Penn State University

Department of Sociology
Last Updated

The Sociology Department at Penn State offers a Ph.D. in Sociology with a specialization in Family Sociology and Demography. Although located in a major university, our graduate program remains intimate in scale. A low student-to-faculty ratio promotes frequent interaction with leading scholars in a wide range of substantive specialties. All students accepted into our graduate program receive funding and other benefits, contingent on making good progress in the program.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. John Iceland
Department Emphasis
  • 20% Criminology
  • 20% Demography
  • 20% Family Sociology
  • 20% Race & Ethnicity
  • 20% Stratification
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Doctoral
Areas of Study
  • Family Science/Studies - Doctoral
Department Address

211 Oswald Tower
University Park, PA 16802-6207
United States

Phone Number
Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Melissa Hardie
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Family Demography
  • Family Sociology
  • Family Disorganization
  • Biosocial Perspectives on the Family
  • Demography of the Life Course
  • Family, Race, and Ethnicity
  • Work and Family Policies
  • Human Fertility
  • Gender Stratification
  • Inequality in Child Development
  • Sociology of Education
  • Sociological Research Methods
  • Statistical Methods for Social Research
  • Statistical Models for Nonexperimental Research
  • Event History Analysis
  • Multilevel Regression
  • Survey Design
  • Analysis of Survey Data
  • Demographic Techniques
  • Advanced Mathematical Demography
  • Theories of Society I and II
  • Teaching Seminar
Doctoral Level
Doctoral Program Options
  • Family Sociology & Demography
Doctoral Comments

Our doctoral program includes a specialization in family sociology and demography. In addition to taking substantive seminars, students receive a strong background in quantitative research methods. Current faculty research projects focus on marital quality, the causes and consequences of divorce, nonresident fathers, stepfamilies, racial and ethnic diversity in family life, the transition to adulthood, parent-child relationships over the life course, the gender division of household labor, religion and family life, and other topics. Many opportunities for student-faculty research collaboration are available.

CFLE Information

NCFR recognizes schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs with course work that follows the Standards and Criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). NCFR approval allows the school to offer their graduates the opportunity to apply for Provisional Certification using the Abbreviated Application process. The CFLE Checklist represents the courses that meet the CFLE criteria at that school. Students must complete all the courses on a checklist in order to qualify to apply for the CFLE designation through the Abbreviated Application process.