Director’s Message

Welcome to GSU’s Graduate Studies in Sociology!

Joining us to earn an M.A. or Ph.D. in Sociology means you join a strong community of active  scholars researchers. We are currently engaging in research on sexualities (such as our climate study of LGBTQ students), health (such as our special focus on the developing Atlanta Beltline), housing, aging, homelessness (such as our Homeless Youth Count project), gender and family, and educational inequality. We will teach you the skills needed to become an independent scholar too.

Our nationally-ranked Ph.D. program accepts applicants with either bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Students with an M.A in sociology or a social science can apply directly to our Ph.D. program. Those with a B.A. degree or an M.A. in a nonsocial science can enter the Joint M.A./ Ph.D. program and earn their sociology M.A. on the way to earning the Ph.D.

We also offer a terminal M.A. or professional M.A. degree. Within this degree, students will undertake the same rigorous methods courses and develop strong research skills. Students may take advantage of the many opportunities offered within Atlanta by completing an internship with local organizations such as the United Way, HUD, the CDC, or the State of GA.

We provide rigorous training in sociological theory and research methods for all of our programs. We provide methods training in both quantitative and qualitative methods so that our students become proficient in both methodologies. The ability to design and conduct a variety of research studies that you will gain in our program will expand your employment opportunities.

We offer specialized theoretical training in six specialized areas: (1) Health; (2) Life Course; (3) Gender; (4) Sexuality; (5) Race; and (6) Urban Studies. Students will focus on any two areas of their choice. These six areas demonstrate what a rich and diverse group of faculty we have here within our department.

Our faculty also strongly believe in mentorship and professional socialization. This means many of our graduate students have engaged in data collection activities and co-authored papers with faculty. In addition, we have a very strong placement record. New PhDs are routinely placed in tenure-track positions, while others go on to work for major agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Cancer Society, and the State of Georgia.

Alongside our strong emphasis on research, we also provide pedagogical training for our Ph.D. students. We offer a two course sequence in pedagogy and teaching mechanics where our students learn how to be effective instructors in the classroom. The second course, a teaching internship, provides students with teaching opportunities at GSU.

Please take a look around, and we hope you decide to join us for your graduate studies!

James Ainsworth, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies