Urban Sociology PhD Programs

This article outlines some of the common courses and admission requirements that students seeking enrollment in an urban sociology PhD program should know about. Schools offering Sociology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Degree Information for Urban Sociology PhD Programs

Students who want to earn a PhD in Sociology, with a focus on the spatial and social organization of cities and their inhabitants, should consider seeking enrollment in an urban sociology PhD program. Typically, a sociology PhD program - with an urban sociology concentration - can be completed within four to seven years. A 4-year bachelor's degree in a relevant field, three or more letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and a statement of purpose (in essay format) are some of the common admission requirements.

The 21st Century City

Students taking this course will have the opportunity to conduct a multidisciplinary examination of the challenges and possibilities of urban life in the modern world. The current dynamics of suburban and urban locations and their association with prosperity in the context of the globalized economy will also be studied in class. The forces that drove the evolution of modern cities and metropolitan areas will be analyzed, along with a range of issues affecting urban and semi-urban areas today.

Urban Community Analysis

This course will help students learn about the idea and practice of community formation in cities and suburbs as well as the unique dynamics of various urban neighborhoods. Urban social geography, residential choice behavior, ethnicity and identity, the political economy of neighborhoods, and civic engagement in urban communities are some of the topics that will be covered in class. The policies, politics, and urban theories that have helped shape contemporary urban communities in the US will also be identified and analyzed.

Analysis of Urban Poverty

This course was designed to provide students with a relational understanding of poverty in the modern metropolis under late capitalism. Students taking this course will have the opportunity to develop a wide set of critical thinking skills and practice such skills as framing novel questions, reading analytically and critically, and constructively discussing and writing out ideas. The key concepts, empirical realities, theoretical analyses, and policy debates associated with contemporary poverty in American cities will be covered in class.

Globalization and the City

The effects of globalization on the condition of cities and their inhabitants is the primary focus of this course. The role of cities as the epicenter of regional as well as global trade and cultural networks will be emphasized. The broader social and economic forces that shape urban dynamics in the US will be studied in the context of prevalent urban sociological theories. How shifts in the global economy, communication technologies, international political movements, and cultural processes can affect urban spaces and their residents will be examined in class.

Race and Ethnic Relations

The sociological view of race and ethnic relations in urban spaces will be analyzed and studied during this course. The primary social, political, ideological, and economic forces that shape contemporary race and ethnic relations in US cities will be examined, along with the major substantive, theoretical, and methodological debates in the subfield of sociology that deals with race and ethnicity. The conceptual foundations of studies focusing on race and ethnic relations, racial residential segregation and urban poverty, and the sources and consequences of ethnic and racial identities are some of the topics that will be covered.

The Sociology of Immigration

The contemporary dynamics of immigration in US cities will be examined by students taking this course. The central role of immigration in the design and evolution of the nation state, as well as the social and political factors that produced the immigration policies which have shaped contemporary urban spaces in the US, will be discussed in class. How the political establishment, along with a variety of social forces, has always struggled to shape the immigration process (and continues to do so) will also be examined.

Urban Structure & Process

Students taking this course will be able to review and analyze the competing theories of urban development in the context of the changing nature of cities and other urban spaces, under the influence of the advanced industrialism of the modern world. Emerging metropolitan regions around the country and the world, the micro-structure of local neighborhoods, and the limitations of US urban policy are some of the primary topics that will be covered.

Urban Sociology PhD Programs: Admission Prerequisites

Students seeking admission to a PhD program in sociology, with an urban sociology concentration, should possess the following admission requirements:

  • A four-year bachelor's degree in a relevant field
  • GRE general test scores
  • Full academic transcripts from all institutions previously attended
  • Three or more letters of recommendation from faculty members familiar with the student's academic work
  • A writing sample (15-20 pages in length) should also be submitted to demonstrate the student's academic writing skills
  • A short statement of purpose outlining potential research topics and relevant professional/academic experience
  • An updated resume or CV

In conclusion, students who are interested in earning a PhD in Sociology, with a focus on urban sociology, must submit their GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and official transcripts along with their application form. In order to complete the program, they might have to take courses such as the sociology of immigration, analysis of urban poverty, and the 21st century city.

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