Sociology (PHD, MA)

Program Overview

The Department of Sociology offers a doctoral program that provides scholars the opportunity to pursue the critical study of political economy, culture, power and knowledge, as well as hierarchies of class, race and gender. Program faculty and doctoral candidates come from all corners of the globe, and research supervision is provided for all geographic regions. Prospective students must demonstrate an informed interest in the program and should explore faculty research specializations to see if interests align.

Funding is available in the form of graduate and research assistantships and competitive awards and fellowships. Qualified students are typically eligible for up to 4 years of funding. In many cases, graduate assistantships include medical benefits.

A fast-track BA + MA program is available for exceptional undergraduate sociology majors who wish to pursue both a BA and a MA in 5 years.

Degrees Offered

  • PHD in Sociology
  • MA in Sociology

Internships, research opportunities and more

Binghamton University’s PhD in sociology is characterized by its emphasis on world-historical studies that transcend orthodox departmental boundaries. The intimate size of the program helps students and faculty foster close friendships. Rather than standardized training, independent study is highly encouraged. With the help of faculty advisors, students develop a unique sequence of courses that suits personal research interests. Students may also pursue interdisciplinary coursework with other departments in addition to introductory and advanced seminars, colloquia and research seminars that are regularly hosted by the department.

Research opportunities abound. Students may collaborate with distinguished faculty in mutual areas of interest or pursue advanced research at institutes such as the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems and Civilizations.

After You Graduate

Graduates of the program quickly transition into postdoctoral positions at universities including University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Michigan-Flint, Syracuse University and University of California-Berkeley. Many international students also return to their home countries as postdoctoral fellows and instructors, including institutions such as Istanbul Technical University, Nigde University in Turkey, National Taiwan University and the Indian Institute of Management Udaipur. See also past student publications and presentations as well as PhD recipients and their topics of study.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
    • An undergraduate or master's degree in sociology or anthropology, economics, geography, philosophy or political science is desirable for admission.
  • Personal statement of 2 to 3 pages describing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to the graduate admissions committee. The personal statement should specifically address the reason(s) for pursuing doctoral work in sociology at Binghamton University and the direction(s) the applicant anticipates developing in their work while in the program.
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores
  • Writing sample

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic scores)

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend that you contact the department with questions about program-specific requirements.

Class Profile

Totall Enrollment: 66
International / Non-Citizen Enrollment: 67%
GPA: 3.53

*Score(s) represent the AVERAGE for the most recently admitted class. Scoring lower will not result in automatic rejection of your application, and scoring higher does not guarantee acceptance.


Degree Fall Spring
PHD in SociologyJanuary 15N/A

For more information, visit the Sociology website.