventually prepare to teach on his/her own)

 

Once a student enters the later stages of the program (typically after year 2 is completed), s/he may be eligible to teach his or her own course. Teaching assignments are made by the Scheduling Committee, comprised of Director of Graduate Studies, Chair of the Undergraduate Committee, the departmental Undergraduate Academic Advisor, department chair, and an administrative assistant from the department.

 

Considerations for teaching assignments include:

  • Departmental needs, such as which courses need to be offered each semester
  • Student’s experience and readiness to teach, in general and in regards to specific courses
  • Student evaluation of teaching performance (for those who have taught in previous semesters)

 

Graduate students teaching their own courses are typically not asked to prepare more than 2 different courses during their time in the program. It is expected that the student will be able to rotate through those two courses during their years funded as an instructor, so graduate students are encouraged to pick at least one course that is routinely offered as a core part of the undergraduate curriculum. Oftentimes, students will teach the same course in multiple formats (e.g., online, in class) during their time as a funded teaching assistant. Students may request to prepare additional courses beyond the 2, if the student or department interest, need, and time warrant it.

 

Teaching assignments are typically made several months in advance of each semester. The Director of Graduate Studies will ask all graduate students to express, in writing, their teaching preferences and availability. The Scheduling Committee will try to accommodate student preference, while balancing departmental curriculum needs. TA assignments are made closer to the semester, given that TA assignments are dependent on enrollment.

 

Students who are eligible to teach their own courses may request to be considered for a summer teaching assignment (for additional pay), in addition to their TA funding offered during the academic year. Graduate students comprise a large portion of the summer teaching for the Department of Sociology, but summer teaching is not guaranteed for all graduate students. Summer teaching positions are dependent on departmental curriculum needs and student interests and experiences in teaching.

 

Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE)

As a part of your graduate training you are required to enroll in CTLE 6000 – Teaching in Higher Education. Generally doctoral students in the Sociology department are expected to complete this course within their first two years in the program. In this course new instructors learn about the basics of designing a course, crafting a syllabus, organizing a lesson, and more. However, the course alone will not fully prepare you for independent teaching, and you are encouraged to seek additional training through CTLE and other sources.

 

CTLE provides a variety of resources that can help new instructors develop teaching skills and learn more about teaching at the university level. Among these resources are teaching workshops and evaluation and consultation services. You can learn more about these and other ways to enhance your teaching here: http://ctle.utah.edu/.

 

Students who are teaching their own courses are expected (consider this = are required) to complete observations, assessments, and evaluations of their teaching. Members of the Graduate Committee may do this, but more likely a student will request it to be done through CTLE: http://ctle.utah.edu/services/ These services are in addition to the standard end-of-year student evaluations that are automatically administered by the University of Utah for all courses.

 

If you plan on pursuing a career in higher education, you have an opportunity to earn a Higher Education Teaching Specialist (HETS) Designation. This will be beneficial for students who seek to improve their teaching and especially useful for those planning to pursue a career in teaching-oriented institutions. You can find more details about obtaining the HETS Designation here: http://ctle.utah.edu/hets/.

 

Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT)

The TLT is there to assist instructors with issues and answer questions related to course technology, including Canvas and AV equipment in the classroom. You can find more detailed information about services offered by the TLT on their website: http://tlt.utah.edu/.

 

 Addressing Student Misconduct

As an instructor or TA you may encounter students whose behaviors are concerning, disruptive or threatening. Students at the University of Utah are expected to uphold certain behaviors. Misconduct may be related to academic or behavioral issues. http://deanofstudents.utah.edu/conduct/

 

You should remember that there are resources on campus to help you deal with student behavioral misconduct. Among these resources are the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) and the University Counseling Center. You can learn more about the services offered by the BIT and when to contact the BIT here: http://deanofstudents.utah.edu/behavioral.php. You can learn more about the services offered by the University Counseling Center here: http://counselingcenter.utah.edu.

