The Rice Sociology PhD

Rice Sociology is eager to welcome applications for our Fall 2025 cohort of Ph.D. students! Applications will open September 1, 2024, with an application deadline of December 1, 2024.

In 2008, the sociology department received a generous, $6.4 million dollar grant from the Houston Endowment to design and launch a doctoral program at Rice University. This gift was viewed as transformative for Rice University and the City of Houston. The Ph.D. program was launched in 2011 with much fanfare due to the strong reputation for educational excellence in social sciences at Rice, and since we were filling the void of no sociology Ph.D. programs in Houston.

The Rice Sociology doctoral program prepares students to be sociologists of the highest quality, able to conduct cutting edge research and to teach with excellence. It offers close research mentorship around the central focus of culture and social inequality. Both of these areas are mixed methods; both have intersectional possibilities; and both are theoretically rich yet have direct real world applications. The grad program’s innovative curriculum offers the following features:

  • training in the entire spectrum of research methods
  • an individualized “apprenticeship” model
  • connections with Houston's premier research, science, and educational institutions
  • collaborative work across the university and with other institutions
  • new approaches to the dissemination of ideas, including digital modes of publication, social media, and community outreach or “public sociology.”

An Optimal Environment for Research and Study

Only a few miles from historic downtown Houston and right in the heart of the museum district, Rice University occupies an architecturally distinctive, 285-acre campus shaded by nearly 4,000 trees. With state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories, internationally renowned centers and institutes, as well as support from one of the country's largest endowments, Rice University is an ideal learning and living environment.

We encourage you to visit Rice at any time for a firsthand look at our department and our beautiful, tree-lined campus. Can't wait? Take the campus virtual tour today.