Thomas Davidson, PhD Student in Sociology, works with Michael Macy
Exploring human social organization, institutions and groups

Department of Sociology

 The department is known for the cutting-edge research of its faculty and for its exceptionally strong graduate and undergraduate training programs.

The department’s focus on basic science is complemented by a deep commitment to informing public and educational policy, particularly on issues related to gender and racial inequality, income inequality, poverty, drug use, economic development, school funding, organizational practices and race and ethnicity.

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Academic Opportunities

Crowd around a fountain

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts.

Because 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; and from the sociology of work to the sociology of sports.

Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field whose potential is increasingly tapped by those who craft policies and create programs.

If you think you might be interested in Sociology, start by taking a class. Or, learn more about the major.

Professor Michael Macy with a grad student

The Graduate Program

Cornell’s Graduate Field of Sociology provides top-notch training toward the PhD in Sociology, and has long been known for its emphasis on both theoretical innovation and methodological rigor. The Field, which is much larger than the Department, has close to thirty faculty members. 

Click here to explore our graduate program.

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