The department encourages graduate students to engage in programs of interdisciplinary study and otherwise to pursue work in any instructional units that may furnish additional dimensions to sociological analysis. Every effort is made to help students establish close working relationships with faculty members in neighboring departments and programs. Students often take seminars in the departments of economics, history, philosophy, politics, and religion, as well as in The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. Several interdisciplinary programs are also worthy of special mention.
African American Studies Program
The African-American Studies Program enables doctoral candidates in sociology to pursue a coordinated, interdisciplinary program of study of the position and experiences of peoples of African ancestry in the United States, seen in relation to the experiences of black people in other parts of the world. The program is governed by an interdepartmental committee which includes graduate students and members of the department faculty. Its purpose is to help train specialists who want to become scholars and to enter other careers requiring advanced study of African-American institutions in connection with an established discipline.
Center for Research on Child Wellbeing (CRCW)
The mission of the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing (CRCW) is to identify and contribute to the development of economically efficient, politically feasible, and socially viable policies that address the needs of children in the areas of education, health, income, family, and community. CRCW conducts innovative basic research, educates students and faculty about the issues, and disseminates information that is useful to researchers and the general public. The Center is committed to contributing to data-driven decisions about how families, schools, communities and the public and private sectors can best support children.
Center for Energy and Environmental Studies
The Center for Energy and Environmental Studies is a multidisciplinary group concerned with studies of regional, national, and global problems involving natural resources and pollution, solar energy, nuclear waste management, the social and cultural bases of environmental policies, and the ethical issues involved in the making of these policies. The center provides facilities for research, conferences, workshops and seminars in which social scientists, physical and life scientists, humanists, and urban planners participate.
University Center for Human Values
The University Center for Human Values sponsors undergraduate and graduate seminars, research, and public discussion about ethical and evaluative issues that span academic disciplines. Graduate students from many departments take center-sponsored courses, attend lectures and colloquia, and participate in faculty-graduate seminars. In addition, the center supports dissertation work in ethics and human values by awarding Graduate Prize Fellowships each year to a group of eight post-generals Ph.D. candidates. Students whose interests focus on sociological theory, political philosophy, religion, and the empirical study of normative issues are especially encouraged to be involved with the center.
Industrial Relations Section
This section is concerned especially with problems of labor and industrial relations in the U.S., but in recent years has also focused on special problems of labor force recruitment and training in the context of economic and social development. It maintains special library and data resources and provides fellowships for students with an interest in this field.
Program in Latin American Studies
With an interdepartmental committee of fourteen faculty members from eight departments, this program assists graduate students with interest in Latin America by providing funding for research and travel, assisting with advising, and helping to coordinate interdisciplinary cooperation. The university also maintains a large library of materials on Latin America and is the site of several major projects on U.S. migration from the region.
Center for Migration and Development
The Center for Migration and Development was established to capitalize on the critical mass of faculty interested in migration. Its aims are to enrich intellectual exchange among faculty and students, to build bridges with other programs and field specializations, to promote and diversify collaborative research activity about migration and development, to maintain a data archive of unique studies about migration and development, and to enhance course offerings. It also sponsors a colloquium series and working papers.
Office of Population Research
The Office of Population Research, founded in 1936, is a leading demographic research and graduate training center. The demography field encompasses a wide range of specializations that span substantive and methodological subjects in the social, mathematical, and biological sciences. Building on its historical strengths in signature fields such as demographic methods, fertility, health and mortality, OPR researchers have embraced research topics that are currently prominent in population studies, such as international migration and development, children, youth and families, as well as various aspects of social and economic inequality. In addition, OPR researchers are involved in new areas of inquiry such as epigenetics, biodemography, social epidemiology, and web-based experimentation.
Students at Princeton can apply to the Program in Population Studies or they can pursue a specialization in Demography as part of their doctoral studies in Economics, Sociology, or Politics. They can also obtain a joint degree in Demography and Social Policy. The Joint Degree Program in Social Policy (JDP) is a collaborative effort of The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and the departments of Economics, Politics, Psychology, Population Studies, and Sociology. There is also a one-year Certificate in Demography.
Center for the Study of Religion
The Center for the Study of Religion is a major university initiative in the social sciences and humanities to facilitate interdisciplinary research and teaching about religion. It sponsors annual thematic projects directed by members of the university faculty, visiting fellows, postdoctoral fellowships, a weekly interdisciplinary seminar, a CSR Faculty Fellow, dissertation research awards, freshman seminars, and public lectures. Graduate students specializing in sociology of religion often work on research projects sponsored by the Center, participate in the interdisciplinary seminar, and receive dissertation research awards.
Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies
The Davis Center was established in 1968, with the purpose of developing a center for historical research at Princeton, of encouraging innovation and experimentation in teaching, and of stimulating intellectual exchange both within the department of history and between history and related disciplines. The center supports the Davis Research Seminar, which gathers a group of research scholars both from the United States and abroad around a common theme for the year. Graduate students interested in historical sociology often participate in the seminar.
Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies
GSS has a long and rich history at Princeton. Established in 1982 as Women’s Studies, the program was renamed Gender and Sexuality Studies in 2011 to reflect the trajectory and expanded reach of teaching and scholarship among Princeton faculty and in the field more generally. Faculty and students in GSS are dedicated to the study of gender and sexuality in their complex articulation with race, ethnicity, class, disability, religion, nationality, and other intersections of identity, power, and politics.
Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies
Established in 2003 the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) promotes collaborative, interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching on issues of global importance. Combining the activities and strengths of the University’s former Center of International Studies and Council on Regional Studies, PIIRS aims to integrate international and regional studies at the University into informed and coherent perspectives on global affairs. In the larger academic arena, PIIRS works to establish leadership in research on international and regional issues, creating links with leading universities worldwide to promote exchanges in these vital areas among faculty and students internationally.