Graduate Minor

Objectives of the Program


The purpose of the Social Thought Minor is to enable graduate students in a variety of fields to study theories of society across disciplinary boundaries.  This minor will enable students the freedom to enrich their own chosen field of study with readings and discoveries from other, contiguous ones. Students who select a Social Thought minor will gain insight into the methods and literature not only of their own field, but of other related ones 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 PhD 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.
    • SOCTH 501 Introduction to Social Thought
  3. At least one member of the student's dissertation committee must be a STP Affiliated Faculty 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 any member of the STP Advisory Committee.  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.
  4. A list of the student's Dissertation Committee, indicating which member is outside the student's major department and is a member of the STP Affiliated Faculty.

Applications will be reviewed by the STP Advisory Committee.  Acceptance will be based on the student's ability to meet STP Minor requirements.


Introduction to Social Thought (SOCTH 501)


A required introductory course, 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 yearly 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.




As noted above, the minor requires 15 credits.  Three credits consist of a required course, Introduction to Social Thought (SOCTH 501). 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. These could include:


FR 571    

French Literary Theory

HIST 508


HIST 523

20th Century Theories of History


Studies in Comparative Religion


Approaches & Methodologies in the Critical Study of Religion

PHIL 503

Ethics Seminar

PHIL 508 

Social & Political Philosophy

PHIL 580

Phenomenology (Heidegger Seminar)

PHIL 581


PL SC 581

History of Political Theory

PL SC 582

Analytic Political Theory

PL SC 583

Modern Political and Social Theory

SOC 501

Theories of Society, I

SOC 503

Theories of Society, II

CAS 506

Contemporary Rhetorical Theory