Doctoral Degree Programs

Graduate opportunities

In the Department of Sociology, we teach more than theories, facts and figures. Our aim is to develop independent, critical thinkers who are capable of conducting high quality and innovative research in a specific area.

Pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Sociology at the University of North Texas prepares you to be an independent researcher or instructor in higher education. You'll learn to apply social science perspectives and tools to problems and improve the quality of life. You can concentrate your studies in the areas of comparative and global sociology, social stratification or health, illness and aging.

Outstanding faculty

While in our doctoral program, you'll have opportunities to work closely with faculty members in educational and research activities focusing on:

  • Comparative and global sociology
  • Development and social change
  • Environmental sociology
  • Health, illness and aging
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Social inequality and stratification
  • Social media
  • Work and organizations

Additional resources are available through our participation in the Federation of North Texas Area Universities. This collaboration allows you to take sociology courses that offer different viewpoints and expertise in substantive areas of study in sociology.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

Admission to the doctoral program is a competitive, two-step process. First, you'll need to meet the graduate school's admission requirements, which are outlined at our website.

Second, you'll need to complete the Department of Sociology's application process that requires a statement of purpose and three completed recommendation forms or letters.

Students with a master's degree may be considered for either unconditional or conditional admission based on the following requirements. Conditional admission requires filing an appeal with the graduate school.


  • 18 credit hours of sociology courses (at least 3 graduate credit hours each in social research methods, social statistics and social theory)
  • At least a 3.5 GPA on your master's course work
  • Acceptable GRE scores on the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections (contact the Director of Graduate Studies for information concerning admission test scores)

Additional course work may be required if you have fewer than the required credit hours and courses needed for unconditional admission.

Outstanding undergraduates without a master's degree who meet all possible unconditional requirements may be considered for admission to the doctoral program.


  • At least a 3.0 GPA on all master's course work
  • Acceptable GRE scores on the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections
  • Substantial alternative evidence of potential success in graduate studies

The graduate school dean will notify you about being admitted to our program. We recommend completing the admission process by the last Monday in November the year prior to the requested admission year.

Selected candidates are invited to a retreat in early spring to learn more about the program and meet professors. Accepted applicants should consult with our Director of Graduate Studies before registering for their first semester of course work.

Degree requirements

  • 12 credit hours in research methods and statistics
  • 6 credit hours in sociological theory
  • 12 credit hours in a concentration area
  • 12 credit hours in a second sociology concentration or related minor field
  • 6 credit hours of electives
  • 9 credit hours of dissertation (including an oral defense of the proposal and the final written dissertation)

You may earn credit for an internship as part of your Ph.D. course work. You'll also need to enroll in 9 credit hours for two consecutive long semesters or 6 credit hours for three consecutive semesters to fulfill the doctoral residence requirement.

Financial assistance

The primary forms of financial support are assistantships in the department, scholarships or financial aid. To be considered for assistantships, you should submit all admission materials to our department and the graduate school by the last Monday in November the year before you want to enroll.

Assistantships are announced shortly after the spring informational retreat.