Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology

The doctoral program in sociology at Western Michigan University develops an advanced understanding of the significant features and processes of human society through a focus on both research and teaching.


Patrick Cundiff, the graduate adviser, is available to assist you with planning your academics, preparation for graduation and general questions or concerns about your program.


This program prepares informed scholars and competent professionals for careers in:

  • Education
  • Government
  • Private enterprise
  • Research


The core program of study in the Department of Sociology stresses both theory and method. Elective credits, cognate courses in another department, area examinations and the dissertation project develop substantial knowledge in areas of specialization.

Program forms

Financial aid

Generous financial aid packages including assistantships and fellowships are offered. The department's endowment supports and facilitates outstanding graduate student scholarship through its dissertation research grants and conference travel grants. In addition, funding through several University programs is available to qualified students.


The department takes great pride in the strong mentoring relationships between faculty and graduate students. With small courses and a faculty of 19:

  • We provide ample opportunity for one-on-one intellectual discussion.
  • We strongly encourage active involvement in faculty-student research projects.

Opportunities for development of professional research skills are also available in our research center, the Kercher Center for Social Research.