Sociology (PhD, MA)

Program Overview

We are not accepting applications for fall 2023

The Sociology Department's graduate program offers a transdisciplinary learning environment where students may pursue critical studies of labor, migration and capitalism, carceral and surveillance, and power and the politics of resistance. Our faculty engage critically with how scholars do ethnography and historical research across the disciplines. Our program invites doctoral students to take history seriously in formulating the problems and interpretations of the present. It encourages students to contemplate transnational and world-historical processes within which apparently local and national problems arise. We welcome faculty and students from around the world.

Doctoral students may earn masters degrees on route to earning their PhD. A fast-track BA + MA program is also available for exceptional Binghamton undergraduate sociology majors who wish to pursue both a BA and a MA in 5 years.

Funding is available in the form of graduate teaching assistantships, which typically include medical benefits. Qualified students meeting the department's benchmarks for normal progress are typically eligible for up to 4 years of funding. The University also offers Clark Fellowships for students from underrepresented populations.

Degrees Offered

  • PhD in Sociology
  • MA in Sociology

After You Graduate

Graduates of our doctoral program find meaningful careers, both in and outside of academia. About two thirds or our PhDs over the past 10 years hold full-time academic positions in the US and internationally. For some, doctoral research becomes a springboard for investing in social and research initiatives through non-profits or government agencies. See PhD recipients and Placement for examples of doctoral research and where our most recent graduates have landed.

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
  • GRE scores are accepted, but not required
  • 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/Duolingo* scores)
    • *In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School at Binghamton University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency through the 2023 application cycle.

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. 


Degree Fall Spring
Sociology (PhD)January 1N/A

Accelerated/4+1 Degrees

You may also be interested in our accelerated/4+1 degree programs which allow students to complete their bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in just 5 years!