Graduate Studies in sociology

Grad Student/Faculty Mentor Award recipients 22-23Welcome

Welcome to the Department of Sociology at the University of Louisville—an exciting place to study!  Our programs in both traditional and applied sociology prepare students with a strong liberal arts education and careers in government, social services, and research.  Our faculty and students are actively engaged in the city and region through various internship, volunteer, service-learning, and research activities. We choose to be part of the world - not just observers of it.

The University

The University of Louisville is a state supported research university located in Kentucky’s largest metropolitan area.  The University, which traces its beginning to 1798, has three campuses.  The Department of Sociology is located on 287-acre Belknap Campus—three miles from downtown Louisville and houses seven of the university's 12 colleges and schools. The University of Louisville has become known especially for teaching, research, and service to its community and the advancement of educational opportunity for all citizens. With an enrollment of more than 22,000, its academic programs attract students from every state and from all over the world.  It is well positioned to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the state legislature: to become "a premier, nationally-recognized metropolitan research university."  The University of Louisville is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).  

Research Opportunities

The department is a dynamic group of 14 full-time faculty who teach and conduct research in most of the major areas of the discipline, and students in both the MA and PhD programs have the opportunity to work with any one or more of them.  We invite you to meet our faculty and learn about their areas of research, and view the list of recent publications and current research of both faculty and graduate students, several of whom have collaborated with faculty to produce refereed publications.  Several of our faculty and graduate students also attend sociology conferences each year, including meetings of the American Sociological Association, the Mid-South Sociological Association, the Midwest Sociological Society, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the Southern Sociological Association, and the Anthropologists and Sociologists of Kentucky, as well as the National Communication Association, among others.

The MA in sociology

The master of arts in sociology was redesigned for the 22-23 academic year and requires students to take research methods, qualitative methods, survey methods, one statistics courses, along with a social problems course and two topical seminars (one focused on a social institution and one on either race, class, or gender) before writing and defending a thesis (an approximately 30-page article-length paper based on original research).  The degree requires a total of 34 credit hours, and full-time students can generally complete the degree in two years.   (NOTE that students interested in pursuing both their MA and PhD in sociology at UofL can apply jointly to these programs; if admitted, they enter the MA program and, upon completion of their MA degree, move directly into the PhD program.  Students admitted to the joint program who complete their MA degree but, ultimately, choose not to pursue their PhD are still awarded the MA in sociology.)  NOTE that the MA in sociology is not available as an online program; all required courses must be taken on campus.

The PhD in applied sociology

The doctor of philosophy in applied sociology is designed to train professional researchers at the highest level to follow the discipline’s focus on bringing scientific understandings to the study of social issues and problems - and to meet the growing demand for applied sociologists prepared to assume the responsibility for leadership on research projects dealing with social problems and issues or enter academia.  It, too, was redesigned for 22-23, and requires students to take core classes in both classical and contemporary theory, social policy, two statistics courses, and several topical seminars (two in either in race and ethnicity, gender, and/or social inequality and stratification; and two regarding social institutions).  As students near completion of their coursework, they take their comprehensive exams and then complete their dissertation.  The degree requires a total of 36-37 hours, and full-time students can generally complete the degree in three years.  NOTE that the PhD in applied sociology is not available as an online program; all required courses must be taken on campus.

Career Opportunities

Our graduate students have pursued careers in a variety of areas, including academia (full- and part- time faculty) and other public and private organizations (Americana Community Center, Community Action Partnership, Greater Louisville Inc., Home of the Innocence, Humana, Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, Ronald McDonald House, Seven Counties Services, University of Kentucky's Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, the U.S. Census Bureau...just to name a few).  Click here for more detailed information about career opportunities for sociology students.


Schedule a Visit or Learn More

We welcome students to visit the department and meet some of our faculty and graduate students.  To schedule a visit, contact Dr. Jonetta Weber, Director of Academic Services for Sociology. (During the pandemic, students can take a photo tour of the department and video-conference with Dr. Weber (and other faculty) via Teams.)  Students can also learn more about our programs from our alumni by reading about their experiences in our programs and how they are using their degrees here.

Students wanting to learn more about the University of Louisville and/or living in Louisville should click here; for information on housing, financial support for graduate students and diversity, click here; and for campus life, click here.   The University's Graduate School website can be found here.

We look forward to hearing from you!