Sociology PhD Program


The graduate program is a rigorous yet flexible PhD curriculum that allows you to specialize in any number of sociology research areas.

Our graduate curriculum is rigorous while also supporting students in planning their own path.

Our curriculum (program overview) is laid out over 5-6 years, but can be adjusted to meet each student’s own time table.

Research Areas

We regularly offer graduate seminars and other training opportunities in a wide variety of substantive areas, such as:

  • Community and Urban Studies
  • Criminology/Violence
  • Demography
  • Education
  • Family
  • Political Sociology
  • Population Health/Medical Sociology
  • Social/Economic Inequality
    • (eg. Social Stratification, Race and Ethnicity, Gender)

Our many methods courses (quantitative and qualitative) provide you both basic understandings of sociological research methods, and in-depth training in more advanced methods.

Whatever your research interests or methodological orientation, we believe you will find the OSU Department of Sociology an invigorating and collegial place to call your intellectual home as you pursue your PhD. We invite you to become part of our vibrant community!

2022 graduate cohort

The department is home to a diverse group of more than 60 graduate students, who come from across the nation and the world to become the next generation of scholars and educators in the field.

At the core of our successful graduate program is our dedicated and supportive faculty; our faculty/student ratio of 2:1 enables us to continue a long tradition of research collaboration between faculty and students.

Students and faculty collaborate on research presented at regional, national and international conferences and published in the top sociology and specialty journals. 

Additionally, we are proud of the fact that many students coauthor research together, as this attests to the rich intellectual and collaborative culture of our department and the research talents of our graduate students.

Beyond research, most sociologists in academic environments are also dedicated teachers.

Our teacher training program involves coursework and apprenticeships as teaching assistants to faculty members; then advanced graduate students gain valuable experience by teaching their own courses as independent instructors.

In recent years several of our graduate students have won the prestigious Graduate Associate Teaching Award (GATA), Ohio State’s highest recognition for excellence in teaching provided by GTAs.

We also support students aiming for non-academic careers with our career workshops and connections with applied/policy research scholars and organizations.

The Ohio State University is one of the world’s best comprehensive, public research universities.

When you earn a graduate degree from Ohio State, you can be assured that your degree will be recognized nationally and internationally.

Our alumni are an amazing resource for our graduate students, sharing their time, experiences and connections.

Ohio State PhDs begin their careers in research universities like:

  • University of Texas
  • Penn State University
  • Emory University
  • UC-Irvine
  • University of New Mexico
  • North Carolina State University
  • Brigham Young University
  • Georgia State University
  • University of Oregon

Ohio State PhDs also find work at smaller teaching-oriented and liberal arts colleges such as:

  • St. Norbert College
  • Washington College
  • William Patterson University

PhDs may find other areas to work in, like applied research settings, including:

  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • National Center for Disease Control
  • The State of Ohio

Learn more about our most recent PhD graduate student job placements

If you have questions about our program or Columbus, feel free to reach out to the students listed below!

Meagan B. Pendleton

Meagan Pendleton headshot

I'm a 2nd year PhD student from Corpus Christi, Texas. My research interests broadly include the study of gender, sexuality, and family. I'm particularly interested in studying identity formation for queer populations. I love connecting with people and am more than happy to answer any questions you may have about our program or graduate school more broadly, so please don’t hesitate to reach out!


Kyra Rost

Kyra Rost headshot

Hey! I am a second year in the Sociology Ph.D. Program from the big state of Texas!

My research interests broadly include criminology, gang membership, Hip-hop culture, health, and education.

I enjoy being outside at the many Columbus metro parks, Hocking hills, and weekend farmers markets. I can speak on my experiences as a first-generation scholar, Columbus’s Queer life, my favorite places around town, and much more! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns big or small! Best of luck on your prospective graduate student experience!

You can contact me via email at


Nahrissa Rush

Nahrissa Rush headshot

I'm a 4th-year student studying race and identity. My current project investigates the way that racial identity is experienced and formed for those who have one Black parent and one white parent and if this is further influenced by the race of the parent. This project uses focus groups, and I am a primarily qualitative researcher. I am also interested in alternative economies (e.g., metal scrapping), astrology, politics, and I have a growing interest in semantics in sociology and how it relates to the utility of our work beyond academia. I currently serve as the VP of Mentorship and Social Life for the Sociology Graduate Student Association, and love connecting with prospective students! Please reach out with any questions you may have about our program or applying to grad school!


Anneliese M. Schenk-Day

Anneliese M. Schenk-Day

Hello! My name is Anneliese, I am a second year in the sociology PhD program (and a Columbus native).

My research interests surround mass violence, particularly the prevention, prediction, and aftermath of hate crimes on both a national and global scale. Within the context of the United States, I am interested in hate crimes that target racial and sexual minorities and how climate change and political rhetoric factor into their proliferation. Globally, my research interests focus on collective memory and gender dynamics after mass atrocities, particularly in Rwanda and Bosnia.

My work uses mixed methods and frequently incorporates disciplines outside of sociology. I am more than happy to discuss graduate minors/specializations with prospective students as I am also getting a graduate minor in rural sociology and a specialization in demography.

Feel free to reach out to me at with any questions you might have regarding the program, research, or Columbus more broadly!