Ph.D Program

1.      Admission

All applications to the Ph.D. program are reviewed by the Graduate Committee in the Department of Sociology, using the criteria that follow, in addition to the standard criteria required by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. These criteria are minimal and do not guarantee admission to the program. Recommendations regarding acceptance or rejection, and any conditions of admission, are forwarded to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Final approval rests with the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

1.1     Addmission Requirements

1) A Master's degree in Sociology or a closely related cognate field that includes substantial sociological content.

2) A minimum GPA of 3.5 (or the equivalent) based on the last 60 credit hours (or two full years or equivalent) of university study.

Students must have a strong foundation in sociological research methods and theory. Students may be required to complete additional coursework if the committee considers the student to be deficient in certain areas.

A limited number of students are admitted to the program on a competitive basis. Official transcripts from all universities attended by an applicant must be submitted with the application.

1.2     Applicants must submit a “Statement of Intent.” This statement should minimally include the applicant's reasons for seeking admission to the Ph.D. program, an indication of the particular substantive focus that s/he wishes to pursue, and other relevant information about the applicant's academic background and interests. It is advisable to discuss the continuities between training at the Master's level and plans for the doctoral program. This statement is a very important part of the application, and should be completed carefully.

1.3   Prospective students must also arrange for three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with their academic abilities and potential.

1.4    Proficiency in the English language is required for those whose native language is other than English. The Department of Sociology and Criminology uses all EAL test score minimums as stipulated by the Faculty of Graduate Studies with the following exceptions:

  • IELTS: the minimum score must be 6.5 in each of the test bands
  • TOEFL: minimum thresholds must be 600 on the paper test and 100 overall on the internet - based test (with a minimum speaking/writing of 22)

For specific requirements and further information, see Section 1 of the Academic Guide found in the University of Manitoba Graduate Calendar.

1.5   International students or those with an M.A. in a discipline other than Sociology will be assessed on an individual basis by the Graduate Committee and the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Such students may be required to undertake additional course work as an “Occasional Student” (OS) in order to remedy deficiencies in their graduate Sociology training. Similarly, those individuals who completed a M.A. degree more than 10 years prior to application, but are eligible on the basis of other criteria, will be carefully considered before being offered a place in the Ph.D. program. Applicants will be considered on an individual basis, and may be required to take additional course work as an “Occasional Student” (OS), prior to admission to the program.

2. General Regulations of the Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. program in Sociology consists of:
• 18 credit hours of course work
• 2 comprehensive examinations
• a thesis proposal and its successful defense
• a completed thesis and its successful defense

Once a student has been admitted, s/he should contact the Department's Graduate Chair or Graduate Program Assistant for advice on the selection of courses and other matters related to graduate study in Sociology and Criminology.

Ph.D. Courses and Grades

 Students who have completed a University of Manitoba M.A. in Sociology (or equivalent) must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours (6 courses) in 7000 level Sociology. Students who are admitted with acceptable qualifications other than an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Manitoba may be required (on the recommendation of the Graduate Committee) to complete additional course work.

All students must complete at least 3 credit hours in theory ( SOC 7190 , SOC 7320 , SOC 7430 , SOC 7440 SOC 7480 ), and 6 credit hours in research methods (SOC 7240, SOC 7390 , SOC 7400 , SOC 7420 ). Students must obtain a minimum average grade of 'B' in each of the two research methods courses.

Ph.D. Comprehensive Examinations

All Ph.D. students must successfully complete two comprehensive examinations after the prescribed course work has been completed and before submitting a thesis proposal. These examinations constitute the student's candidacy examination.

Student must complete comprehensive examinations in two different areas chosen from the following:

Sociological Theory
Sociological Methods
Criminology and Social Justice
Culture and Relations
Population Health and Wellness
Power, Privilege and Resistance
Global Sociology
Social Policy and Practice              

Thesis Proposal and Defense

Once the student has successfully completed the course requirements (normally during the first year in the program) and the candidacy examination (normally during the second year) he/she is expected to select a thesis advisor. If needed, the Graduate Chair’s assistance may be sought. The Ph.D. thesis Advisory Committee will be composed of the Advisor, two faculty members from the Department of Sociology and one faculty member from a department outside of Sociology.

The Advisory Committee is responsible for guiding and supervising the student's work toward a thesis.

The first stage in this process is the submission by the student of an acceptable thesis proposal, outlining in some detail the problem that s/he intends to investigate as well as the theory and methodology to be employed in this endeavour. After the proposal has been successfully defended, the student is ready to proceed to the stage of research and thesis writing.

Members of the Advisory Committee, an external examiner, plus the Dean of Graduate Studies (or designate) as Chair, will constitute the Final Oral Examination Committee. The examination will be conducted in a forum open to the University community and address itself to the subject matter of the thesis and matters relating thereto. The judgment of the examiners will be reported to the Dean of Graduate Studies in the terms "approved" or "not approved," and each examiner must indicate by his/her signature, concurrence with the decision.

In order to meet the deadlines for graduation/convocation, students should note that the relevant forms and the completed, approved thesis must be posted electronically in MSpace (see Graduate Thesis Guidelines and Information), as follows (these are approximate dates; please refer to the Academic Schedule in the Graduate Calendar for exact dates):

May convocation         Graduate Studies deadline: end of March
October convocation   Graduate Studies deadline: end of August
February graduation   Graduate Studies deadline: beginning of January


The length of time required to complete the Ph.D. program will vary. The student is required to spend a minimum of one academic year in full-time study. The Faculty of Graduate Studies has also established a maximum time limit of six years following registration in the Ph.D. program.

The Department expects that full-time Ph.D. students will normally have successfully completed comprehensive examinations within 2 years following admission to the program. If not completed within 3 years following admission, the Graduate Committee will review the matter and may require the student to withdraw from the program.

Assuming the student is prepared to devote the summer months to full-time study, a suggested schedule for completing the Ph.D. program might be as follows:

1st Year:         Complete 18 hours of course work
Begin preparations for comprehensive examinations

2nd Year:        Prepare for, and write 2 comprehensive exams

3rd Year:         Complete and defend thesis proposal
Prepare and defend thesis


For complete information see the Sociology and Criminology Supplemental Regulations.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies Thesis Guidelines can be found at: