SOCIAL SCIENCE PhD PROGRAM

SocSci1The Maxwell School's Social Science Program was established in 1946 as the nation's first interdisciplinary doctoral program in the social sciences. It continues to be a  center for creative scholarship for students whose interests do not fit within a single discipline. With guidance from their faculty advisers, Social Science doctoral students develop their own programs of interdisciplinary study. Recent graduates and students have chosen areas of study such as  leadership in transnational NGOs, urban planning and development, international relations, national security studies, conflict resolution, economic and social development, media and culture, social network theory, democratization, immigration and refugees, labor relations, gerontology, women's studies, environmental and energy policy, Native American studies, among others.

The Social Science Program was founded in the conviction that a broad interdisciplinary education would better prepare higher education faculty in the social and policy sciences than would narrower, more specialized training in one of the traditional disciplines. The founders believed that answers to questions about the nature of society and its discontents do not rest in one discipline, but rather require the integrated contributions of them all. This conviction is today being even further reinforced by the growing complexity and interdependence of the modern world.

Institutionally, the Program creates a supportive and stimulating environment where doctoral students readily pursue academic questions across traditional disciplines.  Students have individual work areas in well equipped bays, a dedicated computer area with extensive software support for both quantitative and qualitative research, travel support for conference presentations and so on. We are a full-time residential program; we do not offer online options. We do require the GRE or its equivalent without exception.

SocSci2The program's job placement record is good. Initial academic placements tend to be in liberal arts schools and colleges and mid-level state universities such as Colgate, Cazenovia College, Saint Lawrence University, the University of Rochester, Florida State University, and the University of Washington. Some graduates have gone on to distinguished senior careers at elite schools such as Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU and Penn.

While preserving its core commitment to rigorously training students for careers in the professoriate, the program mission includes training students who have professional interests in research and institutional leadership. Requirements are the same regardless of career interests. Complete degree requirements are outlined in the Course Catalog.