The department prides itself on the quality of its training of students in qualitative and quantitative research techniques—enabling students to pursue a wide-range of sociological questions using multiple approaches and having the most useful tools at their disposal. Through both our M.A. and Ph.D. programs, we offer several areas of specialization where students can gain particular substantive expertise. Our MA programs, for example, offers options in Development Studies, Medical Sociology, Social Statistics, Population Dynamics, and Gender and Women’s Studies.
The department has particular expertise in medical sociology, social statistics, political sociology, economy and sociology, gender, social stratification, population health, and development studies. Sociology is also one of the lead departments (along with economics and epidemiology) in the McGill University Centre on Population Dynamics (CPD). The CPD brings together professors, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students from multiple disciplines who are pursuing research on critical issues in the area of population dynamics—including aging, migration, family structures, health, and employment. Graduate students interested in quantitative research methods can take advantage of the Social Statistics Graduate Student Lab as well as several data centers directed by faculty members in Sociology, including McGill’s branch of QICSS and two smaller data centers focusing on 1) international health care systems and social inequalities and 2) life histories and HIV/AIDS in Africa. The department is involved in a variety of workshops and talks at McGill both intra- and inter-departmentally such as the Sociology Speaker Series, Seminars in the Social Studies of Medicine, and the Social Statistics and Population Speaker Series. Additionally, articles written by graduate students can be published in McGill Sociological Review, a peer-reviewed journal produced by graduate students in order to facilitate a relevant scholarly exchange of ideas on sociological topics. Students interested in becoming involved with the MSR Team (Ie. Editorial Board, Peer Reviewer, IT, etc) are encouraged to contact MSR. For more information, please visit the MSR website.
Graduate students come to the department from varied backgrounds: for instance, in the recent past, we had graduate students coming from Turkey, Ukraine, Iran, Bulgaria, France, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Taiwan, China, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as from many areas in Canada. This diversity is much valued.
The department is especially proud of the way in which its professional training has led to successful careers. The first Master's degree was granted in 1927, the first PhD in 1972. Most of our doctoral graduates are teaching in universities around the globe. For instance, our graduates can be found at Chicago, the University of Ottawa, Université du Québec à Montréal, Texas A & M, McMaster, Dalhousie, Guelph, Laval, McGill, St. Mary's and Memorial University. Several of our graduates have returned to continuing careers in government service in Kenya, Ghana, Thailand, Indonesia, the United States, and Canada. Profiles of our current graduate students and their areas of research interest can be viewed on the Graduate Student Page.