 

You can also seek advice from your faculty mentor, Director of Graduate Studies, or department chair on issues related to behavioral or academic misconduct of students. The important point is to remember that, as an instructor, you are not alone. There are departmental and university resources available to support you when dealing with students.

 

Creating syllabi & Course Content

In general, instructors have academic freedom to design and teach a course in the way that they want, as long as the course content and syllabus reflect the approved catalog description for the specified course number. http://catalog.utah.edu/

Graduate student instructors are strongly encouraged to consult with faculty who have taught the same course. Previous instructors are usually willing to share previous syllabi and other course materials to assist the graduate student to prepare for teaching the course. In some courses, especially in the required core courses such as Intro, Methods, and Statistics, there exists general consensus or at least some tradition or agreement on which textbooks or types of assignments to use. Consulting with previous instructors of your assigned course should be done early.

 

At the most basic level, a course syllabus serves to communicate a road map for a course - both for the instructor and the students. It lays out the trajectory of topics, readings, assignments, activities and assessments for meeting the course objectives. In addition, it sets the tone for the semester, establishes class policies and procedures, and begins the process of establishing a learning community. TLT provides a comprehensive syllabus checklist and template, as well as advice on how to create syllabi. http://ctle.utah.edu/resources/syllabus.php

The syllabi for courses that fulfill a General Education or Bachelor Degree requirement, as approved by the Office of Undergraduate Studies (http://ugs.utah.edu/gen-ed-reqs/), must include specific standardized language. In addition, the Sociology department requires you to include specific language related to how the course fulfills program-level learning outcomes and how those will be assessed through the assignments, learning, and discussions within your course. Please refer to specific instructions and deadlines from the Undergraduate Committee, distributed when courses are assigned and syllabi are requested.


Assigning Grades to students

As the instructor, you are responsible for assigning grades to each student enrolled in the course. You are encouraged to have your grading policies clearly spelled out on your syllabus, so there are not any disputes or misunderstandings at the end of the semester when you have to assign final course grades. The university uses the following grades. The letter grades A through E and EU are used in computing the GPA. Grades must be submitted by the announced deadline via the online portal. (Do not be late! It negatively affects the GPAs of all students in the course)

 

Grades

 Explanation

A         A-

 Excellent performance, superior achievement

B+  B B-

 Good performance, substantial achievement

C+  C C-

Standard performance and achievement

D+  D D-

Substandard performance, marginal achievement

E

Unsatisfactory performance and achievement

EU

Unofficial withdrawal -- The grade of EU (Unofficial withdrawal) is given when a student’s name appears on the registrar’s final grade report but there is no record of attendance or other evidence of participation in the course. The EU grade is treated as an E in calculating the student’s GPA.

CR/NC

Credit, no credit -- The credit/no credit (CR/NC) option allows a student to enroll in selected courses outside of his/her academic plan, without the pressure of competing for a letter grade. By electing CR/NC, students are expected to complete the same work as students enrolled for letter grades.

        I

Incomplete -- An Incomplete grade can be given for work not completed due to circumstances beyond student’s control. The student must be passing the course and have completed at least 80% of the required coursework. Arrangements must be made between you and the instructor concerning the completion of the work. You may not retake a course without paying tuition. If you attend class during a subsequent term, in an effort to complete the coursework, you must register for the course. Once the work has been completed, the instructor submits the grade to the Registrar’s Office. The I grade will change to an E if a new grade is not reported within one year. A written agreement between student and instructor may specify the grade to be given if the work is not completed within one year. Copies of the agreement are kept by the instructor and the academic department.

        V

 Audit-- An audit grade (V) can be elected in credit courses when no grade is desired. A student may audit a class if it is not available to be taken as non-credit, and/or if he/she wants to attend the class for his/her own personal benefit. Students auditing a course are not held responsible for completed course work or tests during the class. An audited course will show on a student’s transcript with a V grade and 0.00 as the awarded number of credit hours. Audited courses are not included in a student’s GPA calculation. Tuition and fees are assessed at the same rate as classes taken for credit.

