Sociology PhD

Why Study Sociology at South Dakota State University

Mentoring and collaboration with faculty

We have good faculty-student ratios; this means that professors have more time to work independently with students. And mentoring matters to us. We help students adapt to the demands of graduate education, assist them make the transition to independent careers, and collaborate with them on mutually beneficial scholarly projects. 

Emphasis on both quantitative and qualitative research

All of our graduate students gain an expertise in the use of quantitative and qualitative methods.

Hands-on experience

We stress hands-on experience and the practical application of sociological knowledge. We integrate this philosophy into many of our classes. The Rural Life and Census Data Center is a conduit for much of this valuable experience.

Rural Life and Census Data Center (RLCDC)

Rural Life and Census Data Center publications feature case studies, analyses of trends, and hard facts and figures that community leaders use to conduct business, manage the delivery of public services, and assess public policy. Graduate students, working with RLCDC staff, co-author some of these reports.

Research on public issues

Recently, our graduate students have completed theses and dissertations on a number of important topics:

  • Academic Achievement of American Indian University Students
  • Accounts Used by Shopliftersgraduate students 2
  • All-Volunteer Armed Forces
  • American Indian Families and Resiliency
  • Asset-Based Community Development
  • Attitudes Towards Abortion
  • Character Education
  • Commitment to Distance Learning Technology
  • Credit Card Debt
  • Dakota (American Indian) Men and Volunteer Military Service
  • Democratic Development in Less Developed Countries
  • Diffusion of Internet Technology
  • Elder Abuse
  • Extremist Groups in the Midwest
  • Girl Scout Volunteer Leader Identities and Retention
  • Factors Contributing to the Growth of Small Towns
  • Farmers' Wetland Practices
  • Farm Operators and Off-Farm Employment
  • Fathers and Their Children's Health
  • Hutterites: Self-Sufficiency, Boundary Controls, and Retention
  • International Students' Sociocultural Adaptation
  • Neighborhood Characteristics and Crime
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Powwow Drum Singers
  • Role Changes Experienced by Aging Penitentiary Inmates
  • Rural Community Attachment
  • Rural Masculinity and Homosexuality in the U.S. and France
  • Rural Migration
  • Rural Poverty
  • Sense of Threat and Opposition to Immigrants and Immigration Policies
  • State University and Tribal College Collaboration
  • Stepmother Identities and Distress
  • Stepmother-Stepchild Relations
  • The Alienated American Voter
  • Transgendered Identities
  • Transition to Assisted Living
  • Use of Genetically Modified Organisms
  • Unwanted Pursuit Behaviors
  • Volunteer Police Officers
  • Wives' Involvement in Farm Decision Making

Additional Information

The PhD program is detailed in A Guidebook to the PhD Program in Sociology. You can also learn more about the program on the university academic catalog. Information on graduate assistantships is also available. We also provide a study guide for PhD students nearing the end of their program; this guide helps structure the studying for comprehensive exams.

Procedures for Preliminary Doctoral Exams in Sociology

Preliminary Exam Study Guides

Prelim Meeting Friday, January 8, 2016



For more information about the graduate program contact Meredith Redlin, the Graduate Program Coordinator (605.688.4084).