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Graduate Minor

Objectives of the Program

The purpose of the Social Thought Minor is to enable graduate students from a variety of disciplines to study and write about theories of culture and society across disciplinary boundaries, enriching their chosen field of study with readings and discussions originating in other, complementary ones. Students who select a Social Thought minor will thereby not be limited to the methods and literature of their own field, but become exposed to those of others as well. Perhaps most important, they will acquire the necessary tools to enrich and expand their own discipline, as they develop as scholars.

The doctorate will be awarded in each student's chosen discipline, but with special acknowledgment that the student has completed a course of study that includes the 15 credit Social Thought Minor. The student's dissertation committee will also include at least one member from the STP Affiliate Faculty list.

Requirements for the Ph.D. Minor

The following requirements must be met at the time of the student's graduation to receive the Minor:

  1. At least 15 hours of courses with social thought content. These are courses taught by STP Affiliated Faculty or those approved by the STP Advisory Committee
  2. Those 15 hours must include the following: at least 9 hours of courses from outside the student's major discipline, plus SOCTH 501 (Introduction to Social Thought) or its equivalent, SOC 502 or SOC 503
  3. At least one member of the student's dissertation committee must be an STP Affiliated Faculty member, and preferably be from outside the student's major discipline.
Applying for the Minor

To apply for the STP Minor, students must be accepted into an extant graduate program and remain in good standing in that program.  A letter of application for the STP Minor should be sent to Professor Alan Sica.  This application letter must include the following information:

  1. Cover letter indicating the student's interest in social thought.
  2. A list of courses that have been taken or are proposed to be taken which meet the Requirements for the Minor, as described above; this must include the 9 hours of courses outside the student's major discipline with social thought content taught by STP Affiliated Faculty.
  3. An indication of when the student will take or has taken SOCTH 501 or Soc. 502 or Soc 503.
  4. A list naming the student's Dissertation Committee, indicating which member is outside the student's major department and is a member of the STP Affiliated Faculty.
Introduction to Social Thought (SOCTH501)

When offered, SOCTH 501 will serve as an introduction to the general question of social thought, and as a guide for the student who wishes to carry out his or her own interdisciplinary work.  Ideally, this course will be offered biennially and will be team-taught by STP affiliated Faculty.   Information regarding when the course will next be offered can be obtained by writing a member of the STP Advisory Committee.

If SOCTH501 is not being offered, students may substitute for it either Soc. 502 (Theories of Social I) or Soc. 503 (Theories of Society II), which are survey courses of broad coverage.


As noted above, the minor requires 15 credits.  Three credits consist of a required course, Introduction to Social Thought (SOCTH 501), or Soc. 502 or Soc. 503. Students would select among a number of 500-level courses outside their major field taught by STP Affiliated Faculty in their own departments and that have a direct bearing on the methodologies and approaches common to social thought.

Among many others, these could include:

FR 571 French Literary Theory
HIST 508 Antisemitisms
HIST 523 20th Century Theories of History
HIST/RL ST 562 Studies in Comparative Religion
HIST/RL ST 565 Approaches & Methodologies in the Critical Study of Religion
PHIL 503 Ethics Seminar
PHIL 508 Social & Political Philosophy
PHIL 580 Phenomenology (Heidegger Seminar)
PHIL 581 Hermeneutics
PL SC 581 History of Political Theory
PL SC 582 Analytic Political Theory
PL SC 583 Modern Political and Social Theory