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Graduate Studies 

The sociology program has offered the MS degree since 1927 and a doctorate degree since 1957. The program graduates an average of two to three masters and two to three PhD students each year. The program is highly respected with a growing national and international reputation. Our students have gone on to become community planners, statisticians, analysts, monitoring and evaluation specialists, program directors, teachers, researchers, counselors, and professors. Recent graduates have secured jobs at New York City Department of Health, Utah and Idaho Departments of Fisheries and Wildlife, Colorado State University, Tennessee State University, Oregon State University, US Census Bureau, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, private industry, and numerous governmental agencies in Europe, South America, and Africa. See a list of our current graduate students to read more about their research interests.

Our program offers graduate training in social theory and sociological research methods (both qualitative and quantitative), an overarching focus on issues of social change and inequality, sustained personal interaction between faculty and students, and substantive in-depth graduate training in three specific specialty areas. 

The School of Graduate Studies at USU is among the top three percent of higher education institutions in the country, lauded for its research opportunities and academic rigor. Graduate students in the Sociology program enjoy small classes and individualized mentoring from nationally and internationally recognized faculty members. Graduate students receive support for travel to national and international professional conferences and are also eligible for a number of scholarships. 

Students may apply to the doctoral program, a master's program or to a bachelors to PhD (no MS required) program.  Our concentrations are in Environment and Community, Demography, and Social Inequality. Students can expand their graduate training opportunities by taking courses outside the program in areas such as statistics, geography, or in the Climate Adaptation Science Graduate Training Program as minor specialization areas.

For more information on a specific program, click one of the program links below or fill out the form at the right, and the Director of Graduate Studies will reach out to you.

Please note: To be considered, applicants must submit the application and all supporting material by December 20. Late applications may be considered until April 1. 

Environment and Community Social Inequality

Erin Hofmann
Director of Graduate Studies 

Erin Hofmann

Office Location: Old Main 224J
IcPhone: 435-797-9123


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Master's of Science (M.S)

This degree is focused on foundation courses in sociological theory, research methods and statistics, and a set of electives consistent with a student's career goals. The program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, at least half of which are taken in Sociology. Successful defense of a research-based master's thesis is required for graduation.

M.S. Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. is available to students who have already completed a master's degree in sociology or a related field. Doctoral students take general coursework in sociological methods and seminars in theory & research in inequality and social change. A single written comprehensive exam is required in one of the three department specialty areas. Graduation requires 48-51 credits of post-master's coursework (up to 24 of which can be dissertation credits) and successful defense of a research-based doctoral dissertation.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Bachelor to Ph.D. 

The B.A. to Ph.D. is available on a selective basis to highly qualified students with a strong sociology background who have completed the bachelor's degree. Students are required to complete 69 credits of post-bachelor's degree coursework, which will include general coursework in sociological methods and seminars in theory & research in inequality and social change. They will be expected to complete a written comprehensive exam in one of three department specialty areas.

B.A. to Ph.D Degree Requirements


Current Students

Graduate Courses 2019-2020

Graduate Program Handbook

Registering for Variable Credit Course

Planned Sociology Graduate Course Offerings for fall 2020 to spring 2023

Prospective Student Resources

Apply to our program

Frequently Asked Questions