The Sociology Department and related Departments at Penn State has one of the largest groups of faculty undertaking research on education in the nation.  Included are sociologists of education whose scholarship is mostly on education, as well as sociologists whose scholarship significantly intersects with educational institutions and processes.  This group of sociologists and their graduate students has formed a collegial community that meets monthly to discuss research-in-progress and to host sociologists of education from outside the university.

Many faculty active in the sociology of education are also involved in the Population Research Institute (PRI), and other interdisciplinary groups on campus. PRI also maintains a restricted data facility for the use of researchers, providing access to restricted-use databases made available by the National Center for Education Statistics.

The listing below of research undertaken by faculty and graduate students indicates a wide variety of intellectual interests in education, including: U.S. education and education cross-nationally, demographic process and education effects on health and social development, studies of social inequality, child and adolescent academic-related problems, early childhood education, higher education, and educational policy.