Mathematical Sociology PhD Programs

If a student enjoys mathematical modeling and using large databases of information to show population trends through demography and ethnography, he or she might choose to pursue a PhD that incorporates mathematical sociology into the major. Read on for more information about some of these degree options. Schools offering Sociology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

PhD Programs Related to Mathematical Sociology

While programs specifically in mathematical sociology are rare at the PhD level, there are related options available. Below is a list of similar majors someone can pursue if he or she is interested in a PhD in mathematical sociology:

Joint PhD in Sociology and Statistics/ Mathematics

Some universities offer the chance to combine elements from different PhD programs to meet the study needs of the candidate. A typical curriculum for someone interested in this route would involve rigorous study of statistics, including Bayesian statistics, stochastic processes, Monte Carlo methods, probability, and statistical modeling. Students would also take coursework in ethnography, demography, casual methods, and data analysis. Faculty whose research interests aligned may be assigned to mentor students and provide a fusion of both disciplines to provide a bridge between the two. Admissions usually require writing samples showing a student is capable of this high level of academic work, and the time to program completion can last upwards of 6 years.

PhD in Policy Analysis and Management

A student interested in mathematical sociology might pick out a policy and management PhD program. In this area, students are inculcated with social science-based policy research, including social welfare research, consumer and marketing policy, or even health policy, and they will also be expected to study econometrics including micro and macroeconomics. A deep understanding of sociology and public policy is required learning, and a student will be expected to submit a proposed research statement in his or her admissions application. The program takes several years as it includes at least 7 semesters of research seminars, series, and core coursework before the concentration phase and dissertation.

PhD in Demography

Demography is a field closely related to mathematical sociology that involves the statistical and systematic study of populations. Race, ethnicity, disease influx, voting habits, literacy rates, and thousands of other variables inform demography and students learn how to collect and analyze this data to shed light on societal issues. This degree generally takes ten semesters to complete, four of which are in the dissertation phase, in which the student is considered a doctoral candidate. Students must have sufficient undergraduate work to be successful in demography (e.g. statistics, sociology, etc.) and to be considered for this program.

PhD in Sociology

Someone with a keen interest in sociology might pursue a PhD solely in sociology but tailor the coursework toward statistical modeling, ethnography, and demographic methods. He or she would most likely opt to do a mixed methods or quantitative dissertation utilizing these methods. They could also work in case studies or ethnographic studies with a heavy emphasis on statistical and causal modeling. A student wanting to study in this field should look for faculty members with research interests in mathematical sociology or perhaps demography under which to study, and their admissions package would have to be tailored (essay, personal statement, letters of recommendation) to their research interest in mathematical sociology. Sociology PhD programs can take up to seven years to complete.

Degree ProgramProgram LengthProgram RequirementsRelated Careers
PhD in Joint Sociology and Statistics5-6 yearsundergraduate degree Sociologist
Ethnographic Statistician
Survey Researcher
PhD in Policy Analysis and Management3 to 7 yearsundergraduate degreeResearch Scientist (private or public)
Social Scientist
PhD in Demography 5 years undergraduate degreeSurvey Researcher
Social Scientist
PhD in Sociology 3 to 7 years undergraduate degree Ethnographer
Social Scientist

Possible Careers

Here is a list of possible careers someone might consider if they have a degree similar to a PhD in mathematical sociology:


Sociologists research, analyze, and prepare data concerning society for any number of institutions including private think tanks, government organizations, and businesses. They prepare reports about trends in specific populations. For instance, they might prepare reports for law enforcement agencies about the effectiveness of certain techniques in recidivism or they might conduct statistical analysis on opinion polls for political groups. A sociologist with a PhD related to mathematical sociology will be especially sought after in fields in which predictions about society or causation factors are of interest, such as in the fields of criminology or penology.


This high demand career field uses statistical modeling to any number of entities including engineering companies, think tanks, research institutes, political parties, news agencies, and other interested parties. Statisticians prepare reports using modeling techniques and handle large databases of information to provide relevant findings to their employers. Someone with a PhD dealing with mathematical sociology might, for example, use census data to pull demographic trends about an area of the country or they might be on the board of marketing research for a company that is particularly interested in predictive analysis.

University Professor of Sociology or Mathematical Sociology

One of the main reasons a student might wish to pursue a terminal degree such as a PhD in mathematical sociology or similar degree is to become a university professor. As a post-secondary educator, someone would be in charge of creating coursework, giving lectures, supervising teaching assistants, and conducting university research projects. Professors often sit on boards and panels, such as dissertation committees or academic discussion seminars.

Survey Researcher

Survey researchers conduct surveys for various concerns. They design the surveys and oversee the data collection as well as complete the analysis and presentation of the findings afterwards. Someone with a PhD related to mathematical sociology might be sufficiently equipped to lead a team doing opinion polls for a political party or design a survey to uncover certain consumerist tendencies for a corporation.


Someone with a PhD in the broader field of mathematical sociology might find work as an economist due to the large amount of statistical modeling and analysis involved in the curriculum for such a degree. Economists make forecasts about market trends on various subjects using historical analysis as well as collected data which may influence decisions in the future. Economists can find work in the federal government or private businesses and can even expect to publish work in economy journals, scholarly articles, or market research publications.

Job Title Median Salary (2018-2019)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Sociologist$82,050 9%
Statistician$87,780 31%
University Professor$74,140 (sociology professors) 6% (sociology professors)
Survey Researcher$57,7001%
Economist$104,340 8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

A PhD related to the field of mathematical sociology can take students anywhere from seven semesters to seven years to complete. Once they graduate, students with a degree in this field have a wide variety of career opportunities ranging from that of professors to economists.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Yale University

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: New Haven
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Chapel Hill
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Champaign
  • University of Illinois at Chicago

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Chicago
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa

    Campus Locations:

    • Hawaii: Honolulu
  • University of Colorado Boulder

    Campus Locations:

    • Colorado: Boulder
  • University of Chicago

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Chicago
  • University of Akron Main Campus

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Akron
  • University at Buffalo

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Buffalo
  • Tulane University of Louisiana

    Campus Locations:

    • Louisiana: New Orleans