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The Comparative International Sociology (CIS) Program is one core of the Sociology Department's doctoral program. This program focuses on the systematic analysis of the global processes and social structures underlying many of the most significant and vexing aspects of social change today. We examine the historical evolution of these global forces on nations, cities, communities, the environment, ethnic groups, organizations, demographic patterns, and families. Our goal is to provide students with both the theoretical background and methodological tools necessary to conduct rigorous empirical research in academic and policy related careers.
The CIS program emphasizes two central points. First, sociology is inherently comparative and second, sociological questions are most appropriately evaluated empirically. Within this general framework it is possible to study a wide range of sociological issues, such as national development, forms of inequality and stratification, environmental degradation, health and well being, organizations, urbanization, immigration, family, global elites, gender and ethnicity, and crime and delinquency.
Students enroll in a sequence of theory, methods and statistical analyses courses taught by the core faculty in the sociology department. Specialized seminars in CIS are offered by participating sociology faculty, and interdisciplinary courses taught by distinguished faculty in political science, geography, economics, history, business and statistics are offered as well. A strong emphasis is placed on active student participation in ongoing faculty research projects.
Examples of current faculty research topics in CIS include:
The Sociology of Population and Health (SPH) Program is one of the core areas of the Sociology Department's doctoral program. Population characteristics, movements and trends are complex in multi-racial societies. The general focus is on describing characteristics of human populations and changes over time in these characteristics. The program specializes in medical sociology, social epidemiology, social gerontology, and demography. We examine social and environmental determinants of health, behavioral risk factors, illness, disability, and mortality across life span. We also explore demographic issues in the studies of family structure and living arrangements, race/ethnicity, crime and violence, and migration. The goal is to provide students with both the theoretical background and methodological competency necessary to conduct high quality, evidence-based research in academic and policy related careers.
A central goal of the program is to train students to conduct empirical research. To that end, the program makes available selected collection of data sets, and provides extensive trainings for students in methodology and statistical analysis. Students enroll in a sequence of theory and methods courses taught by the core faculty in the sociology department. Additionally, interdisciplinary courses taught by distinguished faculty in family and consumer studies, geography, family and preventive medicine, health psychology, and statistics are offered. A strong emphasis is placed on active student participation in ongoing faculty research projects.
The program encourages interdisciplinary studies and facilitates collaborative research among population scientists in Sociology, Epidemiology, Geography, Health Psychology, Public Health, and Medicine at the University of Utah. Researchers in the Departments of Family and Consumer Studies, Geography, Psychology, Family and Preventive Medicine, nursing, and Huntsman Cancer Institute have diversified funding opportunities, with grants coming from foundations and a broader range of Federal Government sources. This diversification affords opportunities for graduate students to participate in high-quality research across the related fields of population and health at the University of Utah.
Masters of Statistics in Sociology (MSTAT) An interdisciplinary degree administered by the University Statistics Committee is also offered. The program is designed for those students whose interest lies in the development and application of statistical methods in sociological research. The course requirements for our MStat Sociology program are at http://www.mstat.utah.edu/documents/sociologyinfoApril2012.pdf. You can find more general information at http://www.mstat.utah.edu/sociology.html.