PhD in Sociology

Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Sociology

Our doctoral program offers maximum flexibility while meeting your individual academic needs. We provide a solid foundation in the core areas of research methods and sociological theory, as well as benefits and opportunities from the combined faculties and facilities at two Denton universities.

The TWU Sociology Program now offers doctoral specialization in criminology

The TWU Sociology Program now serves students via doctoral-level major study in criminology. This new major area's core course, Criminology Theories, is available beginning in Fall 2018. Criminology is among the major scholarly concentrations within sociology. Of the Federation of North Texas Area Universities, TWU is the first to offer a specialization in criminology.

"It has been exciting to see several of our sociology faculty members step up and put their expertise to a grand new use, nurturing the growing number of our Ph.D. students drawn to the field of criminology," said Celia C. Lo, Ph.D., professor and chair of the TWU Department of Sociology and Social Work.

Federation of North Texas Area Universities

The Federation of North Texas Area Universities is a consortium of three universities: Texas A&M University-Commerce, Texas Woman's University and the University of North Texas. Our doctorate in sociology is granted by both TWU and UNT. Students enrolled at either university may complete a portion of their graduate work at either university and receive access to combined academic resources like cross-registration, a variety of professors and library access. The degree is conferred by the university to which the student was admitted.

Career Outlook

Degree Details

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. in Sociology

Program Contact

James L. Williams, PhD
Graduate Program Director 

Application Deadlines

Rolling admissions

Preferred deadlines:           
Fall - June 15                           
Spring - November 15        
Summer - March 15

Consideration for Graduate Assistantship:
Fall - March 15
Spring - October 15

See International Student Deadlines

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in Sociology or its equivalent. Students without a bachelor's degree in Sociology will be considered if the admission committee believes that the student shows academic promise.
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work and on all graduate work (a GPA of at least 3.0 may be considered for conditional admission).
  • GRE Scores. 
  • A writing sample (e.g., a thesis chapter, a term paper, a conference paper, or the like)

How to Apply

  1. Apply for admission to the TWU Graduate School.
  2. Take the GRE General Test and submit your GRE scores to TWU
  3. Submit a personal statement of interest (2-3 pages) as a PFD file to with the subject line (YOUR LAST NAME)-(YOUR FIRST NAME)-Ph.D. in Sociology.
  4. Three academic or professional references should submit letters of recommendation as PDFs on institutional or organization letterhead to Recommenders should include student name and "Ph.D. in Sociology" in the subject line.

Note: Students admitted with a bachelor’s degree can earn their M.A. degree during the course of study. They will be required to write a master’s thesis, which, together with their coursework, will be evaluated by the sociology faculty at the end of their master’s stage. Based on the evaluation, the faculty could recommend that a student continue to pursue the Ph.D. degree or be awarded a terminal M.A degree. The thesis requirement is waived for students admitted with a master’s degree.

Contact Us

For more information about our sociology doctoral program, please contact:

James L. Williams, PhD
Graduate Program Director
CFO 311 

Celia C. Lo, PhD
Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology
CFO 306 

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Page last updated 2:00 PM, July 27, 2021