Graduate Sociology

Graduate Sociology

What Sets Our Program Apart?

Ranked among the top sociology programs in the nation, the Penn State Graduate Program in Sociology offers students the flexibility to study a wide range of topics, reflecting both the size and intellectual breadth of the faculty. The department provides strong academic and financial support to our graduate students in the form of multi-year funding commitments during the academic year and summer. This foundation of support allows students to build both their research and teaching skills over the course of the program.

Student mentoring is a program priority.  We pair students with faculty advisors who guide students’ intellectual development, help them make informed career decisions, and emphasize the goals of a Penn State education—research, teaching, and service.  

The Sociology Program is an important node in an active and creative University research network that spans the globe.  Whether through dual degree programs, training grants, or formal minors, Sociology students can choose to strengthen both their disciplinary knowledge and the cross-disciplinary connections that provide important insights into social problems.

Our faculty occupy prominent positions of leadership in Penn State Research Institutes that facilitate multidisciplinary work.  In addition, they provide service to the discipline as Editors, Deputy Editors, Editorial Board members, and reviewers for the top journals in Sociology, Family Studies, Quantitative Methodology, Social Theory, and Demography; they are elected as officers and to advisory boards of national and international organizations; and they receive prestigious awards recognizing them as outstanding scholars, teachers, and mentors.  

Ph.D. students can work towards their Ph.D. in Sociology or they can choose one of our unique Dual-Title Ph.D. programs—the Dual-Title Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography or the Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Data Analytics.  In addition, students can earn formal minors in Social ThoughtStatistics, and Social Data Analytics. Students in any area of specialization may earn a Certificate in Quantitative Methods, Social Networks, and Survey Methodology.

Our sociology program is particularly strong in:

  • Demography
  • Social Inequality
  • Families and Relationships
  • Health and Life Course
  • Urban, Community, and Spatial Sociology
  • Migration
  • Social Institutions and Culture
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Social Networks