Graduate Catalog
2021-2022
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Sociology
College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences
Construction begun 1970; major work completed December 1971 (except auditorium). Cost $2,714,514; 123,000 sq. ft. (approx.). Named after John McLaren McBryde (1841-1923) was President from 1891 to 1907. Known as the "Father of VPI," McBryde laid the foundation for modern Virginia Tech. He increased bachelor's degree offerings, added graduate programs, created an infirmary, and christened the motto Ut Prosim.
225 Stanger Street McBryde Hall, Suite 560 (0137) Blacksburg VA 24061
McBryde Hall
Degree(s) Offered:
• MS
MS Degree in Sociology
Minimum GPA: 3.25
Offered In:
Blacksburg
• PhD
PhD Degree in Sociology
Minimum GPA: 3.25
Offered In:
Blacksburg
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
540/231-8971
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Apr 15
Directions
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McBryde Hall

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Department Chair : Jennifer Johnson
Graduate Program Director : Jason Roos (Director of Graduate Studies)
Emeriti Faculty: Donald Shoemaker; Barbara Smith; William Snizek
Professors: Onwubiko Agozino; David Brunsma; Toni Calasanti; Anthony Harrison; James Hawdon; Neal King; Liesel Ritchie
Associate Professors: Shannon Bell; Sarah Ovink; Paulo Polanah; Anastasia Vogt Yuan; Dale Wimberley; Bonnie Zare; Haiyan Zhu
Assistant Professors: Thomas Dearden; Katalin Parti; Ashley Reichelmann; Donna Sedgwick
Edward S. Diggs Professor in Humanities: Anthony Harrison
Research Professors: Duane Gill

Sociology Introduction

The Department of Sociology at Virginia Tech is a premier, research-oriented program, with 25 full-time faculty members and 7 affiliated faculty. The common anchor that connects much of the research we do is a focus on the causes, consequences, and interactions of social inequalities in a variety of subfields, including gender, race, class, sexualities, criminology, health, aging, education, the environment, and the global political economy. A solid grounding in sociological theory and methods constitute the core of our graduate programs, and students may also specialize and/or take courses in our interdisciplinary programs in Africana Studies, Women's and Gender Studies, and American Indian Studies. In addition, we support the research of action-oriented scholars who connect with communities in need and provide research that can help address social problems and influence public policy. 
Our faculty earned degrees from some of the finest doctoral programs in their fields. They have authored or edited over 70 books on such topics as workplace relations, Black Feminisms, Hip Hop, Indigenous communities in Southern Appalachia, Appalachian development, environmental justice, social movements, culture, gender, aging, sociology of knowledge, world systems, race in the marketplace, neoliberalism and authoritarian populism, rural violence, sexuality and bodies, deviance, drug use, higher education, research methods, and the mass media. Departmental faculty have published nearly 750 professional articles and chapters, written over 180 technical reports related to applied sociological issues, and participated in more than 80 externally funded projects. In addition, sociology faculty have received numerous college, university, and national awards for outstanding teaching, service, and research.

Students earning a MS in Sociology gain the necessary background for doctoral work or careers in applied settings, such as business, federal or state government, and social services. Doctoral students establish their own programs of study, engage in their own independent research, teach their own undergraduate classes, present papers at professional meetings, publish in scholarly venues, and gain the credentials and skills necessary for careers in academia, government, or public policy. 

Admission Policies

In addition to the admission standards prescribed by the Graduate School, students requesting admittance to an advanced degree program in sociology must meet the following requirements: 
  1. A Bachelor's degree or a master's degree from an accredited institution;  
  2. Three letters of recommendation, preferably from former professors;  
  3. A written statement describing research goals, relevant experience, and motivations for pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in Sociology at Virginia Tech;  
  4. A writing sample;  
  5. 5. A "B" overall grade point average (3.0 on a 4 point system) in all Sociology courses previously taken; 
  6. Graduate Record Examination;
  7. Applicants for the master's program are also expected to have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25 (out of 4.0) for the last two (2) years of undergraduate study;
All admitted students must begin their graduate studies at Virginia Tech during the fall semester.

