Message from Director of Graduate Studies
Thank you for your interest in our department’s graduate training, which consists of both Ph.D. and M.A. programs. Many things make Boston College an attractive site to study sociology. Our graduate program has a longstanding reputation for attracting and training first-rate students with a commitment to social justice and a passion for changing the world. Our talented and widely-published faculty are committed to strong research, mentoring, and teaching. They provide in-depth exposure to the central traditions of sociology while encouraging innovative and interdisciplinary research. Our Departmental Seminar Series provides an ongoing forum for exposing students and faculty to cutting-edge research, and offers a great opportunity for graduate students to dialogue and develop relations with a wide variety of important sociologists.
Many of our faculty and graduate students are public sociologists who collaborate with groups working for social change, and who frequently appear in the national and international media. We are a vibrant and supportive community that embraces methodological pluralism and values high-caliber research that makes a difference in the world.
Our department members have wide-ranging interests, and use both qualitative and quantitative methodologies in their research. We have particularly strong concentrations of expertise in the areas of: Aging and the Life Course; Environmental Sociology; Family and Carework; Global and Transnational Sociology; Political Sociology; Race, Class and Gender; and the Sociology of Development. Our faculty clusters page provides a sense of our leading concentrations of faculty interest and expertise. I encourage you to look at our faculty’s individual profiles to learn more about their research and other professional activities. Our graduate students do research on a wide array of topics, including: illegal drug markets; the social causes of climate change; racial disparities in institutionalization; social movements; low-income single mothers; police militarization; and the World Bank and other international organizations. Information about our current students can be found here.
If you have any questions about our graduate program, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our Director of Graduate Admissions is Wen Fan.
- Placement: Ph.D. students will be able to obtain a post-doctoral fellowship, assistant professorship, or Ph.D.-level position in the applied social sciences outside of academia. M.A. students will be able to gain admittance to a Ph.D. program or obtain a M.A.-level position in the applied social sciences outside of academia.
- Ethics: Students will be able to understand the ethical dimensions of the field and follow ethical practices within all areas of their work.
- Breadth and depth of knowledge: Students will be able to identify the major methodological approaches and theoretical debates within the field.
- Service: Students will be able to contribute to the administrative functioning of their work unit (e.g., academic department) and/or to the administrative functioning of professional organizations (e.g., American Sociological Association).
- Teaching: Ph.D. students will be able to independently design and teach a course.
- Research: Students will be able to identify significant research problems and follow through with justification for appropriate data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
- Research: Students will be able to produce original research and publish it in journals in Sociology, its subfields, and/or allied fields.
- Research: Students will be able to efficiently and effectively present their research to other scholars in the field as well as lay audiences.
Recent Dissertations Defended
The Occlusion of Empire in the Reification of Race: A Postcolonial Critique of the American Sociology of Race
Committee Chairs: Zine Magubane, Stephen Pfohl | Members: Martin Summers, Julian Go
“Sharing” in Unequal Spaces: Short-term Rentals and the Reproduction of Urban Inequalities
Committee Chair: Juliet Schor | Members: Sarah Babb, Natalia Sarkisian