Department of Sociology

Graduate Student Program Handbook

Introduction

Department Goals

The Department of Sociology aims to prepare graduate students for research and service positions in the public and private sectors and for careers as scholar-teachers in universities and colleges. The doctoral program in sociology is designed to prepare graduate students for a career as a professor or for research and service positions in a broad range of public and private sectors such as law, business, medicine, social work, etc.

Role of the Graduate Committee

The Graduate Committee is comprised of the Graduate Director, five or six faculty members, and graduate student representatives. The faculty committee members and the Graduate Director are designated by the department's Executive Committee. The sociology graduate student organization, S.O.S., selects the student representatives. Student representatives participate in all committee deliberations, except when decisions relevant to admissions and specific students are discussed.

The Graduate Committee is responsible for admitting students to the department's master's and doctoral programs. The evaluations and recommendations of the Department of Communication are used in decisions for admissions to the joint Ph.D. program in Sociology and Communication, and the coordinator of the Certificate Program in Demography manages applications to that program. The Graduate Committee is responsible for evaluating each student's progress in the program and provides students with a written assessment at the end of each academic year. The committee awards assistantships and fellowships; the Graduate Director assigns graduate assistants to faculty and coordinates the evaluation of assistants' performances. Except for individual advisement, the Graduate Committee is responsible for approving the substance and procedure by which a student meets degree requirements. Individual academic advisement is provided by the Graduate Director and also by professors, or mentors, for advanced students.

The Graduate Committee evaluates applications for GSO and Benevolent Association grants, and selects the recipients of the Paul Meadows Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Research, and the Allen E. Liska Award for Dissertation Research.

The Handbook

This handbook is designed as a reference manual for graduate students and faculty in the department. It outlines the requirements of the master’s and doctoral programs. The appendix provides samples of forms used by the University and the department to mark the progress of a student. University rules and regulations guide the procedures of the department. For details on University policies and procedures, as well as an overall description of its programs and regulations, see the University at Albany Graduate Bulletin (www.albany.edu/graduatebulletin/).

It is hoped that this handbook will serve as a reference guide for our graduate students and will answer most questions that may arise during their course of study. However, students should always feel free, at any time, to seek the assistance of the Director of Graduate Studies, faculty, and staff if necessary.