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Graduate Program - Department of Sociology

The graduate program in sociology provides award-winning education within three primary areas of research: 1) demographic change, crime, international migration, and economic development; 2) human dimensions of agriculture and natural resource management; and 3) race, gender, and class inequalities.  Additionally, the department offers excellent training in classical and contemporary theory and a wide variety of advanced methods and data analysis.

Graduate students in sociology develop the capability for original and creative research. Students engage in either independent or group research under the direction of faculty members. Preparation for the graduate degree is not confined to formal class work and activity on research projects. Students also work toward intellectual independence while developing an integrated grasp of the field. The integration of materials from courses and research activities is a primary goal of the M.S. thesis and the Ph.D. dissertation. The Department and the advisory committee share responsibility in guiding the student toward the graduate degree.

Program and Application Information:

Director of Graduate Education: Dr. Sharon Bird (
Application Contact: Rachel Burlingame
Program Location: 103 East Hall
Program Telephone: 515-294-2506
Program Fax: 515-294-8649
E-mail Address:

Sociology Graduate Admissions information

ISU Application Website


Students in the News:

Agriculture, Like the Rest of Society, Needs Gender Equity

Angela Carter and Gabrielle Roesch

Women own or co-own nearly half of our farmland in the United States and are increasingly producing a greater diversity and value of agricultural products, yet are rarely engaged in leadership positions in commodity organizations or on federal policy committees. Indeed, the industrialization of agriculture has established the farmer as the individualistic businessman and entrepreneur producing higher yields and greater profit while marginalizing and devaluing the work of farm families, specifically women. - See more