The Department of Sociology offers a joint program with the Whiting School of Engineering’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics which provides doctoral students an opportunity to acquire advanced statistical knowledge and applied research skills. Graduates of the program will earn a PhD in sociology and an MA or MSE in applied mathematics and statistics.

The joint program requirements include all of the PhD requirements in sociology and the specially designed requirements for an MA or MSE in applied mathematics and statistics. Applied mathematics and statistics courses may substitute for 230.600 and 230.604 in the PhD requirements.

There are two options available for fulfilling the requirements for the MA or MSE portion of the program. For both options, students are required to meet the Applied Mathematics and Statistics Department’s computing requirement (fulfilled through 553.613 Applied Statistics and Data Analysis), the purpose of which is to ensure that students are able to effectively use computers to solve mathematical problems.

All joint program students are required to complete the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training, which is in addition to the HIPPA training required for the sociology PhD.

Option I

Eight courses and a research project leading to a master’s degree essay

  1. One required sociology course and two 600-level elective courses in sociology
    1. Required sociology course: 230.643 Sociological Analysis
    2. Two of the following elective sociology courses:
      • 230.605 Categorical Data Analysis
      • 230.615 Panel Data Analysis
      • 230.623 Causal Inference
  2. Five 600-level graduate courses in applied mathematics and statistics, with a three-semester prerequisite of calculus and one-semester prerequisite of linear algebra, taken at any colleges (including summer courses)
    1. Four core courses:
      • 553.620 Introduction to Probability
      • 553.630 Introduction to Statistics
      • 553.613 Applied Statistics and Data Analysis
      • 553.626 Introduction to Stochastic Processes
    2. One elective course from, but not limited to:
      • 553.633 Monte Carlo methods
      • 553.636 Data Mining
      • 553.663 Network Models in Operations Research
      • 553.672 Graph Theory
      • 553.732 Bayesian Statistics
  3. Research project
    1. Participate and conduct analyses in a research project under the supervision of a sociology faculty member. Write a master’s degree essay on this project in the form of a journal article under the supervision of the AMS faculty advisor and approved by this AMS advisor and a sociology second advisor.

Option II

Ten courses

  1. Four courses in sociology (see Option I.1)
  2. Six courses in applied mathematics and statistics (see Option I.2)

Application and Admissions

Interested PhD students in sociology can apply to this joint program after being admitted to the Sociology PhD Program but no later than the start of their third academic year. Students are permitted to take courses before applying to the program, but must officially apply after completing no more than three of the required applied mathematics and statistics core courses. The deadline for submitting applications for the joint program is February 1 for fall applicants and September 15 for spring applicants.

Students should first discuss their intention with the faculty advisor and the sociology statistical coordinator. Applying students should submit to the Applied Mathematics and Statistics Department:

  • The abbreviated application
  • Two new letters of recommendation that focus on the evaluation of the student’s quantitative abilities
  • A completed proposed master’s program

The Sociology Department will forward to the Applied Mathematics and Statistics Department the materials required from the student’s current file, including copies of three original recommendation letters, a copy of the application to the PhD program, GRE and TOEFL scores, personal statement, and a current transcript. The completed application must be approved by the chair of the Sociology Department and the Admissions Committee of the Applied Mathematics and Statistics Department.