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About the PhD Program

Program Structure

Organization and Management
The CCC Ph.D. Program is managed by an interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) tasked with ensuring the academic and financial integrity of the doctoral program and supporting the scholarly efforts of students. The committee is also in charge of reviewing and approving all applications for graduate study to the CCC program.

The CCC Program Director acts as the chairperson of the Graduate Studies Committee. The Program Director is selected the members of the committee, and serves a three-year term.

Program Director
Dr. Xiaojin Chen
Department of Sociology, School of Liberal Arts
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118
Email: xchen1@tulane.edu
Phone: (504) 862-3008

Steering Committee
David Smilde (Sociology, returning Fall 2021)
Xiaojin Chen (Sociology)
Stephen Ostertag (Sociology, through Summer 2021)
Tonya Cross Hansel (Social Work)
Charles Figley (Social Work)
Adeline Masquelier (Urban Studies)
Kevin Gotham (Urban Studies)

Participating Faculty
The CCC program is supported by a diverse group of affiliated faculty from many departments and schools throughout Tulane. See the Faculty menu on the left for a list of faculty involved in the CCC Ph.D. Program, their titles, department affiliations, areas of expertise, and contact information.

Program of Study and Selection of Supervising Committees
To ensure that students both meet the requirements of the program and take advantage of all of the educational opportunities available in a systematic and planned way, each student will develop a Program of Study that outlines their academic and professional focus within the program.

The Program of Study will be developed during the student's first and second years of study through discussions with her or his faculty mentor and the CCC Doctoral Program Director. Prior to commencing year three of the program, each student's Program of Study must be approved by the Program Director and the student's Program Supervising Committee.

The Program Committee will include the student's mentor and faculty from at least two different units (i.e., schools, departments, programs). It is the responsibility of each student, in collaboration with his/her advisor, to form a Program Committee and obtain approval of its composition from the Program Director. It is the responsibility of the Program Committee to oversee the student's education up to and through the completion of preliminary examinations (which take place during year three).

Once a student commences dissertation work, another committee, the Dissertation Supervising Committee will provide academic supervision. The Dissertation Committee is often the same or very similar to the Program Committee. It will guide the student through the dissertation process and evaluate the final research product.

Degree Requirements

CCC Ph.D. Program awards degrees in three disciplines:

  • Ph.D. in Social Work–City, Culture, and Community
  • Ph.D. in Sociology–City, Culture, and Community
  • Ph.D. in Urban Studies-City, Culture, and Community

Despite the uniqueness of this approach to doctoral education, the program will be structured like a traditional doctoral program in terms of hours and course work. In summary, coursework will comprise the first four semesters, with a year following for the capstone to prepare for dissertation research and prelims. The total numbers of hours to complete all degree requirements is 51.

Skill Set of CCC Graduates

Below is a list of the several broad skill areas, divided into more specific skills, that CCC students will obtain through coursework, seminars, internships, mentoring, research experiences, and other activities.

Organizational, Management, and Leadership Skills:

  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to identify problems, formulate alternatives, and promote change
  • Knowledge of effective ways to supervise, direct, and guide, individuals in completion of tasks and fulfillment of goals
  • Strong conflict management and resolution skills

Research Skills:

  • Ability to cultivate research goals and objectives; select research topics; develop research questions; and design research projects to advance knowledge and promote learning
  • Understanding of how to search, select, and evaluate primary and secondary data sources
  • Ability to generate theories and hypotheses; develop instruments and methods for measurement; manipulate and control variables; collect, model, and analyze empirical data; evaluate results
  • Knowledge of how to identify research funding sources; write and develop grant proposals; and review and evaluate grant proposals

Methodological Skills:

  • Archival and historical methods
  • Quantitative methods: graphing and tabulating data; describing data sets: central tendency, variability and skew; normal curve and standard scores; correlation; sampling; descriptive and inferential statistics, advanced statistical methods, etc.
  • Qualitative methods: ethnography, interviewing, document content analysis, focus groups, etc.
  • Data analysis techniques: statistical analysis (e.g., STATA, SAS, SPSS, etc.) and qualitative analysis (e.g., AtlasTi, NVivo, etc.), social network analysis
  • Urban Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

Pedagogical Skills:

  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of contemporary learning theories and practices
  • Ability to use communication and information technologies to create learning environments
  • Ability to teach and instruct based upon synthesis and evaluation of knowledge
  • Understanding of the uses of different instructional strategies and technologies to encourage critical thinking skills and information literacy

Policy Evaluation Skills:

  • Ability to understand to the role, purpose, and nature of policy
  • Expertise in analyzing the process of policy formulation and implementation
  • Proficiency in identifying key policy actors and organized interests in policy actions
  • Strong skills at troubleshooting problems and assessing policy options; developing an implementation strategy; linking project management and research results to policy actions; building support for polices; and developing policy evaluation criteria
Financial Support

The CCC Ph.D. Program expects students to complete their doctoral studies in five years, a reasonable request given the multiple sources of financial support and professional mentoring CCC faculty will provide. Students are expected to be actively involved in data collection, analysis, and other research activities during the summer months as well as the nine-month academic year.

First-year and second-year funding is awarded for student service as graders in foundational courses. Continued student funding after year one will be contingent on performance and adequate progress through the graduate program. Funding for those qualifying students in years 3-5 will take the form of research and teaching assistantships.

Participation in funded research should provide additional graduate support as well as offering critical research and training opportunities during at least part of the anticipated second through fourth years of funding. The CCC Ph.D. Program actively encourages and train students to pursue external funding.