Admissions to the joint program in Sociology and Women's Studies are suspended until further notice. Please contact email@example.com with questions.
Please Note: This timeline notes typical progress through the program. Your schedule may be slightly different depending on when certain courses are offered. The requirements listed throughout this section are for joint WS/Sociology students enrolled prior to Fall 2009.
- WS 501—Proseminar in Women’s Studies
- WS 530—Feminist Theory
- SOC 500—Orientation seminar
- SOC 505—Theory and Practice
- SOC 510—Statistics
- WS 602 or 603—Approaches to Feminist Scholarship
- SOC 506—Theory and Practice
- SOC 610—Statistics
- SOC 507—Logics and Strategies of Sociological Research Inquiry
- WS elective
- SOC elective
- 2 WS electives
- SOC elective
- Sociology prelim & Fifth-term review
- Research practicum (SOC 522, 523 or SOC 532, 533 or SOC 542, 543, or SURMETH 600, 672, and 673)
- 2 SOC electives
- Work on WS 891
- Candidacy achieved (after all course work completed and WS 891 2-pg proposal and bibliography approved by committee. Completion of WS 891 is not necessary to advance.)
- Fall: Finish WS 891
- Complete professional paper requirement
- Complete prospectus (Winter)
- Begin data collection and analysis
- Write and defend dissertation
The Women's Studies Director of Graduate Studies is the primary advisor for first-year Joint PhD students. It is recommended that first-year students consult with the Graduate Director at least once a term. The DPC liaison is considered a secondary advisor for first-year students. This person is familiar with both sets of requirements and should also be helpful in constructing a joint program.
In Sociology, students are assigned an advisor who is joint with Women's Studies and Sociology, from year one until the student decides on a second prelim area (WS891) or dissertation topic.
All fourth and fifth year students will be advised by their dissertation chairs. In all years, the WS Graduate Director continues to be an important resource.
All students will take their first prelim exam in Sociology in one of the 8 designated program areas:
- Culture and Knowledge
- Economic Sociology and Organizations
- Gender and Sexuality
- Health, Aging and Life Course
- Power, History and Social Change
- Race and Ethnicity
- Social Demography
- Social Psychology
Each area has a committee appointed by the Sociology chair and most committees provide students with a reading list on which the exam is based. Students may study over the summer in groups using previous exam questions to guide them.
Joint students in Women's Studies and Sociology are exempt from the second prelim and will instead complete WS 891.
The Women’s Studies Department reviews all joint Sociology and Women’s Studies students in the fall term of their third year, once they have completed the first prelim. This meeting is intended to offer the student and faculty members an opportunity to discuss the student’s progress in the program and plans for future research. In other words, it is not a screening but part of the mentoring process.
1. Begins by selecting a committee. The review committee will consist of:
- a faculty member affiliated with Women's Studies
- a faculty member affiliated with Sociology
- a faculty member with relevant expertise from any department
If faculty members are unfamiliar with the process, the Women’s Studies Director of Graduate Studies will designate a committee chair, generally the joint person, and meet with him/her to discuss procedures.
2. Arranges a meeting time (students make arrangements with committee; must be before December 1). The meeting should be 1½ hours in duration. The student also coordinates a meeting space (in Sociology or Women’s Studies). The Women’s Studies Graduate Student Services Coordinator will assist if necessary; be sure to inform the Coordinator of meeting time, place, and the composition of the committee.
3. Submits the following materials to the Women’s Studies Graduate Student Services Coordinator at least one week before the proposed meeting:
- short self-appraisal about progress and future interests (2–3 pages)
- an unrevised writing sample of any length from any course (with or without instructor comments)
The Women’s Studies Graduate Student Services Coordinator will run an updated transcript, collect comments from all faculty members who have taught the student in a course, and create a fifth term review packet with all relevant information. The Women’s Studies Grad Coordinator will distribute the packet of collected information to committee members in advance of the meeting.
