Department of Sociology About Us

Legacy of innovative

sociological inquiry

Reputation of the Program

The Department of Sociology at Washington State University has been consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the nation. In 1994, a comprehensive study of graduate education conducted by the National Research Council ranked Washington State 31st among all graduate programs in sociology in terms of the quality of the program and its faculty. A less comprehensive but more recent survey conducted by U.S. News and World Report ranked Washington State 35th among all graduate programs in sociology in 1998.

The reputation of the department is reflected in its recent service as the editorial home for several major sociological journals including American Sociological Review, Criminology, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Social Problems.

Productivity of Faculty

A 2000 article by Bruce Keith in Footnotes, the newsletter of the American Sociological Association, compared the reputations of graduate programs with the productivity of their faculty. This study found that Washington State ranked 19th among all graduate departments in terms of the number of articles published by its faculty in seven major journals in the two decades between 1970 and 1989. In addition, this study found that the Washington State also ranked 20th in terms of the number of books published by its faculty during this same time period.

Another study of faculty productivity (John Logan, “Producing Sociology: Time Trends in the Publication of Journal Articles, 1975-1986,” The American Sociologist, Summer 1988) found that Washington State ranked 24th among all graduate departments in terms of the number of sole-authored or first-authored articles in the three leading journals of the discipline (American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, and Social Forces) in the ten years between 1975 and 1986.

Today, our outstanding faculty are advancing the frontiers of sociological knowledge in the areas of crime and deviance, social control, and social justice; environment and politics; families and the life course; research methods; social inequalities; and work, organizations, and labor markets.

Strong Record of Alumni Placement

Since 1980, the Department of Sociology at Washington State University has granted over 225 Ph.D. degrees. Over 60 percent of these graduates secured academic appointments at colleges and universities. Another 35 percent secured comparable research positions with government agencies or private research organizations. Learn more about recent alumni placements.