2018-2019 General Catalog 
    Apr 26, 2018  
2018-2019 General Catalog


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College of Social and Behavioral Science
Department Office: 301 Behavioral Science Building
Mailing address: 380 S. 1530 E. Rm. 301, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0250
Phone: 801-581-6153
Department E-mail: socoff@soc.utah.edu

Department Chair: Ming Wen
Undergraduate Advisor: 326 BEH S, 801-581-4678, socadv@soc.utah.edu;
Director of Graduate Studies: Rebecca Utz, 307 BEH S, 581-8041, rebecca.utz@soc.utah.edu

Research and training facilities include the Department and College computer laboratories and the University Computer Center.

Undergraduate Program

Please see the Sociology B.A., B.S., H.B.A., H.B.S., Minor and Criminology and Corrections Certificate and Diversity Certificate listed in the Program and Course Offerings section.

Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender, and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture. Today, sociologists embark upon literally hundreds of career paths. Graduates with a B.A. or B.S. in sociology have a strong liberal arts preparation for entry into the service and government worlds. A degree in sociology is also a valuable base for graduate training in law, education, medicine, social work, and the social sciences.

Graduate Program

Please see the Sociology M.A., M.S., M.Stat., and Ph.D. listed in the Program and Course Offerings section.

Students are admitted to Graduate Program in Sociology as doctoral students (unless admitted to the M. Stat program) but may apply for the master’s degree in the course of their doctoral studies.

Admission Requirements

Prospective graduate students, including University of Utah seniors, must apply for admission to the Sociology Graduate Program through both the Department of Sociology (www.soc.utah.edu) and the Graduate School, via the University Admissions Office (www.sa.utah.edu/admiss). Instructions and forms are available at the web sites noted above.

Department Admission

The Department Graduate Committee must receive all required materials, including the Graduate School referral, by February 1 for Fall term admission.

Application materials are reviewed by the Department Graduate Committee and recommendations for admission are made to the department faculty. Upon final approval by the faculty, the Department Graduate Director issues notifications on admissions by 15 April. Earlier decisions are possible for outstanding applicants.

Admission to the Sociology Graduate Program requires a completed undergraduate (B.A./B.S.) degree or its equivalent from a fully accredited college or university. There is no fee for department applications. Except in extraordinary circumstances, students may enter the program only at the beginning of fall term.

Proof of Immunity Requirement

The University requires all new, transfer, and readmitted students born after 31 December 1956 to provide proof of immunity for measles, mumps, and rubella. For a full explanation, see the Graduate School web site under “Students” then “General Catalog Graduate Information.”

Continuous Registration Requirement

All graduate students must maintain minimum registration from the time of formal admission through completion of all degree requirements unless granted an official Leave of Absence. If continuous registration is not maintained or an official Leave of Absence is not obtained, the Graduate School terminates the supervisory committee and deactivates the graduate file. Application for readmission is required to reactivate a graduate file.

For more complete explanations on registration and Leaves of Absence, see the Graduate School web site under “Students” then “General Catalog Graduate Information” and “Registration.”

Residency Requirement

To complete a master’s degree, 24 credit hours in the program of study must be completed at the University of Utah. The doctorate requires that one full year (two consecutive semesters) be spent in fulltime academic work at the University of Utah. When a student proceeds directly from a master’s degree to a doctoral program with no break in the program of study (except for official Leaves of Absence), the residency requirement may be fulfilled at any time during the course of study. A full load is nine (9) credit hours. After the residency requirement is fulfilled, three credit hours of thesis/dissertation research or faculty consultation will satisfy the minimum continuing registration requirement

For complete explanations of Residency and Registration requirements, see the Graduate School web site under “Students,” “General Catalog Graduate Information,” “Registration” then “Degree Requirements.”

Sociology Graduate Programs of Study

The Department of Sociology has two areas of focus: The Global and Comparative Sociology (GCS) and Sociology of Population and Health (SPH).

