PhD Programs

sketchee-icons.phdSearching for the perfect doctorate program can be overwhelming due to the application process, time and further requirements from the university of your pick. Though, this can be stressful, it should be looked at as a life challenge that will promote personal and academic growth. Many institutions offer unique areas of study, especially for Ph.D. Programs. I have found a few programs to be entreating and filled with useful information that may help you decide where you’d like to achieve your next milestone! Of the ten colleges that will be noted on this blog, I will go over my top 3 choices in hopes of inspiring you to do research of what program can help you achieve your goals.

Depending on your interests, institutions will vary in the area of concentration (i.e. Race, ethnicity, medical, etc.) you chose to study. Please note that numerous universities in and out of the nation, offer doctorate programs with the option of earning a master’s degree.

  • To begin with, the University of Southern California offers a dual track doctorate program in Sociology. The first one is a broad PhD program that has a list of areas of specialization (culture, demography, religion, immigration etc.). While the second track, is known as the PhD program in Population, Place and Health. In order to be considered for USC, students must take qualifying exams, submit an empirical paper and be enrolled full time (8 units). The university recommends that students take courses in the area of focus prior to taking the qualifying exam in two standard areas during the fall of their third year. The point is to be able to show competence in multiple facets of sociology inquiry, theory and empirical research. Above all else there are numerous opportunities to work with faculty that can pay for tuition (through fellowships, teaching assistant etc). For more information visit: where you’ll be able to find the ‘graduate program handbook’ with all the information you need to know about the program.
  • Stanford is another great choice! Similar to the University of Southern California, Stanford’s PhD program is designed to provide students with the tools to become a proficient scholar. Stanford offers concentration in the following areas: economic sociology, gender, historical and comparative sociology, social psychology, social inequality etc. Though all of these areas of concentration have a lot to offer, please be advised that Stanford does not offer a terminal Master’s degree. This means, if your heart is in the right place this should be the next step to be able to work in the field. However, it should be noted that a great percentage of students who receive their PhD in Sociology from Stanford go on to do research and teach at world known colleges such as Harvard. Let this be the form of motivation for those who are working towards their dream to teach and/or do research at a profound university. Lastly, the financial aid package for Stanford consist of a stipend and payment of tuition and fees to incoming students. To learn more please visit .
  • North of the golden state we have our neighbor, Oregon. If you’ve yet to visit the state of Oregon, I highly encourage you to especially if your focus is Environmental Sociology. The program at University of Oregon, is centered on Environmental Studies, Gender and Political and Economic Sociology. Like other universities they strive to prepare their students to become proficient researchers and develop skills to teach. Funding is available depending on the student’s interests and ability to execute tasks that require theoretical application. This means, fellowships and research assistantship are offered every term depending on availability. To be considered for there PhD program, students must take the Graduate Readiness Exam (GRE), have three letters of recommendation, a statement of person and a sample of the student’s work. Keep in mind that admission requirements can be flexible depending on the university. In this case, students would have to reach out to a faculty member to ask for guidance. Further, if you’d like to learn more about University of Oregon and their PhD program please visit:

The following links I’ve included below, include other universities in the US with information regarding areas of focus for PhD program(s). I highly encourage to start a word document and create a table 4×4 table that includes: 1) University name, 2) Application deadline/ requirements 3) Financial, 4) 3 professor emails you might be interested working with. Unfortunately, I cannot provide an image as Microsoft Word will not create a table in a picture format (i.e. jpeg, png, etc.) Once you have documented the needed information, take this to your advisor and see what suits your career goals best! Moreover, I wish you the best of luck in your search for Phd programs.

  • Washington State University
    1. Focus on race, ethnicity, technology and environment, genetic ancestry testing and racial/ethnic identity, environmental justice, & research methodology.

All in all, of the the ten schools listed, I highly encourage you to visit their webpages to decide what is the right choice for you. Nonetheless, keep in mind factors like: financial aid, location, opportunities in the area, etc. to make your ultimate pick. Furthermore, if you’d like to further the list of institutions and programs, you can email me at . In the end, its up to you to decide where you will see yourself if the upcoming years professionally and academically, best of luck!

Written by: Elmer Rodriguez
Last Updated: December 19 2015