About the Department

Columbia is one of the original homes of sociology in the United States. In 1894, the university became the first in the country to create a professorship in sociology; in 1904, it became the second to create a department devoted to the subject of sociology. Since then, the Department of Sociology has counted some of the discipline’s most important figures among its faculty and students, and remains among the most respected and influential sociology departments in the world.  

We continue to build on this history through our commitment to pursuing original, agenda-setting research and to teaching the next generation of top sociologists. Our bachelors, masters, and doctoral students receive training in sociological theory and a range of research methods. They are encouraged to take courses in multiple substantive areas of the discipline. Our graduates go on to occupy research and teaching positions at the world’s top universities and research institutes. 

The department is based in Knox Hall, the setting for numerous workshops and seminars where students, faculty, and visiting scholars present their work. Affiliated research centers including the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE), the Justice Lab, the Trust Collaboratory, the Labor Lab, the Center for the Study of Wealth and Inequality (CWI) and the Data and Racial Inequality Project (DRIP) serve as additional hubs of intellectual activity for department members.

The department maintains active teaching and research ties with sociologists at Barnard College, Teachers College, the School of International and Public Affairs, the Business School, the Journalism School, the School of Social Work, and the School of Public Health.

We encourage you to explore our website to learn more about the Department of Sociology at Columbia University.