        T 

In Progress-- Given for thesis or other independent work in progress, but not for regular courses. The T grade remains on student record until the work is completed and a letter grade is reported to the Registrar’s Office. If a new grade is not submitted, the T grade will remain on student record.

        W

Official Withdrawal-- Students may officially withdraw (W) from a class or all classes after the drop deadline. A W grade is recorded on the transcript and appropriate tuition/fees are assessed. The grade of W is not used in calculating the student’s GPA. See the Academic Calendar for term, first and second session classes. Contact the Registration & Records Division at (801) 581-8969 for withdraw deadline information for miscellaneous session classes.

 

 

Tips & Information

Research Grants & Fellowships

 

Graduate students are often in need of funding to support their training. Funding may be provide in the form of scholarships, fellowships, and research grants. These may fund stipend, tuition, or research expenses.

 

University Sponsored Fellowships & Scholarships

All scholarships are administered and awarded through the Financial Aid & Scholarship office. There are several scholarships that sociology graduate students may be eligible for. When relevant, the Director of Graduate Studies will announce scholarship opportunities and application deadlines through the student listserv.

 

Students are also encouraged to conduct their own search for potential scholarships: http://financialaid.utah.edu/scholarships/search/

 

There are a few prestigious University fellowships that Sociology PhD students have successfully received in the past.

 

Marriner S. Eccles Graduate Fellowship (Stipend plus tuition).

For U.S. citizens who are full-time graduate students pursuing research in banking, business, education, finance, humanities, law, social sciences, and its impact on relationships among politics, public policy and the economy; renewable for one year. Five to seven awards given annually. Due: January

 

Graduate Research Fellowship (Stipend plus tuition).

For full-time graduate students who are conducting research or creative projects and who are pursuing the terminal graduate degree in their departments. All qualifying examinations must be successfully passed prior to the beginning of the academic year of the award; nonrenewable. Award will qualify the student for the university’s tuition benefit program, provided all other tuition benefit program criteria are met (including term limits). 12 to 15 awards given annually. Due: January. The department will have an earlier deadline, since we are only able to nominate 1-2 Sociology students per year.

 

University Teaching Assistantships (Stipend plus tuition).

For full-time graduate teaching assistants (first-year graduate students are not eligible). Departments may use the University teaching assistants in a variety of ways to enhance undergraduate teaching and graduate student development. Award will qualify the student for the university’s tuition benefit program, provided all other tuition benefit program criteria are met (including term limits). 12 to 15 awards given annually. Due: January. The department will have an earlier deadline(typically the end of Fall semester), since we are only able to nominate 1-2 Sociology students per year.

 

External Scholarship and Fellowship Opportunities

Graduate students may be eligible to apply for fellowships and scholarships from external sources. These are usually tied one’s specific field of study. The graduate school website regularly updates a website with information about relevant fellowships for graduate students: http://gradschool.utah.edu/tbp/external-opportunities/  

 

Additional fellowships can be found through these searchable databases of funding resources:

http://www.grantsnet.org

http://fatomei.com

http://www.fastweb.com

http://fellowships.gradschools.com

http://www.finaid.org/scholarships

 

All first-year Sociology PhD students (who are US citizens) are encouraged to apply for the Graduate Research Fellowship from National Science Foundation (NSF). The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences often offers an intensive course early in fall semester to help students prepare these applications:

 

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. The NSF welcomes applications from all qualified students and strongly encourages under-represented populations, including women, under-represented racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities, to apply for this fellowship. More information can be found at: http://www.nsfgrfp.org

 

Research Grants for Graduate Students

Finding funds for research projects (i.e., dissertations) can be challenging and should be addressed when considering the feasibility of your proposed research. In the past, graduate students have applied to the following types of funding sources:

 

Fulbright Research Grant (Stipend, based on country standard of living)

This prestigious grant program provides funding for international research over the course of one year. Applicants for study/research grants design their own projects and will typically work with advisers at foreign universities or other institutes of higher education. The study/research grants are available in approximately 140 countries. Program requirements vary by country, so the applicant’s first step is to familiarize themselves with the program summary for the host country. Due: Early September. The University has an earlier deadline. It is important to work with the Fulbright coordinator, Howard Lehman (howard.lehman@poli-sci.utah.edu), to ensure that your proposal is competitive.

