Designated Emphases

Graduate students may earn distinction by participating in a Designated Emphasis curriculum.

A Designated Emphasis (DE) is a means of acknowledging distinction and expertise in a specific field. A DE is a specialization that might include a new method of inquiry or an important field of application that is related to two or more existing Ph.D. programs.

The curriculum of the designated emphasis is offered by a faculty organized in the manner of a graduate group. The Designated Emphasis is awarded in conjunction with the Ph.D. degree and is signified by a transcript designation — for example, "Ph.D. in Sociology with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory."

Programs approved as Designated Emphasis in conjunction with the Sociology graduate program are:

  • Critical Theory
  • Science & Technology Studies
  • Feminist Theory & Research
  • African American and African Studies
  • Human Rights
  • Study of Religion


For further information, consult the Designated Emphasis section of the UC Davis Graduate Studies website. Then, contact the faculty chair or staff person in the DE in which you are interested.