Sociology Ph.D.

Our doctoral program

Ph.D. students in our department have the opportunity to train with faculty who are at the forefront of sociological research and teaching in virtually every subfield. They are exposed to the full spectrum of available research methodologies. We teach sociology through both formal course work and active participation in faculty research projects.

Our graduate students are also formally prepared for careers in teaching. Most work as teaching assistants for faculty members, preparing to teach their own IU undergraduate courses, usually during the third year of graduate work.

Most of our students enter the program without an M.A. in Sociology. All applicants should apply to the Ph.D. program whether or not they currently hold an M.A. degree.

Our department does not offer a terminal Master’s degree. All students enter the program with the expectation that they will work towards their Sociology Ph.D.

Explore both quantitative & qualitative research

Our program is highly structured and requires a substantial amount of coursework, typically taking three years to complete. While you complete your coursework, you receive extensive training in a range of areas and methods. The required methods sequence at IU emphasizes quantitative methods and is intended to provide the preparation necessary to be both a producer and consumer of quantitative research.

At the same time, we do not neglect qualitative methods. There is a core of faculty and a rapidly-growing contingent of graduate students who do primarily qualitative work, and our department offers several advanced courses in qualitative methods.

At IU, you are trained to be adept researchers and often have opportunities to conduct research in collaboration with faculty members. If you do not have your Master’s degree, you will be involved with a research project in the summer of your first year as part of IU's Sociological Research Practicum (SRP).

In addition, there are other funded research projects and fellowships made available to graduate students that provide experience and financial support. Many of our graduate students have presented their work at regional, national, and international conferences and published in some of the most prestigious sociology journals.

Ph.D. timeline

We have designed our graduate program in a way that allows you to complete the Ph.D. within five to seven years. If you are pursuing international field research or research in other special circumstances, you may sometimes need an additional year or two.

Learn more about our Ph.D. in our Student Portal

Interested in applying to IU Sociology?