Over 700 graduates have received graduate degrees through the Sociology Program at Chapel Hill, and their work spans the entire range of sociological specialties. The department’s main concentrations of faculty research and graduate training are in comparative social organization and societal change, demography, research methods and social statistics, labor force and industrial relations, and stratification and complex organizations.
Our department has always encouraged informal intellectual exchange and mutual support among faculty and students. The department's colloquium draws outstanding speakers from around the country and abroad, as well as providing an opportunity for faculty and students to present their own research. Informal seminar series are also conducted by the programs in comparative and historical sociology, industrial relations and organizations, life course and family studies, and population and human ecology.
The department's training program is supplemented by numerous institutes, centers and interdisciplinary programs. The Odum Institute for Research in Social Sciences, established by Howard W. Odum in the early 1920s, continues to play an important role in generating research and intellectual activity on the campus. The Carolina Population Center involves graduate students in the projects of some 50 fellows from social science and health disciplines across the campus and provides valuable research services, from proposal development to word processing and programming assistance. The Kenan Institute for the Study of Private Enterprise, directed by sociologist John D. Kasarda, promotes a wide range of research projects on businesses and is a fast-growing source of opportunities for sociologists to interact with business leaders.
Other research centers of relevance to graduate training and research include: The Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, the Sheps Health Services Research Center and the Biological Sciences Institute. The University also maintains a variety of special collections in the Wilson Library, including the world's leading collection on Southern Studies.