PhD in Sociology

Admission Requirements

See graduate general regulation 1.3 for general requirements. The Department of Sociology and Anthropology has certain requirements beyond the Dean of Graduate Studies regulations, namely 3.25 C.G.P.A. for admission, a written statement about current interests and prospective research, a sample of the applicants scholarly work from earlier or ongoing graduate studies, an updated curriculum vitae, and three reference letters. How well the applicant’s proposed research coincides with the research and teaching interests of the faculty is an important admission consideration. 

Please view the Application Information page for further details of the admission requirements..

Admission applications are normally considered once each year at the end of January. The program commences in September. Contact the graduate program chair or the graduate program assistant for further information.

Graduate Seminar

All full-time graduate students must attend and actively participate in the graduate seminar during their first program term.

Language Requirement

Although French or a foreign language is desirable, there is no prescribed language requirement but, where a language other than English is necessary for field work or reading, proficiency is required.

Program Requirements

Students complete three courses, the PhD qualifying examinations (by registering in SA 897), and the PhD Thesis (SA 899).

Students may be required to complete more than these courses at the discretion of the supervisory committees.

Students complete a minimum of 26 units, including all of

SA 840 - Graduate Seminar (2)

SA 897 - PhD Qualifying Examinations (6)

SA 899 - PhD Thesis (10)

and two of

SA 815 - Theories of Latin American Development (4)

SA 835 - Social and Political Change in Latin America (4)

SA 850 - Selected Topics in Social Theory (5)

SA 856 – Qualitative Sociological Research Methods (5)

SA 853 - Readings in Sociology I (5) *

SA 854 - Readings in Sociology II (5) *

SA 870 - Theories in Anthropology (5)

SA 875 - Ethnographic Methodology: Social/Cultural Anthropology (5)

SA 886 – Selected Problems in Social Analysis (5)

SA 887 – Special Topics in Sociology/Anthropology (5)

 * Students may also choose a graduate course or graduate directed readings course in another Simon Fraser University department, or from another university that is part of the Western Dean's Agreement. Supervisory committee and departmental graduate program committee approval is required.

Required courses, including qualifying examinations, and preparation and defence of the thesis prospectus, are normally completed within the first six terms of enrolment.

Course requirements are the same whether the student has completed an MA in this department, or completed a comparable MA program at another university.

Qualifying Exam

At the conclusion of SA 897, students must complete a written qualifying examination. After successfully completing the qualifying exam, and prior to commencing work on the thesis, students defend a written prospectus that the student has prepared. This oral defence is public.


After the program requirements, qualifying exam and written prospectus defence is complete, the thesis is written and finally defended in an oral examination. The student’s supervisory committee and a qualified external examiner and internal examiner will examine the thesis. Theses are electronically submitted to the library.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the graduate general regulations (residence, course work, academic progress, supervision, research competence requirement, completion time, and degree completion), as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled, as shown above.