One of the important features for international students who want to study sociology to consider is the strength of the sociology department at the university of their choice. Prospective undergraduates and graduate students will have different considerations that will affect which are the best sociology schools for them to attend. Undergraduates should look for a program well-balanced in the areas of specialization, whereas a graduate student should consider whether the departments' research strengths fit their interests.
There are many features that are important to international students who are applying to universities in the US. If you are planning on studying sociology, one of those features will be the strength of the department that you are applying to. Undergraduates and graduate students will have different considerations when choosing the top sociology departments to enroll in. Undergraduate students should look for a well-rounded program where they can discover which area of sociology really interests them in order to help prepare them for their future career. Graduate students should consider the research strengths of the departments they are applying to and pick a school where they can work with faculty on the topics that interest them.
Best Sociology Schools for Undergraduates
International students looking to pursue an undergraduate degree in sociology in the US should look for schools that have a well-rounded program. Typical requirements for a degree in sociology are classes in research methods and statistics, sociological theory and survey courses that introduce students to the various special topics that sociologists study. For example, undergraduate students can choose to take electives in social psychology, economy and society, politics and social change, or social inequalities. There are quality schools in which to study sociology all over the US. Some of the top programs listed on U.S. News and World Report's breakdown of top schools to study sociology include: University of California, Berkeley, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Princeton University, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Harvard University, University of Chicago, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. International students who desire to study in a city or a small town throughout the US can find one of the best sociology schools to fit both their academic and location needs.
Best Sociology Schools for Graduate Students
Deciding on a graduate program to attend is a little more complicated than deciding where to study as an undergraduate student. Some of the top schools to study sociology can be extremely competitive and prospective applicants should be aware of their chances for being admitted. While the university may have GRE and grade point average requirements for admittance, those scores are often minimum requirements. Additionally, to be accepted into the sociology department, students need to submit extra material: writing sample, curriculum vitae, and letters of recommendation. The best sociology schools will have higher expectations for the quality of your letters, writing sample and CV.
Additionally, international students who wish to attend graduate school should think about which specialization they are interested in pursuing. Specializations in sociology range from studying the social effects of business and markets (i.e. economic sociology) to how society evolves and changes due to factors like marriage and migration (i.e. sociology of population). The U.S. News and World Report also contains a list of the best sociology schools in seven areas of sociology: Economic Sociology, Historical Sociology, Social Stratification, Sex and Gender, Social Psychology, Sociology of Culture and Sociology of Population. Some programs allow you to work in more than one discipline, while others require you to pick a specialization. As a result, international students should look at the individual departments' websites in order to determine which department is right for them. For example, University of Wisconsin-Madison allows graduate students to create individualized programs. They have the freedom to work in one specialty or to study a broad range of topics.
International students have many features in mind when deciding where to go to school, and the strength of the university's sociology department is only one of those features. However, whether you want to study sociology in a major city or experience a small college town, there are some of the top schools to study sociology just around the corner.