Affiliated Research Centers

Our departmental strengths are enhanced through research and teaching partnerships with interdisciplinary USC programs and research centers. Our longstanding depth in the field of sociology of families is strengthened through our continued relationship with the Andrus Gerontology Center. Our emergence as a national leader in the sociology of sex and gender is due in part to our productive relationship with Gender Studies Program and the Center for Feminist Research. The resurgence of a longtime departmental strength in the study of race/ethnicity has been fueled partly by our thriving relationship with the Department of American Studies in Ethnicity. Our ascendancy as a center for the study of religion and culture is enriched by our fruitful relationship with a vibrant center for research, the Center for Religion and Civic Culture.  And most recently with the creation of the Science, Technology and Society (STS) Research Cluster, the department is becoming a hub for exploring the relationship between science and society.  The Sociology department encourages faculty-student collaboration in the conduct of research. The department is affiliated with the following research centers that serve as hubs for these kinds of collaborations.

  1. The USC Andrus Gerontology Center
    is an interdisciplinary research institute which includes faculty and students from fields such as sociology, psychology, architecture, and biology. The center provides support for graduate students in aging, family, socialization, and human development. Federal traineeships and research assistantships are available.

  2. The USC Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life
    supports research that aims to spur dialogue and achieve greater understanding not only about what it means to be Jewish in America, but what it means to be American in a pluralistic society.

  3. The USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC)
    is a multi-disciplinary research unit of the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. Its mission expresses the high priority which the university assigns to the academic study of its host region and to the development of civic leadership within this region. Research activities at CRCC document the civic role of religion in Southern California (especially Los Angeles), interpreting faith-based community development and organizing for scholars, religious institutions, funders, public officials, and the media. The center collaborates with faith-based community organizations in identifying and analyzing public policy issues; documenting faith-based human sevices and community organizing programs; creating archival resources; developing planning and evaluation models; and facilitating cooperative relationships among community leaders, funders, and public officials.

  4. The USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration
    (CSII) has as its mission to remake the narrative for understanding, and the dialogue for shaping, immigrant integration in America. Our intent is to identify and evaluate the mutual benefits of immigrant integration for the native-born and immigrants and to study the pace of the ongoing transformation in different locations, not only in the past and present but projected into the future. CSII thus brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public.

  5. The USC Department of American Studies & Ethnicity
    integrates humanistic and social scientific perspectives and brings them to bear on an examination of the United States with a particular emphasis on comparative study of the peoples, cultures, history, and social issues of the Western United States. The department offers four separate majors and minors in American Studies, African American Studies, Asian American Studies, and Chicano/Latino Studies, as well as a minor in Jewish American Studies. The graduate program offers a Ph.D. for students interested in broad interdisciplinary training at an advanced level for the study of people, cultures, and institutions of the United States in courses that integrate modes of inquiry from the humanities and social sciences. Sociology students might take courses offered through the program to facilitate their research endeavors.

  6. The USC Gender Studies Program (GSP)
    explores, across disciplines and cultures, the changing relations, identitie,s and images of women and men. Roughly 30 sociology Ph.D. students are simultaneously working for an interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies. The research arm of the Gender Studies Program, the Center for Feminist Research, organizes and sponsors conferences and speakers, and offers a limited number of research-related travel grants for graduate students.

  7. USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI) 

    As the hub of spatial thinking and analysis at USC, SSI partners with researchers, businesses, non-profits, NGOs, and other entities to analyze, model, and visualize location-based data. Through our innovative Spatial Studies minor, B.S. in GeoDesign, and Geographic Information Science and Technology Graduate Programs, we develop the next generation of spatial thinkers, empowering them with capabilities to solve real-world issues. Our internationally-recognized faculty contribute to the rapidly-evolving body of geospatial knowledge.


  8. The ONE Institutes & Archives
    is the world's largest research center for gay and lesbian studies. Graduate students with research interests related to gay and lesbian studies might access the institute’s vast collection in order to further their projects.

  9. The USC Science, Technology & Society
    research cluster seeks to foster individual and collaborative inquiry into the production of scientific knowledge and the societal impact of technological innovation.The Research Cluster has several components, including graduate training, a postdoctoral fellowship, and an annual research workshop
  10. USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)

    PERE conducts research and facilitates discussions on issues of environmental justice, regional inclusion, and social movement building.  PERE’s work is rooted in the new three R’s: rigor, relevance, and reach.  We conduct high-quality research in our focus areas that is relevant to public policy concerns and that reaches to those directly affected communities that most need to be engaged in the discussion.  In general, we seek and support direct collaborations with community-based organizations in research and other activities, trying to forge a new model of how university and community can work together for the common good.

  11. USC Dornsife Population Research Center (PRC) 

    The PRC was founded as an interdisciplinary center for population research focused on the incredibly vast and diverse Southern California region. The mission of the PRC is to act as the flagship center at USC to foster and support cutting-edge interdisciplinary research projects in the population sciences across USC colleges and departments.


  • Sociology
  • 851 Downey Way
  • HSH 314
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-1059