PhD in Sociology

The PhD in Sociology at University of Massachusetts Boston is an innovative approach to the study of sociology and its' application to the resolution of some of the issues at the forefront of our national and international consciousness. Taught by faculty actively engaged in research and outreach, students will be prepared for academic careers as well as for leadership roles as applied sociologists in public and private agencies and research organizations. See our faculty listing for research activity and specializations.  

The program is heavily grounded in research methodology and students engage in detailed study of theory, methodology and statistics as well as their own individual areas of focus. The department has three primary concentrations - medical sociology, communities and crime, and migration and immigration; however, doctoral students expand and integrate other areas into their own work routinely and are encouraged to draw upon the vast resources of the university community.  

Building on the strong foundation of the MA in Applied Sociology and set in the vibrant city of Boston, students will find a community of scholars here at UMass Boston and numerous opportunities to work collaboratively with each other and with faculty through conference presentations, journal articles and fieldwork.  


All PhD students:

  1. Complete a core set of courses in social theory and research methods
  2. Concentrate in an area of departmental emphasis - health sociology, communities and crime, or immigration and migration
  3. Complete comprehensive exams
  4. Write a doctoral dissertation
  5. Program Requirements 
  6. Doctoral Assistantships provide all doctoral students with funding, tuition credit, and opportunities to work as either research assistants, teaching assistants and to teach classes under faculty supervision.  
  7. Partnerships with the University of Massachusetts Medical School, UMass Boston's McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, and Hanover Medical School in Germany add to the opportunities for doctoral students.  
To learn more about the PhD Program in Sociology:   
Download our Fact Sheet here for information on affordability, transfer courses, program requirements and the application process.  To discuss your options further contact: 
Dr. Nicolette Salerno, Graduate Programs Coordinator,
Dr. Andrea Leverentz, Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor,