PhD Programs

CSI does not offer a standalone PhD degree. Most of our graduate student affiliates are working toward degrees in Sociology, Government, Policy Analysis and Management, Development Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations, Economics, or Demography (minor only). However, we also welcome affiliates from Anthropology, Africana Studies, City and Regional Planning, Human Development, Management (JGSM), Natural Resources, Nutritional Sciences, Philosophy, Psychology, and Science and Technology Studies.

Demography (PhD Minor only)

The field of demography is multidisciplinary in focus and practice, drawing on a wide range of social science perspectives. Graduate training in the Demography Minor is organized through the Cornell Population Center, a multidisciplinary center that provides students with opportunities to develop fundamental demographic insights and methodological tools, as well as to engage with arguments from a range of perspectives.

Training in the Demography Minor is provided by the CPC’s faculty affiliates, who include most of the CSI faculty affiliates in Sociology, PAM, Economics, and Development Sociology as well as faculty in the Department of Social Statistics.

Development Sociology

The PhD program in Development Sociology offers students training in the processes and practices of social transformation both domestically and internationally, including: changes in labor markets, governance, community and civic organization, food production and distribution, migration, population patterns, and environmental dynamics.

Faculty affiliates of CSI in the Field of Development Sociology include: Alaka Basu, David Brown (emeritus), Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Douglas Gurak (emeritus), Thomas Hirschl, Fouad Makki, Philip McMichael, Max Pfeffer, John Sipple, Lindy Williams, and Wendy Wolford.


The Economics Field consists of close to 100 economists in Economics (including the Labor Economics group in ILR), the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, the Johnson Graduate School of Management, the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, the Division of Nutritional Sciences, the Hotel School, and the Law School. Students in the PhD program receive breadth of exposure to economic approaches, and, through the special committee system, can focus their doctoral research on a wide range of economics-related topics that reflect expertise in economics from around Cornell.

Faculty affiliates of CSI in the Field of Economics include: John Abowd, Kaushik Basu, Christopher Barrett, Francine Blau, Lawrence Blume, Ronald Ehrenberg, Gary Fields, Robert Frank, Kevin Hallock, Robert Hutchens, George Jakubson, Lawrence Kahn, Ravi Kanbur, David Sahn, and Erik Thorbecke.


The graduate program in Government at Cornell prepares students for academic and research careers in political science. The Government Graduate Program is divided into four subfields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory. The Field of Government trains students to gain a broad understanding of the discipline, specialized expertise in one or more areas, and competence in social science methods.

Faculty affiliates of CSI in the Field of Government include: Peter Enns, Gustavo Flores-Macias, Sergio Garcia-Rios, Ronald Herring, Mary Katzenstein (emerita), Adam Seth Levine, Suzanne Mettler, Jamila Michener, Thomas Pepinsky, Kenneth Roberts, Anna Marie Smith, Norman Uphoff, and Nicolas van de Walle.

Industrial and Labor Relations

The MS/PhD degree program in ILR is designed for students interested in pursuing an academic career in fields involving the study and research of organizations, human resources and labor relations. Our graduates typically obtain faculty positions in schools of business and labor relations around the world. Students choose to specialize in one of four areas: Human Resources; Organizational Behavior; International and Comparative Labor; or Labor Relations, Law and History. They may also minor in one of these areas, as well as in Social Statistics or Labor Economics.

Faculty affiliates of CSI in ILR include: John Abowd, Rosemary Batt, Marya Besharov, John Bishop, Francine Blau, Diane Burton, Gary Fields, Eli Friedman, Michael Gold, Shannon Gleeson, Kevin Hallock, Robert Hutchens, George Jakubson, Lawrence Kahn, Harry Katz, Risa Lieberwitz, Lisa Nishii, Pamela Tolbert

Policy Analysis and Management

The Department of Policy Analysis and Management (PAM) consists of economists, sociologists, demographers, and interdisciplinary scholars who work with graduate students in the PAM Ph.D. program as well as in Economics and Sociology. The PAM Ph.D. program focuses on education policy, family/social welfare policy, health policy, and regulatory policy. It is structured so that graduate students receive strong training in a social science discipline as well as an understanding of how multiple social science disciplines approach public policy research.

Affiliates of CSI from PAM include: Richard Burkhauser (emeritus), John Cawley, Rachel Dunifon, Maria Fitzpatrick, Matthew Hall, Daniel Lichter, Michael Lovenheim, Jordan Matsudaira, Kelly Musick, Peter Rich, Sharon Sassler, Laura Tach, Maureen Waller, Christopher Wildeman, and Nicolas Ziebarth.


Cornell’s Field of Sociology provides training in sociology that is methodologically rigorous and theoretically innovative. The Field of Sociology consists of all members of the Department of Sociology, all sociologists in Policy Analysis and Management and in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and several other sociologists and computational social scientists located in other units at Cornell such as Africana Studies, JGSM, Science and Technology Studies, Computer Science, Development Sociology.

Inequality scholars in the Field of Sociology have expertise on gender, race, and ethnicity, family, income and wealth inequality, education, social class analysis, social mobility and equality of opportunity, spatial inequalities, immigration and migration, neighborhoods and schools, mass incarceration, work and occupations, labor market institutions, health inequalities, aging and the life course, the politics of inequality, and computational social science and social network approaches to inequality.

Faculty affiliates of CSI in the Field of Sociology include Kim Weeden (CSI Director), Steven Alvarado, Marya Besharov, Kendra Bischoff, Francine Blau, Diane Burton, Benjamin Cornwell, Rachel Dunifon, Matt Hall, Anna Haskins, Eli Friedman, Shannon Gleeson, Daniel Lichter, Vida Maralani, Michael Macy, Kelly Musick, Victor Nee, Karl Pillemer, Peter Rich, Sharon Sassler, Laura Tach, Pamela Tolbert, Maureen Waller, Elaine Wethington, Christopher Wildeman, and Erin York Cornwell.