PhD in Sociology

Students working together outside.

The PhD in Sociology offers a unique combination of academic rigor and faculty mentoring that prepares students to become first-rate researchers and educators.

Why Choose UB Sociology?

In the UB Department of Sociology and Criminology PhD program, students: 

  • Collaborate and have mentorships with award-winning and internationally-recognized faculty in research and teaching from day one.
  • Gain real-world skills from community partners in research specializations that prepare you for successful and impactful careers after graduation.
  • Receive full funding for five years and a fellowship to focus on dissertation research.
  • Thrive in either academic or nonacademic careers. Nearly half of our graduates become tenure-track faculty. Others enjoy research careers in nonprofits, government or research centers.

Degree Requirements

PhD students must earn 72 credit hours (including up to 12 hours of thesis guidance).

Unless taken during the master’s program in the Department of Sociology at UB, PhD coursework must include the required core courses in sociology:

  • Two courses in statistics (SOC 504 and SOC 607)
  • Two courses in methods (SOC 606 and one advanced methods course of your choosing)
  • Two courses in theory (SOC 567 and 568)

Qualifying Exams and Dissertation
For completion of the PhD degree, students must pass two qualifying exams in departmental areas of specialization. They must also research, write and successfully defend a dissertation that demonstrates independent scholarship and makes a contribution to the discipline. PhD students are expected to defend a dissertation prospectus that outlines their planned research and to initiate work on a dissertation topic under the guidance of their dissertation director and committee, usually during the third or fourth year in the program.

Graduate Handbook
Further information about the PhD degree, including policies, requirements, qualifying exams, the dissertation and coursework, can be found in the Graduate Handbook.

  • Crime, Law, and Social Policy
  • Family and Life Course
  • Health and Illness
  • Urban, Community, and the Environment
  • Work, Labor, and Political Economy
PhD Program Metrics


Contact Us

We encourage prospective students to complete an information request form to learn more about pursuing graduate work in the Department of Sociology and Criminology. Current students may contact their faculty advisor or the Director of Graduate Studies with questions.