1. Welcome to the Department of Sociology Graduate Program

We live in turbulent times. The world is changing rapidly. Some cherished ways of living are being lost, or changing in ways we didn’t expect. At the same time, the sweeping changes we face present us with new opportunities. Sometimes we confidently grabbed these opportunities and move forward to build new lives. It is not uncommon, however, for us to feel unprepared and uncertain about how we can, or if we should take advantage of them. Explaining these social and personal changes, and how people living through them experience and understand them, are among the tasks of sociology and social research.

The Department of Sociology at the University of Saskatchewan offers students both masters and doctoral level graduate programs. These programs are designed to provide graduates with the research skills necessary to the world we live in and the consequences it has for us all. Graduates of our programs will also acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively translate and communicate research results to a variety of audiences.

We offer three programs at the Masters level and one doctoral level program.

At the masters level we offer a thesis-based masters degree, a non-thesis project-based masters degree, and a double degree masters program offered in collaboration with Xi’an Jiaotong University in China, one of China’s most prestigious universities. Our doctoral program provides students with rigorous academic training in theory, methods and data analysis as well as a core of professional skills offered through a professional development course offered exclusively to doctoral students.

All three masters level programs, as well as our doctoral program, provides students with a solid foundation in the research process sociological theory, research methods, and both quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques. More information about these programs can be found here.

More information about our current graduate students’ research please click here.

I invite you to consider joining our team and becoming involved in the exciting creative world of sociological research

Best wishes,

Harley Dickinson, Professor

Graduate Chair, Department of Sociology

Carolyn Brooks (PhD Saskatchewan 2009), Associate Professor. Criminology; Social Control; Visual Sociology; Youth Crime; Resilience.

Hongming Cheng (PhD Simon Fraser 2004), Professor. Criminology; White-collar and Corporate Crime; Public Opinion on Police; Land Rights; Comparative Criminal Justice.

Colleen Dell (PhD Carleton 2001), Professor, and Research Chair in Substance Abuse. Health; Addictions; Animal Assisted Interventions; Knowledge Mobilization; Indigenous Wellbeing; Women and Girls.

Harley Dickinson (PhD Lancaster 1984), Professor. Health and Health Care; Theory; Policy Analysis/Public Policy.

Patience Elabor-Idemudia (PhD Toronto 1993), Professor. Race Relations; Migration Studies; Transnationalism; Women and Gender Studies; International Development and Food Security.

Michael Gertler (PhD Cornell 1993), Associate Professor. Agriculture and Food; Rural Development; Co-operatives; Environment and Natural Resources; Community and Communities.

John Hansen (PhD Regina 2011), Assistant Professor. Indigenous Justice; Restorative Justice; Crime and Society; Indigenous Knowledge and Models of Healing.

Monica Hwang (PhD British Columbia 2013), Assistant Professor, STM*. Racial and Ethnic Stratification; Immigration and Diversity; Political Sociology; Social Inequality; Social Capital; Education.

Julie Kaye (PhD Saskatchewan 2013), Assistant Professor. Critical Criminology; Harm Reduction; Community Research and Organizing; Gender; Feminist and Indigenous Feminist Thought; Post-, Anti-, and Settler-Colonialisms; Criminalization; Human Trafficking; Women and Law; Identity and Politics; Structural Inequalities; Boundaries; Development; Research Methods.

Sarah Knudson (PhD Toronto 2012), Assistant Professor, STM*. Families, Family Formation and Couple Formation; Intimate Relationships and Relationship Advice; Representations of Gender in Popular Culture; Self-help, Experts, and Advice-seeking.

Darrell McLaughlin (PhD New Brunswick 2000), Associate Dean and Associate Professor, STM*. Globalization; Social Justice; Social Change.

Jennifer Poudrier (PhD Queen’s 2004), Associate Professor. Health and Medicine; Indigenous Knowledge; Science Studies; Visual Research Methods.

Elizabeth Quinlan (PhD Saskatchewan 2004), Associate Professor. Caring Labour; Health Human Resources; Arts-based Methods; Participatory Methods.

Kara Somerville (PhD Toronto 2006), Associate Professor. Migration; Transnationalism; Race/Ethnicity; Second Generation; Family.

Terry Wotherspoon (PhD Simon Fraser 1989), Department Head and Professor. Education; Work and Labour Markets; Social Policy; Diversity, Inclusion, and Inequality; Immigrant and Indigenous Conditions.

Laura Wright (PhD Western Ontario 2015), Assistant Professor. Sociology of the Family; Social Demography; Transitions to Adulthood; Lifecourse Sociology; Sociology of Education; Health; Inequality; Quantitative Methods.

Tony Zhang (PhD University of Toronto), Assistant Professor, Chinese Politics; Public Opinion; Social Movements.