The meeting will be an opportunity to:
- review and discuss the student’s academic record
- review progress in the joint program, come up with ideas for WS 891 project, and other future research plans
The committee completes the fifth term review form and files it with the Women’s Studies Graduate Program Coordinator.
Women’s Studies 891 is an interdisciplinary research paper (that pilots the dissertation project—includes data, info from the archive) or critical literature review (broader than a prospectus; generally about 30–40 pages) meant to integrate learning in Sociology and Women’s Studies and focusing on a topic pertinent to the dissertation. This can be completed in one term or over two terms.
It serves as your prelim in Women’s Studies and replaces your second prelim in Sociology.
The student begins by selecting a committee consisting of the following members:
- a faculty member affiliated with Women’s Studies;
- a faculty member affiliated with Sociology; and
- a faculty member with relevant expertise from any department.
This committee may or may not be the same as the committee for your fifth term review.
2. The student writes a 1–2 page 891 proposal that the 891 committee must approve. There is not a meeting for this; students distribute the proposal via email or in-person to the committee members. The committee chair will communicate to the Women's Studies graduate office when the proposal is approved. This is necessary for advancement to candidacy.
3. The student must then sign up for WS 891 for 1 or 2 terms under her/his advisor’s individual instructor (INDI) number.
Note: You may complete your 891, which is a research paper or critical literature review, in one or two terms. If you choose two terms, you would read and/or collect data in the Winter term of your third year and write it up in the Fall term of your fourth year. Winter term you will receive a “Y” (extended course) and Fall Term the “Y” will be converted to a grade. This process may also be completed in one term. Either way, WS 891 will be completed when it has been defended in a two-hour oral exam with the whole committee.
WS 891 must be completed by the end of Fall term of the fourth year.
The student is responsible for:
- selecting a committee
- establishing a meeting time
- scheduling a meeting room
- distributing proposal and paper to committee
Please fill out the requisite form (Sociology WS 891 Form) for the defense and file it with the Women’s Studies Graduate Program Coordinator.
The Professional Paper requirement is intended to facilitate the development of the skills and experiences necessary for writing professional papers.
To fulfill the requirement, a faculty member must certify that the student has produced a paper suitable for presentation at a professional meeting or conference or submission to a refereed journal.
The requirement can be satisfied in a number of ways:
- by producing a paper in a research practicum
- by revising a paper begun in a practicum
- by producing a paper from a seminar
- by doing an original research paper for the second prelim exam (WS 891)
- by producing a paper in consultation with a faculty member
The prospectus is a student’s proposal or plan for dissertation research and writing.
In Sociology, the dissertation proposal is generally 15–20 double-spaced pages in length and should include a bibliography and tentative time schedule. It lays out the literature review and research question and describes the research design and research techniques. It should specify the sources of data and evaluate their adequacy; what specific research techniques will be employed; relevant controls or comparisons; and expected problems of data analysis.
In Sociology, the prospectus must be defended within a year of completing the second preliminary examination, i.e. WS 891.
Please file a copy of your prospectus with the Women’s Studies Graduate Office.
See also: Department of Sociology website
All proposals to satisfy program requirements using coursework from a program outside University of Michigan must be discussed with the Director of Graduate Studies in both Women's Studies and your department. Graduate credits may be transferred to Master's degree programs only. However, although course credits cannot be transferred to your PhD program, graduate work done elsewhere may be used to satisfy certain requirements but will not appear on the University transcript.
In Sociology, a small number of courses are required by all graduate students: Sociology 505, 506 (Theory); Sociology 510, 610 (Statistics); and Sociology 507 (Logics and Strategies of Research). Petitions seeking to waive any of these courses must demonstrate not only that the student has previously done such reading, but that he/she has mastered the intellectual material. In all cases, petitions must be submitted to and approved by the Committee on Administration of Graduate Affairs (CAGA) in Sociology. Exceptions: students may be excused from Sociology 510 by taking an exam. Students may be excused from Sociology 610 by substituting another course or demonstrating command of the material. (See the Sociology handbook for more information.)
Fatma Muge Gocek
Other Gender Studies Faculty