The Doctor of Social Sciences (DSocSci) program is Canada’s first applied research doctorate designed exclusively for working professionals. It responds to the growing demand nationally and internationally for scholar-practitioners who can provide intellectual leadership in the workplace and help build sustainable organizations, communities, and societies in an age of global interdependence.
An alternative to traditional doctoral programs, the Doctor of Social Sciences focuses on the interdisciplinary applications of the social sciences to complex, real-world problems of direct concern to organizations, communities, and society in general.
The program of study builds candidates’ knowledge of a range of applied social research methodologies and their understanding of their relevance to specific practical social purposes. The DSocSci program is based on the academic and professional expertise of the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences (FSAS). Doctoral programs of study should normally be consistent with the research areas of emphasis in one or several of the FSAS schools: the School of Communication and Culture, the School of Environment and Sustainability, the School of Leadership Studies, the School of Education and Technology, and the School of Humanitarian Studies.
Who It's For
Career professionals with a master’s degree in one of the social sciences or related disciplines who have a minimum of 10 years work experience in positions of decision-making authority and, those who seek to advance their applied research skills and provide analytical leadership to solve complex real-world problems.
The program design is tailored to career professionals and speaks to recent Canadian research that shows two out of three PhD graduates will work in non-university settings, rather than as university professors.
This degree will be of particular interest to policy analysts, senior administrators, or executives from the public, private, or non-profit sector who work in areas such as natural resource management, health care, global security, professional communication, disaster relief, humanitarian aid, conflict management, values-based leadership, environmental sustainability, or learning and technology.
The Doctor of Social Sciences (DSocSci) program includes two, three-week residencies. The remainder of the program is completed online. Candidates are not required to take an extended leave from their workplace, but they will need to take time off from work to attend the required residencies as well as ensure that they have sufficient time during the year to work on their courses and dissertation.
All of the courses included in the DSocSci program of study must be taken unless otherwise recommended by a primary faculty supervisor and the Dean of the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences. All students must complete each of the courses in the program of study prior to undertaking candidacy exams.
Exams first require a written submission that includes a literature review, methodology review and detailed plan for the dissertation research. An oral examination based on the written submission is conducted by the dissertation supervisors and program director. Candidacy exams are assessed as a pass or fail.