Why pursue a Doctorate in Social and Cultural Analysis?
Carry out research that will enable you to address social inequities and dysfunctions. Perform cutting-edge fieldwork that raises questions about poverty, justice and access in diverse human societies around the world.
The PhD in Social and Cultural Analysis provides a unique bi-disciplinary structure where you will engage in multiple methodological approaches in anthropology and sociology. Studying alongside a diverse cohort of students, you will develop an ability to initiate independent research projects while cultivating an expertise in one of the following thematic specializations:
Benefit from diverse Montreal neighbourhoods that provide good grounds to conduct anthropological and sociological fieldwork. The city is home to various cultural communities and organizations, making it an ideal location for you to work with certain groups and their members.
Admission Requirements. The normal requirement for admission to the PhD in Social and Cultural Analysis is a Master of/Magisteriate in Arts in sociology or in anthropology, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00, from a recognized university. A superior academic record and strong references are both essential. The intended area of research is also a factor as admission is contingent on the availability of an appropriate research supervisor. Applicants who do not have the required background in either one of the disciplines are required to take courses (undergraduate or graduate) before being admitted into the program. The number of credits required varies depending on the student's personal background but are limited to no more than 24 credits.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 90 credits.
Required Courses (12 credits). Students are required to take SOAN 800 (6 credits), SOAN 820 (3 credits) and SOAN 840 (3 credits).
Elective Courses (6 credits). Students may choose two 3-credit courses from the list below.
Note: Doctoral students are asked to perform at a higher level as leaders in class discussions and are given more in-depth work in the form of papers and oral presentations.
Comprehensive Examinations (12 credits). All candidates are required to write two 6-credit comprehensive exams (SOAN 850 and SOAN 860). The topics for these exams are set at the end of the first year or beginning of the second year, and the exams completed within the second year of the program. Each comprehensive exam is assessed by a committee of three faculty members drawn from the two disciplines, and formed in consultation with the student's supervisor.
Thesis Proposal (3 credits). A candidate who has passed the comprehensive examinations must then submit a thesis proposal to the Graduate Program Director and the thesis committee (selected in consultation with the GPD). This proposal is explained to, and defended before the thesis committee. If accepted, this constitutes the completion of SOAN 870 (3 credits).
Thesis (57 credits). The candidate who has passed the PhD comprehensive examinations and the thesis proposal proceeds to the final requirement. The thesis is expected to make an original contribution to knowledge, to be based on primary sources and to be presented in an acceptable literary form. The thesis demonstrates knowledge of theories and methods associated with each discipline. The thesis is normally no more than 400 pages in length in total. Subject to the approval of the GPD and the thesis committee, a component of the thesis can take the form of a film or CD Rom.
Language Requirement. Given that the bulk of the literature in the two disciplines is written in English and French, reading assignments are given in both languages. Students are required to work towards reading proficiency very quickly. Upon completion of their coursework, students are required to demonstrate reading proficiency in both languages before being permitted to begin the thesis portion of their program. The proficiency level is verified through the administration of a translation test at the end of the coursework period.
In addition, students whose research topic requires the knowledge of a third language are expected to take the necessary courses and demonstrate proficiency in that language before embarking on their research.
*January 15 is the deadline for applicants who wish to be considered for funding. Applicants who do not require funding must submit applications by April 1. It is recommended that International students apply by March 15th to allow adequate time to obtain study permits.
All doctoral students will be considered for a teaching assistantship, valued at approximately $3,200 per semester. Research assistant positions also exist for funded research but cannot be guaranteed. Individual faculty members determine if work opportunities are available based on their own research initiatives.
Doctoral students who have completed their comprehensive exams and defended their thesis proposal are also eligible to teach undergraduate courses in their area(s) of expertise.
The Cary Boucock Memorial Award provides financial support for students engaged in research travel. Conference travel funding is also available through the department and faculty.
Faculty members are involved with research initiatives at the local, national and international levels. As world experts in a variety of emerging and established fields, their findings are well represented in a number of recent book publications.
SAGSA also hosts an annual interdisciplinary student conference in March. Previous editions have seen students from across Quebec and Canada present their research and foster dialogue across disciplines. Keynote speakers from past conferences have included Dr. Charmaine A. Nelson, Dr. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier and Dr. Daniel Dagenais.