Marcus Shaw, 2017

Sociology Ph.D.


M.A. | PH.D.

Sociology is the scientific study of society, social institutions, social relationships and human organization.

Sociology faculty members at UC Merced are building a vibrant and collegial intellectual community, marked by outstanding scholarship and participation in interdisciplinary communities of inquiry.

The goal of our graduate program is to foster scholarly excellence in sociology, with a specific focus on social inequality, organizations and institutions and politics. Our program is nationally and internationally recognized for its high-quality scholarship, graduate training and contributions to the university and community.

Students master a diverse toolkit of research-design methods and conceptual approaches for carrying out independent research. Doctoral students have the option to obtain master’s degrees in sociology en route to their Ph.Ds.

research areas

  • Social stratification/inequality
  • Immigration
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Gender studies
  • Education
  • Political and collective empowerment
  • Globalization

With 11 faculty members, sociology registers some of the highest course enrollments on campus. Our nationally recognized faculty are affiliated with several graduate training initiatives on campus and frequently involve graduate and undergraduate students in ongoing research projects.

sociology at uc merced

PROVIDES intensive mentoring to graduate students, with personalized attention given to small cohorts of accepted students. Each student is matched with a faculty mentor immediately upon entering the program, and the program curriculum includes small seminars and an intensive writing course to facilitate independent research and the preparation of journal articles.

OFFERS a unique set of substantive foci within an interdisciplinary environment. Sociology faculty members study a combination of topics that are especially relevant to California's Central Valley, the state and the nation, such as race, education, social movements and health disparities.

INCLUDES opportunities to participate in collaborative research projects with faculty and students, as well as informal and formal seminars from across the university.

> It is designed to train students for research careers in higher education as faculty members, and in public and private agencies outside of academia.


Students in good standing are eligible for year-round financial support, including payment of fees and tuition. Students are typically supported by teaching and research assistantships, which can be supplemented by fellowships, faculty research grants, awards and other forms of financial assistance.