Li Zong (PhD Saskatchewan 1993), Professor. Quantitative Methodology; Race and Ethnic Relations; Immigration; Social Stratification; China Studies.

Alan Anderson (PhD Saskatchewan 1972)

Peter Li (PhD Northwestern 1975)

Daniel Béland (PhD École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales 1999), Professor, JohnsonShoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan. Public Policy; Political Sociology; Historical and Comparative Sociology; Sociological Theory.

Marie Lovrod (PhD Calgary 1996), Professor, Department of English, University of Saskatchewan. Feminist Theory; Queer Theory; Transnational Feminisms; Trauma and Resilience.

Yanjie Bian (PhD New York at Albany 1990), Professor, School of Humanities and Social Science, Xi’an Jiaotong University. Economic Sociology; Social Stratification and Mobility; Social Networks and Social Capital; Social Survey Research Methods.

Martin Cannon (PhD York 2004), Associate Professor, Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Histories of Settler Colonialism; Sex Discrimination in Canada’s Indian Act; Indigenous Sociology; Identity and Race Relations.

Wenjiang Chen (PhD University of Michigan/Fudan University 2008), Professor, Division of Humanities and Social Science, Lanzhou University. Social Transformation; Policy; Development; Culture Sociology; Social Gender; Western China’s Development.

C. Randy Duncan (PhD Saskatchewan 2009), Independent Consultant. Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis; Mental Health; Addictions and Recovery; Animal-assisted Therapy.

Bonnie Jeffery (PhD British Columbia 1999), Professor, Social Work, University of Regina. Social Work; Aging; Health; Rural Communities; Northern Communities.

Yixi Lu (PhD Saskatchewan 2013), Assistant Professor, Institute of Development Studies, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China. Health and Health Care; Education; Labour Markets; Immigrant and Ethnic Populations; Data Analysis; Statistical Methods.

Judith Martin (PhD Saskatchewan 2003), Independent Consultant. Social Policy; Work-Family Balance; Quality of Life; Community Engagement.

Jin Qiu (PhD Jinnan University 1987), Professor, School of Philosophy and Social Development, Huaqiao University of China. History of Sino-Foreign Relations; Overseas Chinese Study.

Roanne Thomas (PhD New Brunswick 2001), Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa. Health; Disability; Social Justice.

John Thompson (PhD California at Santa Barbara, 1977), Retired Professor, STM*. Social Theory; Social Stratification and Inequality; Sociology of Religion.

Hongbo Wang, Professor, School of Humanities and Social Science, Xi’an Jiaotong University. Social Engineering; Public Policy.

Hua Wen (PhD Lanzhou 2001), Professor, School of Ethnology and Sociology, Northwest University for Nationalities. Folklore Studies; Social and Cultural Change; Migration and Multiculturalism; Marriage and Family.

Jun Wen (PhD Nanjing), Professor, School of Social Development, East China Normal University. Sociological Theory; Urban Studies; Globalization; Social Work Management in China.

Karen Wood (PhD Saskatchewan 2009), Director, Family Service Saskatoon. Child Sexual Abuse; Aboriginal and Cross-cultural Healing; Family Violence; Embodiment; Community Education for Improved Health and Healing; Sensitive Practice; Qualitative and Participatory Research Methods; Narrative Research; Community-based and Participatory Action Research.

Yongmei Zhang, Professor, School of Philosophy and Sociology, Lanzhou University. Populations; Community; Migrant Workers.

Zhangbao Zhong, Professor, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan. Rural Sociology; Marxism Theory.

*STM – St. Thomas More College, an affiliated college at the University of Saskatchewan.

2.1 Graduate Programs in Sociology (MA)

Course Requirements
All students in this program are required to complete a minimum of 15 graduate credit units including SOC 840.6 (Advanced Theory) and SOC 841.6 (Advanced Methodology). Students should consult with the Graduate Chair and, if known, the thesis supervisor, prior to registration to determine other course selections.

SOC 840.6 Advanced Theory (Term 1 and 2);
SOC 841.6 Advanced Methodology (Term 1 and 2);
3 cu 800-level elective courses, normally related to student research area;
SOC 990.0 Seminar (Term 1, Term 2) – students are required to register in and attend these seminars throughout their graduate program, and must present one seminar based on their research;
SOC 994.0 Research (Term 1, Term 2, Term 3) – students are required to register each term, including summer term (T3), until the completed thesis has been defended and submitted;
GSR 960.0 Introduction to Ethics and Integrity (online class);
GSR 961.0 Ethics and Integrity in Human Research (online class – this course is required for students whose research involves human subjects; it is highly recommended for all students).

Thesis
The potential thesis topic is to be selected and approved in consultation with the student’s supervisor and advisory committee. A formal thesis proposal must be submitted to and approved by the advisory committee.

