Graduate Programs

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The Department of Sociology offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology. The master’s degree program emphasizes theory and methodology. Students in the doctoral program are expected to select one major area and one minor area from the areas of departmental specialization for intensive study and examination. There are five substantive areas for possible specialization: crime and conflict, sociology of the family, social stratification, health and illness, and community and environment. 

Proficiency in theory, methods (including statistics), and in the area of specialization, is determined by written examinations. Students may design, with the approval of advisors and the Graduate Committee, curricula suitable to their past experience and intellectual goals. In line with this flexibility, choice may include up to two courses from outside the Department. Selection of thesis and dissertation topics is limited only by the areas of expertise available among department faculty members.

Our graduate program offers flexibility to meet the diverse interests of our students. In addition to departmental offerings, graduate students can take courses outside the Sociology Department that complement their programs of study. Examples include classes on Strategy and Practice of Public Policy; Politics of Poverty; Advanced Seminar in Social Psychology; Resolving Environmental Conflicts; Seed to Sea: Examining Sustainable Food Systems; Women, Gender, and Health; Race, Class, Gender, and Families; Child Development in Context; Multilevel Modelling; and Qualitative Inquiry in Research.


Take a look at our current students

Get the Facts

Top 100
The sociology graduate program
U.S. News and world report
Top 25
The sociology Ph.D. program, for scholarly research activity
Academic Analytics (2018, latest available)
Top 2%
Four UNH Sociology faculty named in top 2% of researchers worldwide
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Top 1%
UNH sociologist David Finkelhor in top 1% of highly cited researchers worldwide
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Faculty Spotlight

Recent Research News

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David Finkelhor

Sociology Professor David Finkelhor has been studying the problems of child victimization, child maltreatment and family violence since 1977. He is best known for his conceptual and empirical work on the problem of child sexual abuse. He has also written about child homicide, missing and abducted children, children exposed to domestic and peer violence, commercial sexual exploitation and internet victimization.


Thompson Hall

Sociology Research

Parsing Fact from Fiction

A recent UNH survey looked at the public acceptance of conspiracy claims compared to statements based on scientific facts.
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US population growth at lowest rate in pandemic’s 1st year

UNH sociologist and demographer Ken Johnson comments on population decline.
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Transforming Students Into Climate Leaders

Three National Science Foundation grants provide international climate change research opportunities for students.
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USNH Department Spotlight Block

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    Sociology Ph.D., Justice Studies M.A. | Social Scientist
    Describe what you are currently doing for work and your path. I am a sociologist with the Social Sciences Branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and an agency fellow with the JPB Environmental Health Fellowship Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. I provide analytical…
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    Sociology Ph.D. | Project Director
    Describe what you are currently doing for work and your path. I am a researcher at the UNH Institute on Disability (IOD), where I have been since 2017. When I came to the Ph.D. program in sociology, I had already been working in research for several years, doing survey production (large scale data collection) and data analysis. While I was a graduate student, I had…
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    Sociology Major and M.A. | Research Fellow
    Following the completion of my master’s degree in sociology in 2021, I have been working as a research fellow at the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation.
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    Sociology M.A. and Ph.D. | Assistant Professor
    I am currently teaching undergraduate courses in the Criminal Justice Department at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. 
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    Sociology major and M.A. | Research Associate
    As a Research Associate at the Crimes Against Children Research Center (CCRC) at UNH, I work on projects about child sex trafficking and online victimization of children.
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