Graduate Assistantships

Each year the department awards assistantships on a competitive basis that include a stipend for the academic year (~$21,000) and full tuition remission. The typical practice is to award admitted students with funding for the standard time to completion for their degree (2 years for MS and 4 years for PhD). However, funding may also be awarded on a provisional basis at the discrepancy of the Sociology Graduate Committee. 
The University also provides a health insurance subsidy for graduate students. For more information on the health insurance benefit, please see https://graduateschool.vt.edu/funding/types-of-funding/assistantships/benefits.html

Graduate students are responsible for paying the Comprehensive Student Fee of $1,048 (in-state) $1,350 (out-of-state) per fall and spring semester. 

Graduate Student Organizations

In addition to the university's Graduate Student Association, our graduate students operate a departmental Graduate Student Association. The Department of Sociology is also a member of the national sociological honor society, AKD.
Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.25
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 550.0
    • Computer
      • 213.0
    • iBT
      • 80.0
  • GRE
    • General Test
      • Verbal : 153.0
      • Quantitative : 146.0
      • Analytical : 4.0
The Master of Science (M.S.) Degree has three options: Master of Science in Sociology, Master of Science in Sociology with a Concentration in Africana Studies, and a Master of Science in Sociology with a Concentration in Women's and Gender Studies.

M.S. students must complete 24 hours of coursework, 6 hours of research, and write a thesis. All M.S. students must pass a final examination. The examination will be a defense of the thesis and an assessment of the student's understanding of appropriate sociological subjects. Specific course requirements, Requirements for the thesis, and procedures for the exam are discussed in the Graduate Catalog and the departmental Graduate Handbook. 

Concentrations

Africana Studies

Please see Sociology Department Graduate Handbook for requirements of the Concentration in Africana Studies. 

Women's & Gender Studies

Please see Sociology Department Graduate Handbook for requirements of the Concentration in Women's & Gender Studies. Students completing the requirements will receive a certificate in Women’s & Gender Studies and a notation on the transcript. 
Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.25
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 550.0
    • Computer
      • 213.0
    • iBT
      • 80.0
  • GRE
    • General Test
      • Verbal : 153.0
      • Quantitative : 146.0
      • Analytical : 4.0
The PhD has three options: PhD in Sociology, PhD in Sociology with a Concentration in Africana Studies, and a PhD in Sociology with a Concentration in Women's and Gender Studies.
PhD students must complete 48 hours of coursework and 30 hours of research.  If a student has a MS or MA in Sociology or a related discipline up to 12 hours of coursework may be transferred and counted toward the 48-hour requirement. Students are required to complete classes in classical and contemporary sociological theory and an advanced theory course in one of our interdisciplinary programs.  They are also required to complete a course in research methods, two graduate-level statistics classes, a qualitative methods course, an advanced methods course, and an academic writing class.

PhD Students must also successfully pass a preliminary examination. The examination is to be taken after the student has completed approximately 45 hours of coursework. The preliminary exam is comprehensive in nature and tests a student's ability to integrate, synthesize, and apply sociological concepts in one area of concentration selected by the student. The exam may also test any aspect of theoretical sociology or research methodology. The student should meet with his or her exam area committee prior to preparing for the exam to discuss the exam and evaluation procedures. The departmental Graduate Handbook discusses these exams in detail.

Ph.D. students must also complete a written dissertation and an oral dissertation defense (examination). Specific course requirements, requirements for the dissertation, and procedures for the examinations are discussed in the Graduate Catalog and the departmental Graduate Handbook. 

Concentrations

Africana Studies

 Please see Sociology Department Graduate Handbook for requirements of the Concentration in Africana Studies.

Women's and Gender Studies

Please see Sociology Department Graduate Handbook for requirements of the Concentration in Women's & Gender Studies.  Students completing the requirements will receive a certificate in Women's & Gender Studies and a notation on the transcript.

Sociology Facilities Introduction

Virginia Tech's Department of Sociology is located in McBryde Hall. McBryde Hall houses exceptional teaching classrooms, and the department provides access to computer labs, faculty and graduate student offices, and administration resources.
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