Graduate School Requirements

Graduate School Requirements

The Graduate School of Brown University handles all student applications, admissions, and aid on the basis of recommendations by each academic department. It has certain requirements that all students, including those in demography, must fulfill to earn the PhD:

  • three years (24 tuition units; four courses or research credits each semester) of full-time graduate study beyond the bachelor’s degree (reduced to two years for students who enter with a master’s degree that the department judges to be of satisfactory quality);
  • advancement to candidacy through satisfactory completion of qualifying examinations;
  • completion, public presentation, and defense of a dissertation on a topic related to the student’s area of specialization that embodies the results of original research and gives evidence of high quality.

Students in Sociology and Economics typically take five years to complete this program of study: three years of coursework and research apprenticeship, one year for examinations and preparation of the dissertation proposal, and one year for researching and writing the dissertation. Anthropology students often take six years because of additional program requirements for language training and especially fieldwork, although every effort is made to allow students to complete the program in five years.