Graduate Handbook

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY GRADUATE HANDBOOK 2016-17


Course Requirements: 12 seminars to be completed in first and second year.  Four required courses and eight electives, including one workshop.


FIRST YEAR

 
Fall Semester
Statistics I.

This course provides an introduction to probability theory, sampling theory, distribution and measurement theory, linear regression and the general linear model.

Theory.

This course will be taught by a rotating group of faculty. Rather than specializing in one or another theorist or perspective, it will survey theoretical ideas from classical to modern to contemporary debates. The course may be organized around themes, or consider significant theorists one by one. It will provide a synthetic overview of conceptual issues and ways of thinking that mark the sociological imagination.

Logic of Empirical Social Research.

This course focuses on broad strategies and issues in empirical research rather than on methodological techniques as such. It considers questions of causality, explanation, the relation of theory to research, problems of data interpretation, and research design.

Proseminar.

Offered during the first semester, biweekly, students will be presented with the full range of current faculty work. Very little student preparation will be required, and no examinations or papers.  Students register as audit for this required course.

One Elective.

Course of your choosing, can be outside of department with DGS’s approval.

Waivers.

Students entering the program with Masters Degrees will be eligible for up to two courses of reduction, with the DGS and Dean’s approval. These reductions may apply to electives or to the statistics requirements, but may not apply to Theory or The Logic of Inquiry. Please let Nancy and the DGS know if you are interested in possible waivers. 

 
Spring Semester

Statistics II.
Continuation of work from Statistics I.

3 Electives.

Workshop. (may audit)

 


SECOND YEAR

 
Fall Semester

One or More Electives.

Workshop.
One semester of workshop is required.  Credit will be conferred when students do the full range of readings and present a final paper in the workshop.  Students are encouraged to audit workshops outside their specialties.

Second Year Research Paper Presentation.

 
Spring Semester

One or More Electives.

Workshop. For credit, either fall or spring of 2nd year.

Research Paper Completion. (by May 4, 2017).
In addition to finishing the course requirements, which should be no more than four courses in the second year, the student’s second year focus will be on formulating, researching, writing, presenting, and revising an extended paper. This paper will be supervised by a committee of two faculty members, the chair of which will be the student’s Academic Advisor (see below). Initial discussion of this paper begins at the conclusion of the second semester, and a proposal will be formally developed at the beginning of the third semester. A draft of this paper must be presented in a Workshop in the course of the second year. After receiving feedback from Workshop participants, and the Workshop’s faculty organizers, students will revise the paper in consultation with their committee, who will evaluate it by the end of the fourth semester. 

The aim of this second year Research Paper is to kickstart the process of writing for publication. This paper should identify a theoretical controversy, methodological problem, or empirical puzzle. By making use of systematically generated evidence – whether gained from theoretical argument, secondary literature, or survey, archival, interview, or participant observation data – the student should adjudicate between these theoretical claims, address the methodological problem in a new way, or solve the empirical puzzle. Primary research will not be expected. The result of this effort will not necessarily be itself a publishable paper, but it will be a significant step towards this goal. Limited to around 30 pages, it will represent a reasonable product of one year’s part-time work. The second year Research Paper may or may not be related to the student’s subsequent graduate work. There are sample copies of a research paper in Nancy’s office

Due May 4, 2017. When the student submits the paper to the committee, Nancy will also need a copy. This is a strict deadline and students should not plan on any extensions. Students should have the committee email Nancy with their approval. Approvals can be emailed after deadline.


THIRD YEAR

 
Fall Semester

Required Teaching Fellowship.

Field Exam Completion.
The Field Exam must be completed by December 15, 2016.  Students may take either a General Field Exam or a Special Field Exam. The General Field Exam is based on a 50-item reading list prepared by the Faculty and may be taken in one of the following areas: 1) Urban-Race; 2) Stratification and Inequality; 3) Cultural Sociology; 4) Political and Historical; 5) Economic Sociology; 6) Health and Medicine. General Field Exams take the form of critical review essays. They combine a general overview of the development of a subfield along with critical reflections on unresolved issues. The Special Field Exam is based on a reading list of equivalent length prepared by the student in consultation with two members of the Faculty. They are narrower in focus, but delve more deeply into the literature. The Special Field Exam should identity cutting edge theoretical debates and research questions within the defined area. The field exam will be evaluated similarly to the Second Year Paper, by a committee of two faculty members, composed of the student’s Academic Advisor and another faculty member chosen in consultation with the student. There are sample copies of field exams in Nancy’s office.

Due December 15, 2016.  When a student submits the exam to the committee, Nancy will also need a copy.  This is a strict deadline and students should not plan on any extensions. Students should have the committee members email Nancy with approval. Approvals can be emailed after deadline.
 
Spring Semester

Required Teaching Fellowship.

Dissertation Prospectus Completion.
Students will be required to appoint the Chair and two other members of the dissertation committee. By the end of the 3rd year, the student will be expected to defend the Dissertation Prospectus in an oral examination. The Prospectus should include (a) statement of the research problem, (b) elaboration of how the candidate will go about solving the problem, i.e. research design or equivalent, (c) discussion of sources or data to be used and, if appropriate, the methodology, (d) an outline of the planned chapters.

Due May 4, 2017.  Following the prospectus defense, students should submit the completed dissertation prospectus form, signed by the committee, to Nancy with a copy of the prospectus. This is a strict deadline and students should not plan on any extensions.


FOURTH YEAR

 

Required Teaching Fellowship Both Semesters

Dissertation Research/Writing. While students are expected to take their prospectus exams by the end of their third year – and to pass this exam no later than the beginning of their 4th year – we recognize that student progress through the subsequent, dissertation phase of the program will be variable. Graduate School funding after the fifth year is not guaranteed, but teaching fellowships are sometimes available, as are funds for dissertation research, awarded on a competitive basis by national and international agencies.