 

NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Award (SOC-DDRI):

The NSF Sociology Program supports basic research on all forms of human social organization -- societies, institutions, groups and demography -- and processes of individual and institutional change. The Program encourages theoretically focused empirical investigations aimed at improving the explanation of fundamental social processes. Included is research on organizations and organizational behavior, population dynamics, social movements, social groups, labor force participation, stratification and mobility, family, social networks, socialization, gender roles, and the sociology of science and technology. The Program supports both original data collections and secondary data analysis that use the full range of quantitative and qualitative methodological tools. Theoretically grounded projects that offer methodological innovations and improvements for data collection and analysis are also welcomed. Due: Mid October with invited resubmission in late February.

 

SSRC Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (SSRC DPDF):

The Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship Program helps early-stage doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences formulate innovative dissertation research proposals through workshops, exploratory summer research, and writing guided by peer review and faculty mentorship. The program seeks young scholars who are interested in strengthening their dissertation research plans through exposure to the theories, literatures, methods, and intellectual traditions of disciplines outside their own. By the end of the fellowship, participating students will complete a draft dissertation research proposal that can be reviewed with academic advisors. Due: Mid October.

 

SSRC Mellon International Dissertation Grant (SSRC IDRF):

The International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) Program supports the next generation of scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences pursuing research that advances knowledge about non-US cultures and societies. To be eligible for this grant, graduate students must apply for nine to twelve months of on-site, site-specific dissertation research (a minimum of six must be outside of the United States).

Due: Fall, the application deadline is announced annually.

 

Office of Research Administration

The Office of Research Administration (ORA) in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences provides services that are designed to assist faculty and graduate students in developing and pursuing an active research agenda. As competition for federal and foundation funding increases, and as extramural research support become increasingly important, the ORA provides support in four broad categories:

 

  1. Developing an Active Research Agenda: As new directions in research develop, the research development professionals at ORA can provide helpful advice to get you started. A one-on-one consultation may focus on locating a potential funding source, developing a timeline to proposal completion, or developing a project with appropriate scope and scale. At this stage, the focus is on decisions to make before you begin writing, in order to optimize your efforts.

 

  1. Preparing Effective Proposal Narratives: Review panelists may not always have the necessary expertise to review your proposal. As such, not only should your narrative be clear and include all expected information, but the language should be accessible to the "educated non-expert". The research development professionals at ORA can help you include all expected information, answer all relevant questions, and use language that is accessible to a diverse audience. Once you have a draft of your proposal completed, please consider having it reviewed.

 

  1. Responding to Reviewer Feedback / Preparing Resubmissions: As competition for funding increases, it is increasingly expected that you will have to submit proposals multiple times before they are funded. In so doing, it is important to critically evaluate and address the feedback that comes from review panels. Looking for patterns in the feedback you receive, or looking for comments that resonate with you (or appear to have resonated throughout the panel) is an important step in preparing a strong application. Please consider submitting a rejected proposal along with your review comments if you are planning to resubmit a project and would like to make it stronger.

 

  1. Workshops: Each year, a grant writing overview workshop is offered at the University. Sections included: (1) finding funding for your research, (2) preparing effective introductions, (3) accessible theoretical frameworks and (4) conveying feasibility in your methods. This workshop can be a valuable resource for proposal development and review.

 

 

Tips & Information

Common Problems in Grad School

 

The specific examples below cannot include all of the problems you may face in completing your graduate degree. In general, if you do not know what to do in a particular situation, ask your faculty advisor, other peers in the program, the Director of Graduate Studies, or the department chair. If they do not resolve the problem, you can talk with your school or college dean or with the Graduate School.

