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Sociology of Immigration Program Advice

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Hi so I'm a new poster, just finished my undergraduate degree in sociology. I'm looking for advice on what programs to apply to, specifically in regards to sociology programs with a focus on immigration/migration. Some background on me is I had a decent GPA (3.5), I haven't taken the GRE yet, I did my undergrad in Canada so I'm looking at schools both in Canada and the U.S., I don't have any faculty members in mind yet, still have to research that over the summer. But the schools I'm looking at now are (in no particular order)...

UC-Irvine (and maybe Davis)

University of Toronto

University of British Columbia 

UM-Ann Arbor

UMinnestoa-Twin Cities 

Penn State 

UPenn and Princeton (big reach schools) 

If anybody has experience/advice on applying to these programs, or knowledge of the immigration sociology faculty members let me know please. Or if anybody has advice on other schools I should look at (especially schools that may not be as well known but maybe are safer bets on getting in) let me know please. Also just general advice on things I should highlight in a grad school application would be greatly appreciated. 


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You need to remember that Grad School rankings are different than UGrad rankings.   On that list, the highest ranked/most prestigious program is UM-Ann Arbor (which is generally ranked somewhere in the top 4 depending on what list you're looking at).   Princeton is in the next tier of schools (somewhere between 6-10).  UC-Irvine & UPenn would be considered top 25 programs, and then Minnesota and Penn State rank somewhere below that.   I don't know what kind of placement record Toronto/UBC have in order to compare.

This is important for you to think about as you think about what kind of "dream job" you might be aiming for after graduation.  If you want a big-time R1 job, really UM, Princeton, and UC-I are the only places I would seriously consider.   Of course, all of these schools graduate people who get jobs that give them a high quality of life and job satisfaction, but obviously the closer you are to the top of hierarchy the more competative you will be for a wider range of positions.

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Brown should definitely be in your list. Texas-Austin also has several people interested in the topic.

Washington used to be somewhat strong in this area, but I don't know if that's still true.

You could try Harvard (Filiz Garip is there). Also, UCLA has a few faculty who do this stuff (Waldinger, Hernandez-Leon).

The Sociology program at Rice is quite new, and I don't believe it's ranked yet, but it has a strong immigration focus.

As for Canada, I have an acquaintance who got her PhD in McGill and wrote her dissertation on international migration, so that's another possibility.


Edited by Ladril

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@timhorton I'm currently in the PhD program in Sociology at U of T. Feel free to pm me if you want to correspond!

I'd echo what was said above regarding thinking about your dream job and also WHERE you want to work. I wanted to go to grad school in Canada and I want to work in Canada and that combined with my research interests led me to go with U of T. I don't work in migration but we have a huge number of faculty members and many are accomplished in that area. But it's all about 'fit', so give that primacy in your apps.

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