The dissertation represents a test of the candidate’s ability to select and carry out a major research project of professional quality. It should show the student’s mastery of the field of specialization, and it must demonstrably contribute to the body of sociological knowledge. The evaluation of the dissertation by the faculty is not a matter of whether or not the prospectus, as approved, was carried out. Rather, it is an independent assessment of the quality and intellectual contribution of the completed research itself as reported in the dissertation.

As well as the traditional style of dissertation we also allow essay style dissertations (normally three essays on a given topic together with an introduction and conclusion).

When a student is ready to submit the dissertation to the Graduate School, the Sociology department requires students to submit their dissertation by email to Nancy, and she will complete the notification of readers form online and distribute the dissertation to the committee.  Students should also follow the Dissertation Submission Guidelines at the Yale Graduate School site for additional instructions (hard copy, forms, and payment have to be submitted to the Dissertation office).

Students will be required to complete a dissertation progress report online annually.

 


FIFTH YEAR

 

Dissertation Research/Writing

University Dissertation Fellowship.
The UDF (University Dissertation Fellowship) is now automatic, applications are no longer necessary.

Fellowships.
Please refer to the list of Yale graduate fellowships (www.yale.edu/graduateschool/funding/index.html) or see attached list of outside fellowships compiled by Sociology students. (Outside Fellowships)

 


SIXTH YEAR AND BEYOND

 

Guaranteed teaching fellowships are now offered to Sociology graduate students that are planning on submitting their dissertation by the end of the sixth year.

 


GENERAL GUIDELINES

 

Changes in course schedules after OCS (Online Course Selection) deadlines (Sept. 14, Fall and January 27, Spring):  Please complete the course schedule change notification form and return it to Nancy.  The deadline to change enrollment in a Fall-term course from Credit to Audit and from Audit to Credit is October 24, 2016.  The deadline in the Spring term is April 7.  You may not add a course after the OCS deadlines, except with the Dean’s permission.

Mentoring and Advising: The DGS will be the “general advisor” for entering first year students, and will continue to be responsible for monitoring students’ progress through the program through the Dissertation Prospectus exam. However, during their first year students may request, after consulting with the DGS, an Academic Advisor, who will replace the DGS as the student’s academic mentor. By the end of the first year, students will, in fact, be required to designate such an Academic Advisor, if they have not done so before.

The Second Year Paper will be supervised by a two-person committee. The chair will be the student’s Academic Advisor, the second member a faculty member chosen by the student in consultation with his or her advisor. This committee will make the final decision about whether the Second Year Paper is accepted. The same procedure will apply to the Field Exam, although the composition of the faculty committee can be changed at the student’s request.

Faculty will meet at the conclusion of every Spring semester to evaluate the progress of graduate students. The DGS will conduct this meeting, and will consult with students’ Academic Advisors in preparation. Students in 2nd and 3rd year will be required to complete a progress report, due April 7.

Each semester, the DGS will conduct at least one “Professional Development Workshop,” in conjunction with other relevant faculty. These will cover requirements for the graduate program, such as Second Year Papers and Field Exams. They will also address the preparation and submission of professional papers, applying for research grants, and job market issues.

Joint Degrees:  Special arrangements will be worked out for students enrolled in joint Ph.D. or professional programs.

Temporary Incompletes: Arrangements between students and instructors concerning incomplete work are constrained by deadlines set by Graduate School regulations:  in a single term, only one TI is permitted.  Temporary Incompletes received in an academic year must be converted to final grades by October 3 of the following academic year.  If a grade is not received by the Graduate Registrar by this date, a TI will be converted to a permanent Incomplete (I) on the student’s record.  Students should complete the Temporary Incomplete form and have their instructor sign it (deadline is the end of each semester), then send it on to Nancy.

Teaching Fellowships:  Serving as a Teaching Fellow or Part-Time Acting Instructor after the second year of full-time study is viewed as an integral part of the graduate education.  The Graduate School requires that all students teach in each semester of their 3rd and 4th years unless no teaching positions are available in the department or if the student has research obligations elsewhere (in which case they can register in absentia and defer their teaching positions).  Every effort is made to provide teaching positions within the Sociology Department, but if positions are not available, students may be asked by the Teaching Fellow Program office to fulfill their teaching obligations in other departments in the University.  Please refer to the Teaching Fellow Program information at the Yale Graduate School site.

Also, 6th year students are offered an additional year of guaranteed teaching funding, if they are planning on submitting their dissertation in the spring of their 6th year. The stipend will end in May of that year. 

M.A. and M.Phil. Degrees:  After completing one year of the program leading to the Ph.D. degree, the student may petition for the Master of Arts degrees. Two of the eight term courses required for the M.A. must include statistics and theory. A grade of High Pass or above must be achieved in five of the eight required courses. A student may petition for the M.A. degree in the semester following the completion of the requirements.

After all requirements for the Ph.D. degree have been met except submission of the prospectus and the writing of the dissertation, and after at least one year of academic resident graduate study at Yale, the student will be eligible for the Master of Philosophy degree.

Students can petition online at the Yale Graduate School website, please click into Forms, Degree Petitions, and return the completed form to Nancy (or, Nancy also has copies of petitions).

Ph.D. Degree: There are two parts to submitting your dissertation for the Ph.D. degree:

1. Please email Nancy for instructions on submitting your dissertation by email and sending Nancy information to complete the Notification of Readers forms online. 

2. Students should refer to the Dissertation Submission checklist (www.yale.edu/graduateschool/academics).

Leave of Absence:  See Programs and Policies (www.yale.edu/graduateschool/policies/index.html)