The thesis proposal may be submitted to the advisory committee at any time after admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research, but preferably prior to the end of the student's first year in the Graduate program. All students whose research involves human subjects (or animals or biohazardous materials) must submit an application for review and approval by the appropriate Research Ethics Board through the Office of Research Services, and to ensure that they have first registered in and completed GSR 961 as well as GSR 960. Normally ethics review applications will be completed in conjunction with, or shortly after, approval of the thesis proposal, and approval must be in place before data collection can begin. Thesis proposals are normally 10 to 15 pages in length, and should include the following elements:

  • statement and justification of research question;
  • identification of relevant bodies of literature;
  • discussion of relevant theories and justification of theoretical approach adopted in thesis;
  • outline of research methodology and data source(s);
  • outline of how data will be analyzed;
  • brief outline of thesis (number of chapters and focus of each chapter);
  • projected time frame for completion of each stage of research and thesis work.

Conditionally qualified students who are required to take additional undergraduate classes must have satisfactorily completed all such classes before the advisory committee will accept and approve the thesis proposal.

Oral Examination
Once all course work and the thesis have been completed, the student will be required to undergo an oral examination to defend his/her thesis. This examination shall not be confined only to the thesis but may be comprehensive in nature. The examination will be conducted by the student's advisory committee and one other faculty member of the University of Saskatchewan from a discipline other than Sociology. The Graduate Chair or designated representative will chair the defence. Copies of the thesis must be made available to all members of the advisory committee, as well as the external examiner, at least three weeks prior to the date of defence. A copy of the thesis should be made available in the Department General Office for review by other faculty members.

College Approval
The advisory committee and program of study (linked with the thesis topic; form GSR 208) must be approved by the Graduate Chair and submitted for approval to the College of Graduate Studies and Research. This approval should be obtained early in the student’s graduate program, and within the first year of registration, in order to avoid any unnecessary delays in the completion of the degree requirements. Any changes to the advisory committee, program of study, or thesis topic must also be submitted in the same way for approval (on a revised form GSR 208).

Course Requirements
All students in this program are required to complete a minimum of 18 graduate credit units including SOC 840.6 (Advanced Theory) and SOC 841.6 (Advanced Methodology). Students should consult with the Graduate Chair and, if known, the research supervisor, prior to registration to determine other course selections.

SOC 840.6 Advanced Theory (Term 1 and 2);
SOC 841.6 Advanced Methodology (Term 1 and 2);
6 cu 800-level elective courses*, normally related to student research area;
SOC 990.0 Seminar (Term 1, Term 2) – students are required to register in and attend these seminars throughout their graduate program, and must present one seminar based on their research;
SOC 992.0 Project (Term 1, Term 2, Term 3) – students are required to register each term, including summer term (T3), until the completed project paper has been submitted and graded;
GSR 960.0 Introduction to Ethics and Integrity (online class);
GSR 961.0 Ethics and Integrity in Human Research (online class – this course is required for students whose research involves human subjects; it is highly recommended for all students).

*A maximum of 6 cu at the graduate or undergraduate level may be taken in a related discipline outside of Sociology with the permission of the advisory committee and the Graduate Chair.

Project
A research paper on a topic approved by the student's advisory committee is required. The paper should be concerned with discussing a meaningful sociological question and may require some empirical research, a critical review of the literature or a critical analysis of a theoretical problem. Students must complete a project proposal for approval by their advisory committee. Proposals for projects should normally be about 5 to 10 pages, including a statement of the problem and its significance, identification of relevant literature, and summary of how the problem will be analyzed. It may include a proposed overview of each chapter or section of the project, and should also be accompanied by a projected time frame for completion of each stage of the project.

If the project is based on original empirical research, all students whose research involves human subjects (or animals or biohazardous materials) must submit an application for review and approval by the appropriate Research Ethics Board through the Office of Research Services, and to ensure that they have first registered in and completed GSR 961 as well as GSR 960. Normally ethics review applications will be completed in conjunction with, or shortly after, approval of the project proposal, and approval must be in place before data collection can begin.

The advisory committee is responsible for the supervision and final evaluation of the paper. The paper is graded in the same manner as regular courses and not on a pass/fail basis.

Rejection of the non-thesis project will be regarded in the same manner as failure in regular courses. In such cases, revision of the paper and/or submission of a new paper is required on the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee.

College Approval The advisory committee, program of study (form GSR 208), and project topic must be approved by the Graduate Chair and submitted for approval to the College of Graduate Studies and Research. This approval should be obtained early in the student’s graduate program in order to avoid any unnecessary delays in the completion of the degree requirements. Any changes to the advisory committee, program of study, or project topic must also be submitted in the same way for approval (on a revised form GSR 208).