 

Academic Problems

 

  1. Your GPA falls below 3.0. Talk to your faculty advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies about the courses you should take in subsequent semesters. For example, you may need to take an undergraduate course to prepare for a retake of the course you did poorly in.

 

  1. You are doing badly in a course, and it is before the Drop/Add deadline. If you see that there is no way you can succeed in the course, it is probably best to withdraw. However, you should consult with your committee chair before making the decision. Some things to consider are:
  • Is this a required course?
  • Will it be offered again before I want to graduate?
  • Does this course cover material I need to know to carry out my research or complete comprehensive examinations? If so, can I delay those until after I retake the course?
  • If you are an RA, TA, international student, and/or the recipient of the tuition benefit program, you must be a full-time student (a minimum of 9 credit hours). So, you may need to add another course to maintain full-time status. Students may want to consider independent research or directed reading hours with a faculty member, or SOC 7800 Professional Development Forum.

 

  1. You are doing badly in a course and it is after the drop/add deadline – meaning you do not have the option to withdraw. This is a difficult situation, but here are some things to try:
  • Talk with the instructor. Sometimes they can offer extra help, additional reading materials, or other suggestions. Sometimes an instructor may be willing to give you an “incomplete” grade so you can have additional time to complete the work or re-do assignments in which you were deficient. An “incomplete” is typically only considered if the student is making reasonable progress and has completed at least 50-75% of the course material as expected, prior to requesting an incomplete. Incomplete grades may affect TBP eligibility.
  • Talk with your committee chair. Sometimes they will be able to help with the material or suggest other faculty or students who might help.
  • Try to find a tutor among other graduate students who have recently taken the class. Some will help for free, but some will want to be paid and you should do so if you really need the help.
  • Try to set aside other obligations or activities so you can focus more effort on the class. If you have no “free” time to give up, talk to your RA or TA supervisor. They might be willing to allow you to reschedule your work, e.g., work less in the week before finals, but more in the week after. However, this isn’t always possible, especially for TAs teaching classes or labs.

 

  1. You are not able to pass, or you do not feel like you will be able to pass, a major program milestone requirement (e.g., Comprehensive Area Exam, Qualifying Exam).
  • Talk to your faculty advisor ASAP to get strategies for success. In the case of the Comprehensive Area Exams, the Area Coordinator for Population & Health (P&H) or Global Comparative Sociology (GCS) may also be a resource to consult.
  • Peers and those in cohorts ahead of you may be able to offer strategies for success and advice
  • In general, seek advice and feedback earlier rather than later. Faculty may be willing to adjust timelines, clarify expectations, and provide detailed instructions to help you prepare and/or re-do the program requirements.
  • Consider the possibility that the graduate project is not for you, that it is not in line with your career and professional goals.

 

Problems with Research

 

  1. You do not know what to do to take the next step with your research or to resolve a problem that has arisen with your current approach.

Ask your committee chair or other committee members or other faculty, including those in different departments (if the problem lies in an area where they have special expertise), or other graduate students. They can often at least suggest a direction to pursue. However, you should understand that, especially at the Ph.D. level, you will probably reach a point where you know more about some of the specifics of your research than does your committee. So, you may need to work on the problem yourself. Perhaps you can find an answer through library research. Or, perhaps an expert at another university would be willing to offer advice by phone or e-mail. Sometimes, the answer is even to take another class, e.g., if you do not know enough statistics to complete your data analysis.

 

  1. You need supplies, equipment or other resources in order to conduct your research.

Consult with your faculty advisor to get their advice. Though not guaranteed, department chairs, research institute directors, deans, or the Graduate School might be able to provide small amounts (e.g., a few hundred dollars) of assistance, if you have no other way to get what you need. Usually, any request like this needs to be endorsed and negotiated by your major advisor. For larger amounts, discuss the possibility of writing a proposal to an external agency or organization with your committee chair. (Students, with rare exceptions, cannot submit proposals as Principal Investigator; a faculty member generally must fill that role.) The Office of Research Administration in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences should be consulted; they can do a search for potential agencies and foundations that may have funds available for your research needs and interests. http://csbs.utah.edu/research/research-admin.php  

