Ph.D. Program

Key to the doctoral training offered by the NYU Department of Sociology is a distinguished faculty doing cutting-edge research on topics important to theory and policy. The faculty includes individuals using diverse perspectives and methodological approaches. Thus, the selective cohort of 9-12 students admitted each year receive training that is broad and deep. Areas in which the department has faculty strength include: Comparative/Historical Sociology; Criminology and Law; Culture; Demography; Education; Environment; Family; Gender; Inequality; Political Sociology; Qualitative Methods; Quantitative Methods; Theory; and Urban Sociology. 

The program is designed to make students producers, not merely consumers, of knowledge. Training includes a two-semester course that guides a student through executing his or her own research project and writing a publishable paper. In addition to formal course work, the program includes an opportunity to do collaborative research with a faculty member the summer after students’ first year. It is common for faculty members to coauthor published papers with doctoral students arising from collaborations.

Doctoral students’ training is further enhanced by six regularly meeting workshops where students and faculty present research, get feedback, and learn from each other’s research. Students are encouraged to participate in at least one of the workshops throughout their time of study. Current workshops are in Crime, Law, and Deviance; Cultural Sociology; Economic and Political Sociology; Ethnography; Inequality; and Sociology of Education.

Students get training and experience in undergraduate teaching through opportunities to work as teaching assistants to departmental faculty during the fall and spring semesters, and through opportunities to teach their own courses during the University's summer sessions.