The requirements listed are special to this department and must be read in conjunction with the general requirements of the Graduate School. In addition, students are urged to consult either the department’s or the University’s website directly for further information and course descriptions.
The Ph.D. requirements reflect what students need to do after they leave the department and become academic sociologists. Assistant professors of sociology need to be well-grounded in the discipline of sociology, fully knowledgeable about the critical debates in at least one field so that their work will have strategic impact capable of designing and carrying out research projects, able to present research results in written and oral form, and ready to teach courses. In short, students completing a Ph.D. in our program will need to apply for grants; to publish articles and/or books; and to present their work in professional meetings.
The typical trajectory through Columbia's Ph.D. program includes the awarding of the M.A. (usually after the second year) and M.Phil. degrees (usually after the third year). "All but dissertation" (ABD) status usually is achieved in the student's fourth year. Some students receive “Advanced Standing” equivalent to the awarding of an M.A. degree, and therefore proceed somewhat more quickly through the program. GSAS Advanced Standing policy is discussed at http://gsas.columbia.edu/content/advanced-standing-and-transfer-credit.