 

  1. You do not like doing your research.

On one level, this is common. Doing research resembles mountain climbing; it’s great to get to the top, but the climb itself is not always or necessarily that much fun, especially on the steep parts. There are few kinds of research that do not involve doing something boring or even unpleasant part of the time, as is true of most jobs. And there are few graduate students who do not think to themselves, at some point: Why am I doing this? Was that job at the big box store that bad? However, if you dislike almost everything about your research and/or the courses you are taking, for most of your first year, perhaps it is time to reassess. If you are in a Ph.D. program, you have many years of graduate work ahead. Further, the careers you have to choose from when you finish could well involve you doing much of the same thing for 30 years, or so. If you find yourself frustrated with your research, it might be time to consider the following questions: Would another field better suit your interests? Would it be possible to change to another project within the department? Should you take a leave of absence and try working for a year? Should you drop out and do something entirely different?

 

Problems with Money

 

My funding has ended, and I am not finished.

  • Pursue all possible funding sources through the Financial Aid Office.
  • Assuming you are making steady progress through the program requirements, consult with the Director of Graduate Studies to discuss the possibility of becoming an Adjunct instructor for the department, which could provide financial support but not a tuition waiver. Sometimes faculty in your department or related fields will have short-term RAs available to carry out specific tasks. These, of course, will not be related to your thesis research, but they may provide useful experience. The best way to find out about these is to ask faculty in your department, and in departments with allied research interests. These opportunities are, unfortunately, usually not advertised in a central location.
  • Consider a formal leave of absence, to work and save money for returning to school.
  • Take a job and continue with graduate school part-time.
  • Consider writing proposals to external agencies and organizations seeking funding. The success rate varies a lot among fields and is often not high.

 

Bottom line -- you should begin seeking funding as soon as possible, preferably well before your position and tuition benefit expire.

 

Note: International students may have different opportunities/restrictions based on the employment requirements associated with their Visa status.

 

Problems with your Faculty Advisor

  1. My major advisor is too demanding. I cannot possibly do what he or she expects.

Faculty vary in what they expect of graduate students. In general, high expectations are good; most people do their best when challenged. However, occasionally a major advisor (who usually is also supervising your RA or TA) will make demands that seem unreasonable. To assess the situation, look at other students in similar positions in your department or others in the same school or college…are you being treated much differently? If not, and others seem to be coping, ask them for advice. What strategies do they use to cope with the workload? If you are being singled out for much more work than other students, it is usually best to approach your advisor first. Explain that you cannot keep up with the workload, or that you do not think you have all the skills needed to do the tasks assigned efficiently. Ask for help or suggestions or adjusted deadlines. It’s possible that your advisor simply didn’t realize that certain jobs were especially time-consuming, or that you needed more instructions on how to carry out the work. If you think that approaching your advisor is out of the question, talk with another faculty member (often another committee member is a good choice) or the department chair. Describe your situation, ask if it is the norm for the department, and ask what to do. If there is no help within the department, you can also speak with the dean of your school or college or the dean of the Graduate School.

 

  1. My major advisor is rude and/or hypercritical.

Faculty members are human and sometimes lose their tempers and yell or say inappropriate things. If this happens occasionally, especially if your major advisor apologizes later, usually it’s best to forgive and forget. This may not be true in all cases, however, especially when behavior violates University of Utah policy on sexual harassment or discrimination, and especially when such behavior is repeated with you or with others. It’s part of a major advisor’s role to criticize constructively when necessary. No one likes criticism, and often your initial reaction will be unfavorable. You are likely to think that this criticism is unfair and untrue. Or alternatively (and probably worse) you’ll think this confirms your deepest fear about yourself, that you’re incompetent. In most cases neither is true. There is some specific aspect of your work that is not satisfactory. For example, you are not keeping complete and legible records. Or, you have failed to meet an important deadline.

