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Graduate Program

The Department of Sociology at the University of Houston offers graduate training directed towards professional career success in both academic and applied non-academic fields. Our department has successfully placed graduates in top-ranked Ph.D. programs as well as in non-academic positions in public institutions and private organizations.

  • The Sociology department offers both a thesis track and applied internship track for the Master’s degree. Regardless of the track taken, the graduate program broadens the students' sociological background as well as the students’ conceptual, communications, and research skills which are necessary for successful careers in an information-oriented and global society.
  • Our low student-faculty ratio leads to more interaction and guidance and facilitates personal attention to student needs. In addition, our program offers more intensive focus on statistical analysis and other research methods than peer programs. As a result, our graduates are uniquely able to develop research projects, to conduct research using a range of methodologies such as the creation of survey instruments and the conducting of interviews, and to do program evaluations and assessments.
  • Once accepted into the program, all students pursuing a Master’s degree are required to complete a total of 36 graduate hours in sociology. Students must take five graduate core seminars (15 hours) : Sociological Theory, Qualitative Research Methods, Quantitative Research Methods, Proseminar, and Social Statistics. Students take an additional five substantive graduate courses (15 hours) and six hours of graduate work in either the thesis track or the internship track.
  • Theses reflect original research projects. A thesis committee is formed at the beginning of thesis hours and the thesis is defended at the end. The internship track allows students, working with faculty, to place themselves within an agency or organization where they learn to apply sociological knowledge and research skills to program evaluation, organizational development, and the daily operations of organizations. An internship committee is formed at the beginning of the internship hours and a final written report is presented and defended at the end of the internship.
  • For full time students, the program is a 2 year program. However, students can opt to attend classes part-time, as well. To accommodate work schedules of students who are on graduate assistantships or who are working off-campus, graduate seminars are mainly offered in the evenings during the fall and spring academic terms. Approximately 25 students are actively enrolled in the Sociology Graduate Studies Program.
  • The Department of Sociology includes twelve sociology faculty members who are actively engaged in a variety of research projects concerning such policy-relevant and cutting-edge topics as: public education, immigration, religion, law, demography, sexuality, gender, race, health, body, food, and art.  Some of these projects have provided research experience and financial support for students, as well as employment opportunities for graduates.

The University of Houston

The University of Houston is a state university with a student body of over 40,000. Ranked as the second most diverse campus in the country, the composition of the student body reflects a racially/ethnically diverse city that is thriving.  Houston, as the fourth largest city in the nation, provides a natural laboratory for social research.

The University of Houston offers master’s degrees in 133 fields and doctoral degrees in 62 fields. Sociology is one of 18 Master’s level programs within the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS).

Research Centers Affiliated with the Department

The Department of Sociology houses or is affiliated with several research centers, which can provide graduate students with opportunities for education, funding, or research. The Center for Immigration Research (CIR) is housed in the Department of Sociology. The CIR offers programming related to international migration, as well as the experiences of diverse immigrant communities in Houston, a city that has among the largest immigrant populations in the nation. The Sociology of Education Research Group (SERG), also housed in the Department of Sociology, conducts research on educational policy formation and public school/teacher effectiveness, and conducts educational evaluation studies.

Faculty in the Department of Sociology are also affiliated with:

  • The Center for Mexican-American Studies (CMAS), which supports research on a number of issues relevant to this growing ethnic community.
  • The Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies program, which provides programming and funding opportunities related to gender and sexuality topics.

More information about research at the University of Houston can be found at the Division of Research.

Placement of Recent Graduates

Ph.D. Programs

Graduates from our Department have been placed at the following institutions:

  • Baylor University
  • Florida State University
  • Indiana University
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Purdue University
  • Rice University
  • Rutgers University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of California (Los Angeles)
  • University of California (Riverside)
  • University of California (Santa Barbara)
  • University of Colorado (Boulder)
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Houston-Graduate School of Social Work
  • University of Illinois (Chicago)
  • University of Massachusetts,
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Nevada (Las Vegas)
  • University of Texas (Austin)
  • University of Texas-Health Science Center (Houston)
  • Vanderbilt University.

Graduate students have been accepted into additional PhD programs throughout the country, but elected to attend one of the programs listed above.


Baylor College of Medicine, Harris County Mental Health/Mental Retardation Authority, Harris County Family Courts, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Central Houston, Inc., NASA, Children's Protective Services, Affiliated Systems Corporation, University of Houston – Clear Lake, Houston Baptist University, Houston Community College (and other area community college systems), Houston Independent School District, UT Health Center, Houston Area Charter Schools, DePelchin Family Services, and Environmental Resources Management .

Advising and More Information on the Graduate Program

The Department of Sociology Graduate Studies Program offers robust advising. The program not only has a Graduate Studies Director but also a Graduate Faculty Advisor. Students are guided through the program from the first moment of inquiry to finalizing their projects and graduation.  

Stella Grigorian

Stella Grigorian, Ph.D.
Graduate Faculty Advisor
473 Philip G. Hoffman Hall
Phone: 713-743-3960