An MA dual degree program in Sociology of Development and Globablization was introduced in 2006 in conjunction with an emerging relationship between the University of Saskatchewan and Xi’an Jiaotong University in China. The dual degree option provides an excellent opportunity for students who are interested in internationalization, and particularly those who are interested in exploring connections between Canadian and Chinese contexts. The program offers students the capacity to receive graduate degrees from both institutions in conjunction with coursework, research, and supervision experiences in each setting. It draws on existing fields of specialization with a focus on Development and Globalization in order to incorporate expertise 11 in areas of programming and research strength within each of the two institutions. The unique character of the dual degree is reflected in stipulations regarding advisory committees, research activities, and time frames in order to accommodate course work, research activities, and faculty resources within the two institutional and national settings. Students must meet language requirements and other admission criteria for both institutions. Anyone interested in this program is encouraged to contact the Sociology Graduate Chair prior to submission of an application for admission to the graduate program.

It is expected that graduate students will normally complete the requirements by the suggested deadlines:

Permanent advisory committee to be finalized by January of the first year in the MA program. The advisory committee will be selected by the student in consultation with the interim advisor and Graduate Chair. The Graduate Studies Committee must approve the membership of the advisory committee.

Course requirements to be completed by the end of the second term in the program.

Thesis and project proposals to be developed by the end of the second term in the program and approved no later than the beginning of April of the second year in the program (and not later than the end of August in order to convocate in October). Although the same time frame applies for students in the non-thesis option, they are encouraged to complete their project paper by the end of August of the first year in the program.

Thesis and project completion – students in the thesis option are expected to complete the thesis and oral examination requirements in order to convocate by October, preferably May, of the third year in the program. Students in the non-thesis option are also expected to complete the project paper within the same time period in order to convocate by October, preferably May, of the third year in the program.

2.2 Graduate Programs in Sociology (PhD)

The primary purpose of the PhD program is to train students as scholars and specialists in the field of Sociology, although it is also recognized that many students who do not seek academic careers are pursuing PhD studies in order to gain advanced skills and capacities cultivated through such programs that can be applied in other contexts. In addition to mastering a broad knowledge of Sociology, PhD students should acquire expertise in particular areas of research. In the first two years of the program, students are expected to complete the course requirements and demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the discipline and field of 12 specialization, as well as to develop a proposal for dissertation research. The latter part of the program is devoted to original research by the student under the guidance of the supervisor and the advisory committee. Students who graduate from the program must develop an intellectual maturity that is demonstrated in the ability to conduct independent research that results in a defensible doctoral thesis that meets the approval of the examination committee.

The qualifying examination is to take place in the first year of the program. The qualifying examination is to ensure that the student has a sufficient grasp of sociological knowledge (in terms of general theory and research methods as well as substantive content) to proceed with original research.

The exam is structured as an oral examination to be administered by the advisory committee at a meeting in which the student presents a preliminary research proposal. Committee members will assess the work on a pass/fail basis; if a pass is not assessed, the advisory committee may specify further coursework and/or written requirements to be fulfilled.

The oral examination (defence) for the award of the MA degree at the University of Saskatchewan (or another recognized university) may be accepted, upon a recommendation by the advisory committee approved by the Graduate Studies Committee, in lieu of the qualifying examination. In such cases, the date for completion of this requirement is to be listed as the first date of registration in the PhD program.

For most PhD students, the required course load will include six credit units of Advanced Theory (SOC 840.6), six credit units of Advanced Methodology (SOC 841.6), three credit units of Theory and Method of Social Analysis (SOC 891.3), and three credit units in the area of specialty. Any variation in course load depends upon how much training a student has, and whether the student has received an MA degree in Sociology from the University of Saskatchewan. The supervisor of each student, in consultation with the advisory committee, will develop a program of studies (form GSR 207) at the time of admission that combines selected areas of specialization and basic requirements. The program of studies may include special topics (SOC 898.3) courses or courses in cognate fields provided that they are approved by the advisory committee and the Graduate Studies Committee and with the stipulation that the majority of a student’s graduate credits are in regular Sociology courses. The program of studies will be submitted to the Department’s Graduate Studies Committee for approval and forwarded to the College of Graduate Studies and Research for final approval.

The comprehensive examination will be completed after the completion of course work, normally during the second year of the program. The comprehensive examination has three 13 components: (i and ii) two written examinations, one on Theory and Methods, and the other in the student’s substantive area of research specialization. The written examinations are developed by the student’s advisory committee. Each written exam is to be completed within 48 hours from the time it is given to the students, and normally both exams are completed within a one-week period; (iii) an oral examination conducted by the advisory committee, to be scheduled shortly after completion of the written exams.

