The graduate program in sociology provides award-winning education within three primary areas of research: 1) demographic change, crime, international migration, and economic development; 2) human dimensions of agriculture and natural resource management; and 3) race, gender, and class inequalities. Additionally, the department offers excellent training in classical and contemporary theory and a wide variety of advanced methods and data analysis.

Graduate students in sociology develop the capability for original and creative research. Students engage in either independent or group research under the direction of faculty members. Preparation for the graduate degree is not confined to formal class work and activity on research projects. Students also work toward intellectual independence while developing an integrated grasp of the field. The integration of materials from courses and research activities is a primary goal of the M.S. thesis and the Ph.D. dissertation. The Department and the advisory committee share responsibility in guiding the student toward the graduate degree.