The Graduate Program in Sociology at the University of TorontoWe consider the guiding metaphor of our program the transformation, in both teaching and research, of consumers into producers. The Department offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Ph.D. The department is attractive to students who have interests that fit within our eight areas of specialization: Immigration and Ethnicity; Health and Mental Health; Networks and Community; Crime, Deviance and Socio-legal Studies; Gender and Family; Stratification, Work and Labour Markets; Sociology of Culture and Political Sociology. In addition, students in the Department can enroll in one of ten collaborative programs in diverse areas.
Since the establishment of the Sociology Program in 1963, the Department has continued to be the major source of faculty appointed to departments in anglophone Canada. The ASA Guide to Graduate Departments reports that, among the listed 12 Canadian departments, 82 full-time faculty members (excluding those listed as affiliated and joint appointments, part-time and emeritus faculty) were graduates of this Department. We expect that the Department will continue this important role in the coming years. The Department also places Ph.D. graduates in international academic settings, especially in the United States. In recent years, students have landed academic job offers at Emory University (U.S.), University of Guelph, Ryerson University, University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, Dalhousie University, Brock University, University of Minnesota (U.S.), University of South Carolina (U.S.), and Temple University (U.S.), Carleton College (U.S.). Students also have been placed in applied research and government settings such as at the St. Michael’s Hospital Inner City Health Research Unit (Toronto), the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Statistics Canada and Health Canada.
We also have a tradition of close collaboration between faculty and graduate students. In recent years, faculty and graduate student co-authored publications have appeared in such journals as American Behavioral Scientist, Social Problems, Social Forces, Social Networks, Social Science Research, Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, Sociological Forum, International Migration and Review, City and Community, Canadian Studies in Population, Journal of Aging and Health, IT & Society, Field Methods, and the Journal of International Migration and Integration. Graduate students are also encouraged to publish on their own, with recent publications appearing in such journals as Social Networks, Canadian Journal of Sociology, Social Science History, Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, British Journal of Criminology, Religion, Urban Studies, European History Quarterly, and the Information Society. Graduate students regularly present their work at leading national and international conferences including the Canadian Sociology Association, the American Sociological Association, and the International Sociology Association.
Our graduate program also offers innovative features in terms of research training. Since 2002, second year graduate students are required to take the year long Research Practicum. Designed as a workshop, this course allows students to develop their own research ideas into a finished research paper. Students work with the faculty teaching the course, their own faculty supervisor and the other students in the course to produce a potentially publishable paper. This course reflects our emphasis in the PhD program on turning students into research producers rather than consumers. The Research Practicum is designed to give all students in the PhD program the opportunity to engage in the research process. An added benefit of this course is that by the end of their second year in the PhD program, students have a research paper that can then be submitted to conferences for presentation and to journals for review. This increases the competitiveness of our PhD students once they are ready for the job market.
Our graduate students receive training in both qualitative and quantitative methods. MA students are required to take Social Statistics and Qualitative Methods. Students in the PhD are required to take an Intermediate Statistics course and have the option of taking further offerings in Qualitative Methods (e.g. Interviewing Techniques, Field Methods). This is unique in the Canadian Sociology context in that many programs do not require qualitative and quantitative methods. In the modern discipline of Sociology, multi-method research is emphasized and valued. By training our students in the variety of qualitative and quantitative methods available, we are positioning our students to be leaders in the field and to enhance their ability to publish in high-quality journals.