 

If your advisor focuses on the specific issue(s), is courteous, explains his or her expectations for improvement, and is willing to listen to your response, then try to learn and improve. However, if your advisor criticizes you globally, either by using general or offensive terms (e.g., stupid, lazy, incompetent…) or by criticizing you (without any praise) almost every time you meet, there is a problem with their supervising style.

 

Faculty members are expected to maintain an environment that maximizes productivity, teamwork, and morale. If you think that your major advisor is not fulfilling this responsibility, then sometimes you can improve the situation by speaking with him or her. For example, point out that you are upset by frequent criticism and wonder if he is so critical because he really thinks you have few good qualities, or because he sees his role as identifying and eliminating the bad, rather than strengthening the good. Faculty do not always understand how important it is to balance praise and criticism. If you understand this is the case with your advisor, and can encourage him to praise your accomplishments occasionally, you will probably be able to work with the situation.

 

If you think that approaching your advisor is out of the question, talk with another faculty member (often another committee member is a good choice), Director of Graduate Studies, or the department chair. Describe your situation and ask what to do. Often you are not the only one who has had difficulty in working with the person. If there is no help within the department, you can also speak with the dean of the college or the dean of the Graduate School.

 

  1. My advisor does not give me the help that I need.

Faculty are usually very busy people, and often they are simply unable to respond as quickly as would be ideal for the student. However, there are limits to what is reasonable delay. Here are some guidelines on what graduate students can expect in ordinary circumstances. Note that allowances need to be made for leave, travel, illness, unusually demanding short-term projects, and other special circumstances.

 

  • My advisor is willing to meet with me (by appointment) when I request a meeting, as long as I ensure that the meetings are productive in helping me achieve research or academic goals.
  • My advisor meets with me (by appointment) at least every 2-3 months, by audio-conference or email-update if necessary, to discuss overall progress.
  • When I submit a research plan, progress report, manuscript draft, completed project, or other work to my advisor for review, my advisor tells me when the review will be completed, and completes it as promised (absent serious extenuating circumstances). Most projects can be reviewed in 2 weeks, but lengthy projects like Ph.D. dissertations should be given up to 4 weeks (Up to 6 weeks if it is poorly written or falls below normal academic quality standards.) If there will be long delays, the advisor should inform the student, and in some cases should help the student to work with an alternate reviewer, e.g., another committee member, in the interim.
  • My advisor attends my committee meetings, held at least 1-2 times per year, and gives me a thorough and constructive assessment of my progress.

 

If your major advisor does not usually follow these guidelines, then perhaps more effort on your part will help. For example, if an e-mail asking for an appointment is not answered after several days, send another e-mail, call, or stop by the faculty member’s office. If the timelines mentioned above have passed and you still have not received feedback from your faculty advisor, a few polite reminders that you are eager to get your advisor’s feedback on your thesis Chapter 3 so you can complete Chapter 4 are appropriate. The stereotype of absent-minded professor may have some truth to it. If this doesn’t help, speak with another of your committee members or the department chair, and ask for their advice.

 

This list cannot include all the potential problems or challenges, nor does it outline the full set of options or solutions to any given problem. Please consult with a trusted faculty member or Director of Graduate Studies should you encounter any difficulties while in graduate school in the Department of Sociology.

Tips & Information

Life After Graduate School; Finding a Job

 

You have chosen to invest in graduate school so that you can consider different job and career opportunities upon degree completion. There is not one specific job that sociologists do; however, most students finishing graduate programs tend to go toward a research or academic position.

 

Be strategic

While it may not seem like it while you are in it, graduate school does not last forever. Perhaps this goes without saying, you need to be quite strategic and deliberate while you are completing your degree to ensure that you have accomplishments that would support a competitive application to the type of job/career you would like after finishing your graduate program.

