Graduate Areas of Specialization
The sociology doctoral program is a focused program of study in which students not only receive training in theory, methodology, and statistics, but also develop in‐depth knowledge in two specialty areas. Through comprehensive exams, students are required to demonstrate knowledge in two of the broad speciality areas listed below. These overarching speciality areas incorporate many of the research foci of our faculty (highlighted HERE). For more information regarding comprehensive exams, please refer to the comprehensive exam page.
Demography, or the study of population, has been an area of graduate study within the University of Maryland’s Department of Sociology for many years. The focus has been on social demography, that is, the study of social factors that affect population dynamics-though also with a grounding in the traditional components of demography: fertility, migration and mortality. We study why people have the number of children they have, migrate when they do, and die when they do-and the consequences of such behaviors. We also study how these demographic processes relate to family dynamics (such as marital formation and dissolution) and labor force activity. Group differences in population outcomes-for example, differences by gender, ethnicity, and race-are important considerations in this field of study. Our perspective is both national (United States) and inter national, including developing countries.
The University of Maryland’s Department of Sociology offers a rich and varied program in Social Psychology that spans multiple levels of analysis and methodological approaches. Seven faculty members identify social psychology as a principal area of interest. Eight courses in social psychology are offered at the graduate level. We also offer a strong program of training in the methodology and statistics of contemporary social psychology.
The Political Sociology specialty area focuses on interrelations among the state, market and civil society. A major strength of the political sociology specialty is the breadth of teaching and research interests represented among its core faculty. Research being conducted by faculty in this area spans multiple levels of analysis and methodological approaches, with the department having strength in research on comparative historical approaches to the state, labor markets, political ideology, political economy, policy networks, civic engagement and collective action.
Social Inequality & Mobility
Stratification at the University of Maryland is grounded in the classical sociological theories, but goes beyond the original writings to contemporary theory and research. Our program includes special attention to questions about intersectionality in stratification systems, especially as they involve institutional, organizational and labor market dynamics, immigration and residential segregation. In addition, we offer a focus on the macro economy at the national and global levels.