The final result of theses two components is graded as a pass/fail by the advisory committee. The Graduate Studies Committee maintains extended reading lists for the Theory and Methods component, as well as for core substantive areas of study. These lists typically serve as the basis for more focused reading lists are are prepared when advisory committees meet to plan comprehensive exam arrangements for each student.

Alternatively, students who have published refereed journal articles may apply to have this work considered in meeting part of their comprehensive examination requirements. One published refereed journal article may be used in lieu of one written comprehensive examination and two published refereed journal articles may be used in lieu of both written comprehensive exams. In order to be considered for these provisions, students must submit copies of each article, along with a request that the article(s) be assessed for comprehensive examination credit, to members of the advisory committee. If authorized by the advisory committee, a recommendation would be submitted to the Graduate Studies Committee for approval. In all cases where one or two articles are accepted as part of the comprehensive examination, there must be an oral comprehensive examination administered by the advisory committee, to be graded on a pass/fail basis.

In all cases, if a student is assessed a failing grade on a comprehensive examination, they may be authorized, upon receiving permission from the College of Graduate Studies and Research at the recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee, to re-write the comprehensive exam. If a student fails the comprehensive exam the second time, that student will be asked to withdraw from the PhD program.

All students are required to participate in the faculty-graduate seminar series, and to give at least one presentation based on their research. The seminar series involves presentations of papers and discussion by graduate students, department and cognate faculty members, and visiting scholars. Graduate students must register in the seminar on a continuous basis, receiving credit for SOC 990 when they have successfully presented a seminar, normally upon completion of their data collection and after at least a preliminary analysis of research findings. All faculty and graduate students are encouraged to participate on a regular basis in order to foster a strong intellectual climate and to promote interaction and mutual discussion of research in Sociology.

PhD students must register for Research (SOC 996) continuously while in the PhD program. It is expected that students would normally complete and defend a doctoral dissertation in three to four years.

The PhD program offers training and research opportunities to students in several areas of specialization, which are often combined with important sub-specializations in areas of faculty strength. In addition to the core areas of Sociological Theory and Research Methodology, the Department of Sociology has identified the following principal areas of specialization:

Sociology of Agriculture and Development
Criminology, Law, and the State
Sociology of Health and Health Care (including Addictions)
Sociology of Education, Work, and Policy
Sociology of Race and Ethnic Relations (including Immigration Studies and Aboriginal Studies)
Science, Technology, and Society

These areas have been developed in the Department of Sociology based on a combination of factors including the specialties of faculty members, their research interests, their publication records, and their academic standing. The Department has additional capacity to supervise graduate students in areas related to Sociology of Family and Youth, Mass Media and Communications, and Globalization and Social Justice, through the involvement of St. Thomas More College faculty in the graduate program. Most students are expected to focus their research in one of these areas, although it is recognized that many of these areas intersect with one another. Therefore, students may be allowed to specialize in an area outside the six areas provided that it is in the interest of the student and the Department of Sociology to do so, and that the Graduate Studies Committee can find an appropriate supervisor to surpervise the student’s research.

Composition of the Advisory Committee
The advisory committee is composed of (1) the head of the Department of Sociology or his/her designate, who acts as an ex officio chair of the advisory committee; (2) the supervisor (cosupervisors count as one person); (3) two to three members from the Department of Sociology; and (4) one or two external members from cognate departments. The advisory committee is established in conjunction with the student and is constituted at the recommendation of the Department’s Graduate Studies Committee; final approval is given by the College of Graduate Studies and Research. Faculty members are asked to be supervisors only if they are members of the graduate faculty and have a demonstrated record of research and publication in relevant areas of specialization. Upon registering for the program, the student and the Graduate Chair discuss potential committee membership. Normally, at the time an applicant is considered, the Graduate Studies Committee suggests potential a supervisor and advisory committee members. The student is apprised of all faculty actively engaged in research and working in relevant areas, as well as potential external members, and before an advisory committee recommendation is put forward to the Graduate Studies Committee, the student is encouraged to speak to all appropriate faculty members. It should be noted that many advisory committees, such as those 15 for students funded under collaborative initiates, will have a higher concentration of committee members from cognate departments.

PhD students are expected to work closely with their supervisors, who will meet with them on a regular basis to ensure that appropriate progress is made throughout the program. The advisory committee will meet periodically with the student, and at least once a year, to discuss the progress of the student. The advisory committee will be the examination committee for the qualifying and comprehensive examinations.

3. Administrative Organization

The graduate program of the Department is directed by the Graduate Studies Committee. Counseling and advising of students in the selection of courses and, in general, meeting of program requirements is provided by the student's supervisor and advisory committee. These procedures and policies are guided by the regulations of the College of Graduate Studies and Research (because these are subject to periodic revision, you are encouraged to visit http://www.usask.ca/cgps/ for current regulations; College policies and procedures can be found at http://www.usask.ca/cgsr/policy-and-procedure/index.php.

