The Sociology Graduate Program at Rutgers helps students to develop a distinct sociological voice while becoming creative and competent working sociologists. We are a broad and diverse department organized around a number of overlapping research areas, and we encourage students to find their own distinct location in the rich intersections of the department.
The department has seven core areas of specialization, with flexible boundaries between them (many faculty members bridge two or more of these areas). The crime and social control area focuses on the relationship of crime, criminal justice, and social control institutions with family, community, education, and inequality. The culture and cognition area emphasizes the complex ways in which thought, culturally received symbols and values, and social interaction affect one another. The environment, technology, and society area focuses on the ways people interact with the physical and natural environment, especially related to development, disaster, and risk. The gender, difference, inequality area focuses on issues of difference and inequality related to gender, race, ethnic, and class positions. The health, population, and life course area concentrates on social factors that affect health and illness, the system of medical care, and the effects of aging (through all phases of the life course) on health. The political and economic sociology area concentrates on large scale patterns of social organization, power, and conflict, with a growing emphasis on globalization. The social networks area focuses on the cultural, historical, and institutional dynamics of social relations.
Our program places a heavy emphasis on writing, encouraging students to develop papers and articles based on original scholarly work. All of our students write two article-length papers before they begin to work on their doctoral dissertation. These papers are often presented at national and regional conferences, as well as in formal and informal workshops in the department (including the required Writing Seminar, which helps students prepare papers for publication). Most students complete our program with one or more peer-reviewed publications, some in leading journals in the field. Our graduate students regularly win national paper awards, competitive fellowships, and awards from regional associations.
A description of the learning goals for the doctoral program can be found here.