Management and Organizations and Sociology PhD

Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.

Requirements can also be found in the Program Guidelines for Management & Organizations & Sociology PhD students issued by the Kellogg School of Management.


While the goal of our doctoral program is the awarding of a PhD degree, a Master of Science (MS) degree may be awarded to currently enrolled, qualified doctoral students. Students who are continuing for a PhD degree, or students who withdraw from the PhD program, may be considered for a MS degree if they have met the following requirements: they are in good academic standing with a cumulative 3.0 GPA, they have achieved a minimum “master’s pass” on the MORS preliminary exam, and they have passed both the MORS candidacy paper and Sociology’s second-year paper.


Total Units Required: 18

Students are required to take 18 courses or a minimum of 3 courses in fall, winter, and spring quarters during years one and two. Registration for Independent Study (MORS 499-0 or SOCIOL 499-0) with a professor may count towards the coursework requirement.

To fulfill the 18-course requirement for the PhD degree, refer to the table below. Note: the list allows students flexibility in course selection.

Course Title
Sociological Theory
Two seminars from the following:
Classical Theory in Sociological Analysis
Race, Gender, Du Bois & Sociological Theory
Contemporary Theory in Sociological Analysis
Organizational Analysis
Two seminars:
Behavior in Organizational Systems
Organizations in Their Environments
Social Organization
Six seminars from the following (at least 3 in Sociology and 2 in MORS):
Sociology of Law
Cultural Sociology and the Sociology of Culture
Economic Sociology
Comparative and Historical Sociology
Stratification, Race and Gender
Social Movements
Topics in Sociological Analysis (can be repeated for credit)
The Individual and the Organization
Social Processes in Organizations
Two seminars:
Field Methods
Macro-Organizational Research Methods
Three courses
Basic descriptive and inferential statistics, linear and non-linear regression, event history analysis, time series modeling, network analysis, or other quantitative methods course depending on research needs and prior training. Can be taken in any Northwestern Department.
Seminar in College Teaching
Seminar on College Teaching (This seminar, or its equivalent, is required to TA for undergraduate sociological classes.)
Graduate Research Seminar (MORS) and Proseminar (Sociology)
Students are required to participate in these not-for-credit seminars.
Introduction to the Discipline (Fall and Winter Quarters)

Other PhD Degree Requirements

  • Examinations: PhD preliminary exam in Management and Organizations core “macro” courses: MORS 525-1 Behavior in Organizational Systems, and MORS 526-2 Macro-Organizational Research Methods; exam is scheduled in July of the first year.
  • Research/Projects: In years two and three students must satisfy paper requirements within MORS (candidacy paper) and Sociology (second-year paper and special fields paper), at which time the performance on the MORS prelim exam, coursework and papers is reviewed and students are passed into candidacy.
  • PhD Dissertation: Original and significant research. Presentation of preliminary results (prospectus) to their committee by the end of the fourth year.
  • Final Evaluations: Oral final examination on dissertation and submission of an approved dissertation.