The advisory committee is also responsible for the supervision and direction of the student's thesis research and research project, and the administration and evaluation of applicable examination(s) in both the thesis and non-thesis programs.

Applicants must hold a four-year Honours BA, or its equivalent, from a university of acceptable standing. Applicants from the University of Saskatchewan and other universities with equivalent standards of grading, who have a grade point average of 75% (Division 2 standing) during the last two years of undergraduate study, are eligible for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research as fully qualified MA candidates. The Department of Sociology furthermore requires that the applicant have a grade point average of 78% in Sociology classes in the last two years of undergraduate study, under normal circumstances.

Applicants whose demonstrated ability has been deemed satisfactory, but who lack sufficient undergraduate training in some areas of Sociology, may be required to take additional undergraduate classes, either prior to admission to the graduate program or, if conditionally admitted to the graduate program, concurrently with their graduate classes.

Applicants admitted to the PhD program in Sociology must meet the requirements for admission as set out by the College of Graduate Studies and Research. Applicants are expected 16 to have obtained a Master’s degree in Sociology or in a related discipline relevant to an area of research in which the student intends to specialize. Applicants are considered for admission by the Department’s Graduate Studies Committee on the basis of scholastic accomplishments as supported by university grades, recommendations by professors, original works by the student, and a letter of intent. The applicant is required to submit a two- to three-page letter of intent along with the application, specifying either a general or a specific area of interest. Although students will be informed of a recommendation for admission by the Department, the official admission and information are officially communicated to the student by the College of Graduate Studies and Research.

Applicants whose MA degrees are from the University of Saskatchewan will normally not be required to take the complusory Advanced Theory and Advanced Methodology classes (SOC 841.6 and SOC 840.6).

Any student who has received his/her baccalaureate from a university in which English is not the medium of instruction must provide proof of an adequate knowledge of oral and written English before he/she can be considered for admission. This requires passing a standardized test administered by the Educational Testing Service before any decision will be taken on the application. Prospective students from countries outside North America or the United Kingdom may be asked to provide evidence of proficiency in the English language even if the medium of instruction in their previous institution was English.

The Department of Sociology has one intake per year – September. The deadline for the application and fee is January 15. The deadline for submitting supporting documents is January 31. Incomplete applications will not be forwarded for review by the Graduate Studies Committee.

The application process is online.

You will need to have ready:

  • Personal information (the name entered follows you on your student record);
  • Names and correct email addresses of three referees, at least two of which must be from previous professors;
  • Educational history from all post-secondary institutions you have attended;
  • Visa or MasterCard for online payment of $90 application fee. This payment is nonrefundable and processing of an application will not be done prior to the payment being received.

All supporting documents are due by January 31. Incomplete applications will not be forwarded for review by the Graduate Studies Committee.

  • Letter of Intent: a personal letter outlining interests within the field of Sociology, subjects that have already been studied, and the anticipated direction and purpose of future study and research. The letter of interests and research intent is important for admission recommendations. Prospective students should take care to be as precise as possible in order to assist the Graduate Studies Committee in determining if suitable resources are currently available in the student's proposed area of research.
  • CV
  • Transcripts: clear copies of both sides of transcripts from post-secondary institutions you have attended and copies of degree certificate.*
  • English language: requirements must meet University of Saskatchewan standards. If required, a copy of the language proficiency test must be submitted.*

*On conditional acceptance, originals are required.

Once a student has been admitted to the College of Graduate Studies and Research, the Graduate Chair will assist the student in the selection of classes and a supervisor and advisory committee. After conferring with the potential supervisor and other committee members and having obtained their agreement to act in these capacities, the Graduate Chair will submit their names to the Graduate Studies Committee on the appropriate form (form GSR 207 revised or GSR 208 revised). After reviewing the proposed advisory committee membership, the Graduate Studies Committee may forward its recommendations to the College of Graduate Studies and Research for final approval. It is strongly recommended that the supervisor and advisory committee membership be formalized by January 15 of the student's first year in the graduate program.

The supervisor and advisory committee may be changed for justifiable reasons at the request of the candidate and/or supervisor. The reasons and requested changes should be submitted to the Graduate Studies Committee and, if approved, the changes will be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies and Research for final approval. The Head of the Department of Sociology serves as an ex officio member of all advisory and examining committees.

The College of Graduate Studies and Research requires that all students be evaluated each year to determine that satisfactory progress is being made toward the completion of the degree requirement. Students whose progress is not deemed to be satisfactory may be required to discontinue.

In order to access progress, students must meet with their advisory committees at least once each year. An annual progress report (form GSR 210), appended with minutes from the meeting, must be submitted, through the Graduate Chair, to the College of Graduate Studies and Research. Department faculty will meet prior to the end of April each year to review all progress reports and make recommendations in each case. This meeting provides a useful 18 opportunity to recognize student accomplishments as well as to determine circumstances where progress may not be satisfactory.

