Graduate Program in Sociology at Northeastern University
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Northeastern University is home to a distinguished graduate program that leads to a Ph.D. in Sociology. The scholarly interests of our faculty are diverse. Ongoing research projects range from quantitative analyses of inter-group attitudes to comparative and historical investigations of regional, national, and globally-based institutional changes. Within our graduate program, this diversity is organized around five overarching themes that represent key “areas of concentration”.
In addition to the graduate courses offered in the areas of concentration, the program provides a general background in classical and contemporary sociological theory and quantitative and qualitative research methods. After completing a group of required courses in theory and methods, students work closely with individual faculty members to design their own course of study. In the past, these research areas (inside and outside of the five concentrations) include environmental justice, race and ethnicity, political economy of global capitalism, imperialism and development studies, social inequality, public policy, feminist theory, political sociology, social psychology, violence sociology of work, immigration, social movements, race and racism, and the sociology of law.
Our faculty and graduate students work together in a number of interdisciplinary research projects, programs, and centers, including the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict; Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy (CURP); Institute for Urban Health Research; Northeastern Environmental Justice Research Collaborative, the Institute on Race and Justice and the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. Many of the faculty in the Sociology Department have additional interests and are affiliated with other departments on campus, including Environmental Studies; Law, Policy, and Society; Latino, Latin American and Caribbean Studies; African-American Studies; International Affairs, Jewish Studies; and Criminal Justice. Students who wish to work with faculty in other disciplines are encouraged to enlist the aid of the sociology graduate director or their advisers in contacting individual faculty members.
The program admits a relatively small number of graduate students each year, which affords students the opportunity to forge close working relationships with the faculty. Most graduate students receive funding. Fully-funded students typically serve as Teaching Assistants (TA) during their first three years of study. TA awards carry a stipend, tuition-remission, and benefits such as health insurance. After three years (which typically represents the end of the student’s coursework), fully-funded students generally spend two additional years as teaching fellows. Teaching Fellows serve as the instructor of record for two classes per year in exchange for a stipend and benefits such as health insurance.
The central goal of our program is the creation of effective teachers, researchers, and writers. As such, we offer teacher-training with the aim of instilling a skill-set that prospective academic employers find desirable. We also provide numerous funded research opportunities and other resources for our students with the centers or with individual faculty members. Many of our past and current graduate students are working with faculty around projects of special importance as part of their own dissertation. As a result, our students frequently present papers at professional conferences and publish articles during the course of their graduate studies. In addition, the Sociology Department and affiliated centers often host national and international conferences, furthering enhancing educational opportunities for our graduate students. Finally, each year the department offers a set of workshops on academic writing, teaching, grant writing, media relations, and other “professional development” matters.
The program is primarily interested in accepting students that would like to obtain their Ph.D. in Sociology at Northeastern University. Students with an M.A. may apply to enter the Ph.D. program. Students entering the program without an M.A. will obtain the M.A. degree en route to the Ph.D. Once they have obtained their doctorate, our graduate alumni have been highly successful in both the academic and non-academic worlds.