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Department of Sociology and Anthropology Simon Fraser University Calendar | Spring 2018


Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

See graduate general regulation 1.3 for general requirements. In addition to these requirements, the department also requires a written statement about current interests and prospective research. How well the applicant’s proposed research coincides with the research and teaching interests of the faculty is an important admission consideration. PhD applicants must submit a work sample from earlier or ongoing graduate studies.

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 two program terms. In subsequent terms, attendance and enrolment is voluntary.

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)

Orientation to university, professional development, and cohort building. Required course for the first year MA and PhD students in Sociology and Anthropology. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

SA 897 - PhD Qualifying Examinations (6)

Course objective is to provide a framework and process for students and supervisors to work within to facilitate students' satisfactory preparation for qualifying examinations; and to complete qualifying examinations required for admission to doctoral candidate standing. Prerequisite: All PhD course requirements, with the exception of SA 857 must be completed before student may enrol in SA 897.

and two of

SA 815 - Theories of Latin American Development (4)

Asynthetic introduction to historical and contemporary theories of development in Latin America. Topics include political economy of development, sociological theories of development, an introduction to neoliberalsim, and the contemporary experience of globalization and development in Latin America. Students who have taken IS 815 or LAS 815 for credit may not take this course for further credit.

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

A general overview of social and political change in Latin America, including revolutions, independence, transition to democracy, and contemporary social movements. Theoretical approaches may include social-movement theory, democratic theory, etc. Students who have taken IS 835 or LAS 835 for credit may not take this course for further credit.

SA 850 - Selected Topics in Social Theory (5)

Examines different historical and contemporary perspectives from the body of social theory. Students from other departments and faculties may enroll with permission of instructor.

SA 856 - Qualitative Sociological Research Methods (5)

Examines approaches to qualitative methodology and research design in Sociology and Anthropology including epistemological and ethical debates surrounding the practice of qualitative methodology and research design in diverse contexts. Students will investigate research methods applicable to their graduate research projects. Students from other departments and faculties may enroll with permission of instructor.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Barbara Mitchell
Fr 9:30 AM – 1:20 PM
AQ 4115, Burnaby
SA 870 - Theories in Anthropology (5)

Examines the dynamic relationship among conceptual aims, social relations in research, and the socio-political contexts of anthropological work through close study of selected classical and contemporary works in anthropology. Students from other departments and faculties may enrol with permission of instructor.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Michael Hathaway
Mo 5:30 PM – 9:20 PM
AQ 5067, Burnaby
SA 875 - Ethnographic Methodology: Social/Cultural Anthropology (5)

In depth study of ethnographic methodology as practiced, theorized and debated by social and cultural anthropologists. Course will include anthropological analyses of multi- and interdisciplinary approaches to, and adaptations of, ethnographic methodology and methods. Elective course for MA and PhD students in Sociology and Anthropology. Students from other departments and faculties may enrol with permission of instructor. Course will be offered in response to student demand, dependent on availability of departmental resources.

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

An advanced seminar devoted to an in-depth examination of a topic not regularly offered by the department.

*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 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 defended in an oral examination.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.