College regulations require that all graduate students must maintain an average of 70%. Any grade below 60% is unsatisfactory. Supplemental examinations are only allowed in exceptional circumstances and require the approval by the College of Graduate Studies and Research on the recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee.

The maximum time for completion of all degree requirements

  • -for MA programs – five years;
  • -for PhD program – six years

Time in program is measured from the beginning of the first term of registration for work which is included in the Program of Studies, excluding any periods of approved leave.

Leave of Absence
Students who require a leave of absence for compassionate or medical reasons are advised to contact their supervisor at the earliest possible opportunity and follow procedures outlined in 10.6 of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies policy guidelines. Time on approved compassionate and/or medical leave does not count towards time-in-program limits.

Extension of Time Limit
Students who have experienced difficulties related to data collection or other problems while working actively towards completion of degree requirements may request a time extension, subject to the approval of their advisory committee, and the Graduate Studies Committee.  The reqest must be made by the student in writing and must specifically address the question of why they have not completed in the time allowed  While on extension, policy regarding full-time status and payment of tuition and fees shall apply.  The College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies policy specifies that employment is not a valid reason for a request for time extension. Please refer to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral policy 10.8.1.

It is important to note that only one extension request per student is allowed, so it is important to plan accordingly. Students who have reached, or will soon reach the time limit of the program should meet with their supervisor to discuss a the request and mutually agree on a firm timeline for completion.

4. Graduate Courses in Sociology

In addition to taking the required courses in theory and methodology, students are encouraged to select other seminars related to their research focus or those that will complement development of knowledge and skills related to their program. Each year the Department offers graduate seminars that reflect diverse substantive areas, however not all graduate courses are offered each year. The following graduate-level courses in Sociology are in the University calendar:

SOC 802.3 – Advanced Seminar in Sociology of Agriculture
Theoretical and research approaches to the political and social economy of agriculture. Emphasis is given to contemporary works on agro-industrial reorganization, agro-food technology, sustainability, state intervention, international trade, aid, and agrarian reform

SOC 809.3 – Sociology of Development
Review of present theories of development. Emphasis will be on the search for missing variables in theories of development produced by western social scientists. Considers development as a function of mobilization of resources and commitment of local people to the process of social change.

SOC 811.3 – Family II: Marriage
Study and discussion of the recent developments in research and theory in selected aspects of the area of marriage and the family behaviour.

SOC 812.3 – Advanced Seminar in Ethnic Relations
Theoretical aspects of interethnic processes; comparative analysis of empirical research on ethnic minorities within Canada and selected other societies.

SOC 815.3 – Selected Problems in Social Control
Classical and contemporary theoretical debates on issues of social control with a specific focus on judicial and therapeutic forms of control.

SOC 818.3 – Advanced Seminar in Criminology
An in-depth examination of historical developments leading to contemporary criminological discourse in Western societies. An analysis and critique of theory and method which characterizes different schools of criminological inquiry and their relationship to research in an international context.

SOC 820.3 – Medical Sociology
Comparative study of Health-Care Systems, Medical Institutions, and the relationships between Medical and Allied Health Professions, Society, the State, and the delivery of health-care.

SOC 821.3 – Advanced Interpretive Studies in Health
Will focus on interpretive studies of health and illness, with an emphasis on understanding social structure and theory vs embodied experiences situated in everyday life. A reflexive scholarship will be a central area of inquiry.

SOC 826.3 – Advanced Seminar in Social Policy
The formulation, development, management, and impact of social policies. Includes analysis and evaluation of social policies in income security, social services, employment, housing and other areas concerned.

SOC 829.3 – Advanced Studies in Gender and Health
Selected issues emerging from the sociology of gender and sociology of health and illness. Building from an introduction and overview of key issues related to gender and health, as well as a discussion of sociological theory and methodology pertaining to these domains, the in-depth focus will follow on selected topics related to gender and health.

SOC 830.3 – Sociology of Science and Knowledge
The social conditions and consequences of the production, distribution, and consumption of scientific and other forms of knowledge are examined in this course. Deploying classical and contemporary theories, specific institutional settings and ongoing debates over concepts and issues such as knowledge society, indigenous knowledge, corporatization of the university, gendered knowledge etc. are critically examined.

SOC 840.6 – Advanced Theory
Recent developments, current trends, and future prospects in sociological theory. Also an introduction to a formalization of theory; survey of evaluation criteria in Theory Building and methodological problems involved in this process.

SOC 841.6 – Advanced Methodology
An advanced review of the logic, concepts, and components of scientific research designs and methods and to quantitative statistical methods for the analysis and interpretation of sociological data.

