This concentration of graduate study focuses on cross-national, comparative research, and long-term, world-scale social change. The goal of the program is to give students knowledge of the various theoretical perspectives in these areas, experience in data collection and analysis, and expertise in one or more substantive fields.
The program does not focus on a particular geographic area, although faculty members have conducted extensive research on Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Instead of a geographical approach, the emphasis is on issues of development and social change that cut across different countries and world regions. Examples are globalization and regionalization, labor and development, city systems and urban primacy, social movements and revolutions, state violence, migration and labor force formation, family structure and change, social structure and personality, and national and international stratification. Students enroll in a sequence of courses and seminars, and participate actively in ongoing faculty projects dealing with one or more of the above issues.
In addition, the interdisciplinary character of graduate education at Johns Hopkins offers students ample opportunity to enroll in courses or collaborate in research of faculty in other departments. Faculty associates of the program include distinguished scholars in anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, and public health.
A graduate concentration is not required of PhD students.