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Doctor of Philosophy


Program of Study

The PhD in Sociology program emphasizes sociological theory, research methodology, and the application of sociological knowledge in the identification and analysis of social problems. With active faculty mentors you will experience exceptional training in historical-comparative methods throughout the program.

First Year Common Sequence:

  • Research Methods
  • Sociological Theories I and II
  • Intermediate Statistics for Sociologists
  • Orientation to Sociology
  • Multivariate Analysis

Additional courses are planned in consultation with your advisory committee. Your program will center around a specialization which may be individually arranged to meet your needs and objectives.

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.
For more information contact Kate Strully at

Departmental Examinations

  • Comprehensive examination in methods
  • Two specialty examinations

Teaching Tool Requirement

Complete the Co-teaching Internship (Soc 606) or substitute teaching experience approved by the department's graduate committee.

Research Tool Requirements

A reading knowledge in one appropriate foreign language or competence in one special methodological area.

Full Time Study in Residence


Graduate Student Handbook

Certificate of Graduate Study in Demography

Equip yourself with the requisite abilities to pursue advanced studies that require expertise in demography, including social work, criminal justice, public administration and sociology, at the graduate or doctorate level. Attaining your CGS in demography also positions you to seek out advanced careers in your current organization or new roles, such as: Urban or Regional Planner, Healthcare Administrator (public or private sector), Policy Analyst, Community Organizer, Demographic Statistical Analyst or Economist

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

Core Courses

  • Introduction to Demography
  • Demographic Techniques

Topics Courses

  • Two courses (topics) from Soc 665 Special Topics in Demography or
  • One from Soc 665 plus Soc 607 Demography Internships

Demography Courses

Two additional courses from either Soc 665 or other demography related courses.


One graduate-level statistics course in a related field.


Applied learning

Collaborate with faculty and other students by becoming a member of the Students of Sociology. Our graduate student organization helps organize panels, workshops and other social events.

Take advantage of the opportunity to work with a faculty mentor to conduct research and co-teach a course. Present your research at regional, national and international professional organizations at any given time during the program.

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Career Outcomes

A PhD in Sociology prepares you to obtain tenure-track jobs at research universities and liberal arts colleges, postdoctoral fellowships at prestigious academic centers or jobs in state and federal research offices. Other potential job titles include:

  • Sociologist
  • Market research analyst
  • Postsecondary teacher
  • Professor
  • Social worker

"One of the best experiences that I have had in the Sociology Department has been that I have enjoyed the feeling of being surrounded by people who cared for my academic development and smooth acclimation to the community. Additionally, I appreciate the vibrant interactions with people both inside and outside of the classroom, which has helped deepen my theoretical interests and broaden my methodological outlook. If you agree that the quality of your community matters for Graduate Student development, I recommend UAlbany based on my positive personal experiences."

- Ji-Won, current PhD student

Admissions Requirements


Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: January 15
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: June 1
Spring: Not Available
Summer: Not Available

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Official GRE scores (GRE scores greater than 5 years old will not be accepted.)

Supplemental Documents

Statement of Goals
The statement is generally one to two pages discussing what you have to offer the program and what you wish to get out of the program.  It should include a brief description of the applicant's field of interest, related background, desired area of study and research emphasis or career goals. 

Writing Sample

Special Notes

This program offers an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience in the course listing as an option to fulfill course requirements. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

  • Students will demonstrate mastery of qualitative and quantitative methods and research design and use multivariate statistical tools to conduct original research.
  • Students will define and critically evaluate theoretical orientations, and learn how these reflect historical and cultural context. They will apply them to social research.
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of at least two bodies of advanced sociological research in ASA recognized areas.
  • Students will evaluate and conduct new sociological research.
  • Students will demonstrate special competence in one or more ASA recognized areas by active involvement in research within those areas.
  • Students will gain experience and demonstrate skills in course design, classroom teaching, and evaluation of student performance through exams/papers.