SOC 891.3 – Theory and Method of Social Analysis
An advanced seminar which integrates theory and method in social analysis. Various types of social analysis will be discussed, including theory driven research, policy research, action-oriented research and evaluation research. The focus is to develop sound analytical frameworks in conducting social analysis and in assessing research results. Students will develop a theoretically-grounded research problem on the basis of an existing body of literature, design a method, and obtain and analyze data.

SOC 898.3/899.6 – Special Topics
Concentrated reading in special areas of sociology culminating a written report. Area of concentration must be different from regularly scheduled courses. (These special topics courses may be offered for students interested in areas for which there is no regular graduate course or where there is a particular research-based need. Application to offer a special topics course must be made and approved prior to the start of an academic term through submission of form GSR 204 following consultation between the student(s), faculty member, Graduate Chair, and Department Head.)

SOC 990 – Seminar
The seminar involves presentations of papers and discussion by graduate students, department and cognate faculty, and visiting scholars. Each graduate student must register in and attend 21 the seminar on a continuous basis, receiving credit when they have successfully presented a seminar.

SOC 992 – Project (restricted to MA students registered in the non-thesis project option)
A research paper on a topic approved by the candidate’s advisory committee is required. The paper should be concerned with discussing a meaningful sociological question and may be empirical in nature, a critical review of the literature or a critical analysis of a substantive problem. The paper will be supervised and evaluated by the advisory committee.

SOC 994 – Research
Students writing a Master’s thesis must register for this course.

SOC 996 – Research
Students writing a PhD thesis must register for this course.

5. Financial Aid

The Department has a limited number of fellowships. For graduate teaching fellowships, the recipient will be expected to perform teaching and related duties in association with faculty supervision. Upon the recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee, the fellowship recipient may receive a summer supplement if he/she meets the minimum class standards required for both the course work and the research in his/her program of study during the summer months. The recipient of the summer supplement must maintain an ‘on campus’ residence and may not be employed in other work exceeding 12 hours per week and/or receiving employment income which exceeds 50% of the value of the fellowship.

Also, the Department has a limited number of scholarships. These scholarships are awarded by the Graduate Studies Committee to fully-qualified PhD and MA students. Please note that there is a limited number of these awards and that they are subject to competition. A recipient of a scholarship will be expected to provide some services to the Department as a marker or reader. Upon the recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee, the scholarship recipient may continue to receive the scholarship for the summer months if research and other work towards the completion of the degree are continued during these months. The recipient must maintain an ‘on campus’ residence and must not engage in other work which exceeds 12 hours per week for which the pay must not exceed 50% of the value of the scholarship. Evidence of work completed during the summer period will be required by both the advisory committee and Graduate Studies Committee.

Qualified students may also be assigned to grade correspondence class papers and assignments. Financial support is available for students providing these services at rates established by the University.

A separate application for financial assistance is not required. Applicants desiring financial assistance should so indicate on the application for admission to Graduate Studies and Research form. Applicants requiring financial assistance must apply for the subsequent academic year.

Department faculty also hold a considerable number of external and internal research grants and a portion of these monies normally go to support graduate students. We endeavour to provide some graduate support to as many students as possible in our program.

There are a limited number of travel awards available from the College of Graduate Studies and Research and the Department ($300) to support travel to conferences.

6. Miscellaneous

In general the residence requirement can be met only by residence at this university for one regular academic session, starting in September and ending in April, or by the equivalent in the summer months. For full residence within this or equivalent periods, the candidate must carry the equivalent of three full graduate classes (candidates register for research as well as for formal academic classes). A student who is notably deficient in his/her general training, or in specific preparation required by the Department as prerequisite to graduate work, should not expect to obtain the degree without a longer period of residence. Assistants and other employees of this University, provided their duties do not require more than half time, may fulfill the residence requirement in one regular academic session, or the equivalent. Special regulations and procedures apply to full-time University employees. Information may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research.

An overall grade point average of not less than 70% percent on all graduate classes must be maintained. Candidates failing to meet this requirement will be required to discontinue their program.

Language requirements for the MA or PhD programs in the Department of Sociology for proficiency in English are discussed under admissions procedures. Candidates are strongly recommended to learn a computer language. Courses on computer language and techniques are available on campus.

A student who fails to register in each of the three terms per year without formal notification of withdrawal, is assumed to have discontinued his/her program, and must make a formal application if he/she wishes to resume his/her studies as an active student. The student will be required to pay tuition for the terms of delinquency before the degree will be awarded.

The Department of Sociology follows the policy of the College of Graduate Studies and Research regarding academic honesty and integrity. Please refer 18.3 in the following link https://www.usask.ca/cgps/policy-and-procedure/professional-conduct.php