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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.

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


Additional Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

Graduate Student Handbook

For more information, contact Tse-Chuan Yang at [email protected].

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 for a sociology PhD include:

  • Sociologist
  • Market research analyst
  • Postsecondary teacher
  • Professor
  • Social worker
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"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: May 15
  • 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.)

To request a GRE waiver, please complete this GRE Waiver Request form and email [email protected].

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.

  • Mastery of multivariate statistical research methods
  • Mastery of advanced research methods (either qualitative or quantitative)
  • Expertise in two ASA-recognized subfields of sociology, including an understanding of the development of the subfield and its research agenda in historical perspective; the status of open research questions; and current theoretical and methodological debates
  • Ability to develop an original, substantial research project based in primary data analysis
  • Ability to execute an original, substantial research project based on primary data
  • Develop a pedagogical philosophy and design a course syllabus built around that philosophy
  • Ability to lead their own undergraduate sociology course