Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Why Choose Michigan Sociology?

Consistently rated among the top departments in the United States, the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan has played a key role in defining the nature of the discipline. The department has been at the forefront of some of the most exciting developments within the field over the past 50 years. Historically, our program has been known for its pioneering research and training in survey research and quantitative methods. However, as nationally prominent scholars specializing in field research and comparative historical methods have joined the faculty, the Department now offers excellent, rigorous training in qualitative methods that complements its continued strength in quantitative research strategies.

What Sets Us Apart

The University of Michigan sociology graduate program:

  • attracts some of the most diverse and academically talented student cohorts in the country,
  • offers small classes that facilitate personalized learning and faculty mentorship,
  • assigns each incoming student a faculty mentor who provides advice and guidance throughout the course of study,
  • allows students opportunities to present their ongoing research to faculty and other students in a vibrant array of ongoing workshops,
  • provides opportunities to participate on departmental committees, in student government, and in graduate student competitions, and
  • has a strong administrative team dedicated to supporting graduate students throughout the program.

Graduate study at UM Sociology is characterized by both its broad intellectual reach and its scholarly and scientific depth. Our doctoral students are educated by and work closely with a nationally recognized, award-winning faculty who are highly respected in the field. The department offers training in most major subfields of sociology, organized around seven broad areas of concentration:

  • Culture and Knowledge
  • Economic Sociology and Organizations
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Health and Healthcare
  • Power, History, and Social Change
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration; and 
  • Social Demography. 

Students may also work with faculty to develop individualized areas of specialization.

Our distinguished faculty conduct research around the world, putting our department and our students on the forefront of global issues. The University's considerable investment in international studies extends the department's already broad global engagement. In fact, the University of Michigan’s International Institute provides a home for interdisciplinary research, programming, instruction, and student support in international and area studies, with particular regional foci on Africa, China, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Japan, Korea, Middle East and North Africa, Russia and Eastern Europe, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

The University has significant resources available to students who are interested in crafting unique interdisciplinary doctoral programs.

Graduate students in Sociology also benefit from access to the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research (ISR), its Population Studies Center, Survey Research Center, and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).  In addition to Sociology, ISR supports the research of more than 200 scientists from over 20 academic disciplines with an annual budget of more than $80 million. Researchers at ISR develop and test survey methodologies, conduct experimental studies, maintain and distribute the world's largest archive of social science data, and train and educate researchers and students from around the world in survey methodology and survey research. At the ISR’s Population Studies Center, faculty conduct research on such areas as fertility, mortality, migration, social inequality, the family, and the demography of race and research methodology.