The Global and Comparative Sociology (GCS) program area focuses on the empirical study of social structures and processes in comparative perspective.  In addition to comparative analyses of nation-states, faculty members in this area routinely study social, political, economic, and cultural phenomena at the sub-, trans-, and supra-national levels of analysis.  The GCS program trains students to conduct theoretically grounded, methodologically sound, and empirically rigorous research in both political sociology and political economy.  These interconnected subareas address fundamental questions pertaining to the distribution of power and resources within and among national societies.  Within these broad subareas, GCS faculty members conduct qualitative and quantitative research on a wide variety of topics such as stratification on the basis of gender, race, and class; health and well-being; global environmental change; economic development; globalization and cultural change; urbanization and world cities; collective action and social movements; international human rights; and the politics of class formation.  Current research topics among GCS faculty include:

  • Political economy of global environmental change
  • Diffusion and impact of human rights norms, treaties, and institutions
  • Democracy, culture, and economic development
  • Globalization and world cities
  • National identity, political economy, and material culture
  • Social stratification, family, and gender
  • Welfare states and gendered labor markets
  • Migration, labor, and collective action
  • Inequality, politics, and health

Many of these substantive foci overlap with the department’s other core program area, the Sociology of Population and Health, giving interested students the opportunity to conduct research at the intersection of both content areas.

The GCS program area provides students with the theoretical, methodological, and substantive training necessary for conducting independent research.  Alongside required courses in social theory, research methods, and statistical analysis, GCS students enroll in discussion-based seminars focusing on political sociology and political economy.  Additional seminars introduce students to substantive literatures in the areas of sociology of gender, racial/ethnic relations, and the environment.  Students choosing to specialize in GCS will take a qualifying exam at the end of their second year in the program, based on reading lists in political sociology, political economy, and one of the program’s three subsidiary areas.  Students will also have ample opportunities to collaborate directly with GCS faculty members on research projects.  These courses and experiences prepare students to conduct high-quality, evidence-based research in a range of academic and policy-related careers.

The Sociology of Population and Health (P&H) is on of the core areas of the Sociology Department’s doctoral program.  The general focus is on describing characteristics of human populations and how population dynamics affect human health and well-being.  this unique area blends training in medical sociology, social epidemiology, gerontology, and demography.  Faculty mentors in this area are conducting research examining the demographic (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, immigrant and legal status, marital status, and living arrangements,)behavioral (e.g., physical activity, smoking), and socio-environmental (e.g., neighborhood and family contexts) determinants of health, mortality, and well-being across the life course.  Other faculty projects are exploring population-related issues through the study of family, gender, race/ethnicity, crime and violence, and migration.  This research has covered settings in the United States, Asia, and Europe.  International comparative studies of population health outcomes (e.g., healthcare and mortality) are also conducted, providing a natural bridge between the P&H and CIS core areas of emphasis in the department.

A central goal of the P&H program area is to provide students with both the theoretical background and methodological competency necessary to conduct high quality, evidence-based research in academic and policy related careers.  To that end, the doctoral program provides extensive training for students in research methodology and statistical analysis, as well as courses in social theory.  Students choosing to specialize in P&H enroll in a sequence of courses taught by Sociology faculty that are specifically related to the study of populations and health, including an introductory seminar on population measures and dynamics, a discussion-based seminar on contemporary population health issues, and a seminar on medical sociology which focuses heavily on the social determinants of health.  Additional seminars on migration, advanced demographic methods, family, gender, environment, and global health are other electives that students can choose to take.  Students choosing to specialize in P&H will take a qualifying exam at the end of their second year, based on the following reading list.

P&H students are encouraged to supplement their Sociology-based requirements with interdisciplinary collaboration and training that draw on the existing and diverse strengths found on the University of Utah campus-for example, students can become affiliated members in the Consortium for Families and Health and are welcome to attend research symposia hosted by groups within the School of Medicine, College of Health, or Huntsman Cancer Institute.  Past students have chosen to take elective coursework taught by distinguished faculty in other departments at the University of Utah such as Family and Consumer Studies, Geography, Family and Preventive Medicine, Psychology, Bioinformatics and Statistics, and Economics.  P&H students can also blend the requirements of the Sociology PhD with a graduate certificate in related interdisciplinary fields such as: Demography, Gerontology, Disability Studies, or Global Health.  These opportunities allow P&H students to individualize their program of study, while still getting a strong sociological perspective to the study of population and health.

As with all doctoral programs, strong emphasis is placed on active student participation in ongoing faculty research projects.  Please consult the faculty directory to explore what current projects the sociology faculty members are working on.

Masters of Statistics in Sociology (MSTAT)

An interdisciplinary degree administered by the University Statistics Committee is also offered. The program is designed for those students whose interest lies in the development and application of statistical methods in sociological research. The course requirements for our MStat Sociology program are at http://www.mstat.utah.edu/documents/sociologyinfoApril2012.pdf. You can find more general information at http://www.mstat.utah.edu/sociology.html.

Program and Courses Offerings


    Undergraduate MajorMinorCertificateMasterDoctorate


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