 

This list is not exhaustive, but does contain a few tips to consider before you get to the very end of the program:

 

  • Ask the faculty to describe their training and career trajectory (the first-year “proseminar” is perfect for this).
  • Talk to your faculty advisors about what options you may have or might consider for placement after graduate school. Oftentimes, your faculty mentors may be able to introduce you to people working in the areas or organizations you are interested in.
  • Go to professional meetings and network. Find the people who are doing what you want to do and ask them about what types of training and experiences would be most helpful for you.
  • If our department is hiring new faculty, go to the candidates’ job talks and meet with them while on campus. Consider their training and accomplishments. Consider what you like about their presentation and interaction styles, and what you do not like.
  • If you have been invited for an interview, practice!! Ask your fellow graduate students and faculty advisors to offer constructive and critical feedback on your presentation, interviewing style, etc. Do NOT do an interview without practicing.

 

Depending on what type of job you want, there may be some other general considerations and guidelines.

 

  • If you want an academic job in a research-oriented university, you will need to have a clearly defined research agenda, notable publications, and a novel dissertation project.   Funding to support your dissertation research will look strong on your application, so consider applying for grants or fellowships while you are in graduate school. Take opportunities to work with faculty advisors on their research projects as an RA, analyst, or co-author. Showing your ability to teach will also be important in these types of jobs.

 

  • If you want an academic job in a liberal arts teaching college, you will need to have a lot of teaching experiences and strong evaluations. Showing your ability to teach generalists and specialist courses in multiple formats and in creative ways will also be desired. Perhaps completing the “Teaching in Higher Education” certificate program or considering a “University Teaching Assistantship” would be things to consider. These schools will also want to see that you have research interests and can be independent in those efforts.

 

  • If you want a non-academic job – usually in a research setting – consider making relationships with people in the type of organization you think you prefer prior to finishing your degree. If you know which type of organization you will target for your job search, you can potentially steer the direction of your research project toward a topic, data, analyses, or initiative those types of organizations would appreciate. Some organizations may offer internships/placements or make data available to you. Also, consider whether any specific training (i.e., in research design or data analyses) may be needed to make you ready and competitive for that type of job. Are there any graduate certificates that might solidify that training as an achievement on your application?

 

The take-home point -- you should be thinking about how you can incrementally build a competitive and strong record throughout your entire graduate program. It is too late to radically alter or completely create your application and CV when you are finishing your degree!

 

Careers in Sociology

The American Sociological Associate (ASA) offers a set of job and career-related resources which you may find useful. The ASA is one of the best sources to search for job openings, especially those that are associated with academia and research

 

                         http://www.asanet.org/employment/factsoncareers.cfm

 

 

University Graduate Writing Center

The University Graduate Writing Center provides writing consultations for graduate students located inside the Marriott Library. It is funded by the Graduate School of the University of Utah and staffed by expert writing fellows. The Graduate Writing Center is able to help graduate students in all disciplines with their writing projects, with the goal of helping students become more confident writers. It is open to students in masters of PhD programs.

 

                             http://writingcenter.utah.edu/

 

Writing consultations and services are provided free of charge, but an appointment is typically required. They can work with a variety of documents (research proposals, conference abstracts, manuscripts/publications, citation styles, CV and personal statements, course assignments, dissertations) and can assist with the following types of writing issues:

 

  • Planning your project (develop ideas, consider audience, organize thoughts)
  • Developing good arguments and logic
  • Improving the clarity of your writing

 

Career Services

The University of Utah’s Career Services are free to current students and to students within one year of graduation. You can schedule an appointment to meet with a Career Coach to:

 

  • Reflect on your strengths, interests, skills, and experiences
  • Discover and explore career options
  • Create a personalized action plan for your professional development
  • Strategize your job search
  • Utilize successful job search strategies
  • Polish your CV, personal statement, and practice interviewing

 

Career Services also has a set of informative tutorials about various aspects of the career search, such as how to do effective telephone and digital interviews and how to negotiate an offer:

 

                              http://careers.utah.edu

 

 

We hope this handbook is helpful in allowing you to independently navigate and successfully complete the requirements of your graduate program.

 

 If you have any additional questions or comments, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies.