Florida State University


College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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Overview of Graduate Program

Our graduate program is nationally recognized and offers three main areas of concentration: Health and Aging, Inequalities and Social Justice, and Demography. Among public universities, we are ranked the 29th best sociology graduate program in the nation and the 2nd best in the 17 states that make up the Southern United States (U.S. News). Among 118 public and private sociology programs across the nation, we rank among the top 20% with regard to the number of publications and grants per faculty member (The National Research Council).

Our faculty have won national, regional, and university-wide awards for teaching, mentoring, and research. We have been distinguished as Fulbright Scholars, recognized with named professorships, honored with article and book awards from sociological organizations, awarded research grants from state and federal funding agencies, and served as leaders in regional and national academic associations. Several of our professors are affiliated with and some have directed FSU’s Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy and the Center for Demography and Population Health.

Our department offers advanced training in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, paid teaching and research assistantships that come with tuition waivers, a culture of collaboration and support, and a program for learning how to teach at the college level. Students typically finish their required coursework after two years, defend their master’s theses during their second year, pass an area comprehensive exam during their third year, begin teaching and writing a dissertation prospectus during their fourth year, and complete and defend dissertations during their 5th year. Our graduates typically secure jobs as professors at research universities and liberal arts colleges or as researchers in nonprofits and government agencies.