Program goals

The goal of the graduate program in sociology is to facilitate the development of theoretical, methodological and substantive competence appropriate for students’ interests and career goals. In keeping with VCU’s role as an urban institution, the program focuses on the study of public sociology, inequality, social problems, policy alternatives and strategies for change. In addition to its program on the VCU campus, the department offers an online concentration in digital sociology. 

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate a mastery of the key concepts, including diversity and inequality, developed by classical and modern sociological theorists.
  2. Students will organize and integrate information into a cohesive overview of current knowledge; demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate the meaning, value and contribution of published literature in the field.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to design and implement an appropriate collection and analysis of data, which is a critical response to theory and current literature in the field of sociology. 
  4. Students will demonstrate the ability to draw reasoned conclusions based on qualitative and/or quantitative evidence relevant to the discipline of sociology.
  5. Students will demonstrate the ability to present their work as a cohesive artifact to their relevant publics.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.