Graduate Program

2015 Hooding Ceremony

Back: Brad Nabors, Michael Messner
Front: Leland Saito, Paul Lichterman, Jazmin Muro, Hye-Young Kwon, Max Greenberg.

The department of Sociology at the University of Southern California offers graduate students a vibrant academic environment in a campus that is nestled in the midst of an exciting urban center. Our graduate students enjoy an exceptionally generous financial aid package. Upon graduation, our students take academic position in research universities, liberal arts colleges, and other academic institutions (to see recent placements, visit our alumni page).  The  department offers the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Our PhD students also receive the Master of Arts (M.A. degree) after successfully completing the qualifying examinations.

Program Learning Objectives


Our graduates will be able to demonstrate:

• a thorough grounding in the core areas of theory, research methods, and statistics.
     o This is assessed through professional-level performance in required coursework as demonstrated by well-crafted seminar papers in core courses.


• proficiency in the process of sociological inquiry through substantive foci in two sub-areas of sociology.
     o This is assessed through professional-level performance in elective coursework and on qualifying exams.


• the capacity to formulate, implement, and report the results of original social inquiry.
     o This is assessed through the empirical paper, dissertation, and research collaborations with faculty.


• a mastery of skills and knowledge at a level required for undergraduate and graduate teaching.
     o This is assessed through the completion of the teaching practicum and TA-ships.


• professionalization and preparedness for the academic job market.
     o This is assessed by the required presentation of the empirical paper and submission of the empirical paper for journal publication (after the required workshop in publishing), attendance at professional conferences (subsidized by the department), and attendance at department professionalization seminars, colloquium, and brown bags.

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