Sociology PhD Program

In partnership with the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) and the NYU Department of Sociology, NYU Shanghai invites applications from exceptional students for PhD study and research in Sociology.
Participating students will be enrolled in the NYU GSAS Sociology PhD program, complete their coursework at the NYU Department of Sociology in New York, and then transition to a full-time residence at NYU Shanghai where they will undertake doctoral research under the supervision of NYU Shanghai faculty.

Highlights of the Program

  • NYU degree upon graduation
  • Graduate coursework at the NYU Department of Sociology in New York
  • Research opportunities with and close mentorship by NYU Shanghai faculty
  • Access to the vast resources of NYU GSAS and NYU Department of Sociology
  • A cutting-edge research environment at NYU Shanghai, including the Center for Applied Social and Economic Research -- a thriving community of PhD candidates, post-doctoral fellows, and research associates, featuring activities such as a regular program of seminars and visiting academics, and connections with other universities within and outside China
  • Financial aid through the NYU Shanghai Doctoral Fellowship, including tuition, fees, and an annual stipend
  • Additional benefits exclusive to the NYU Shanghai program, including international health insurance and travel funds

Supervising Faculty

Angran Li

Angran Li

Social Stratification and Mobility, Sociology of Education, Urban Sociology, Quantitative Research Methods

Jia Miao

Jia Miao

Research Interests: Urban Sociology, Population Aging, Health Inequality, Survey Methods, Drug Abuse and HIV/AIDS Risks

Xiaogang Wu

Xiaogang Wu

Research Interests: Education, Inequality and Social Mobility, Survey Research and Quantitative Methods, Urban Sociology, Social Demography, Chinese Society

Recent Publications by NYU Shanghai Faculty

  • Chen, Y., Wu, X., Hu, A., He, G., & Ju, G. (2021). Social prediction: a new research paradigm based on machine learning. The Journal of Chinese Sociology, 8(1), 1-21.
  • Hu, A., Wu, X., & Chen, T. (2021). Changing subjective wellbeing across the college life: survey evidence from China. Chinese Sociological Review, 1-21.
  • Wu, X., Li, X., Lu, Y., & Hout, M. (2021). Two tales of one City: unequal vulnerability and resilience to COVID-19 by socioeconomic status in Wuhan, China. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 72, 100584.
  • Miao, J., & Wu, X. (2021). Subjective wellbeing of Chinese elderly: a comparative analysis among Hong Kong, Urban China and Taiwan. Ageing & Society, 41(3), 686-707.
  • Xu, D., & Wu, X. (2021). From political power to personal wealth: Privatization and elite opportunity in post-reform China. Journal of Contemporary China, 1-21.
  • Zeng, D., Wu, X., & Zhang, Z. (2021). Residential and industrial enclaves and labor market outcomes among migrant workers in Shenzhen, China. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1-23.
  • Kan, M. Y., He, G., & Wu, X. (2021). Satisfaction with Family Status and Housework Participation in Modern China. In Chinese Families: Tradition, Modernisation, and Change. Emerald Publishing Limited.
  • Hu, A., Kao, G., & Wu, X. (2020). Can greater reliance on test scores ameliorate the association between family background and access to post-collegiate education? Survey evidence from the Beijing College Students Panel survey. Social Science Research, 88, 102425.
  • Bai, X., Li, Z., Chen, J., Liu, C., & Wu, X. (2020). Socioeconomic inequalities in mental distress and life satisfaction among older Chinese men and women: The role of family functioning. Health & social care in the community, 28(4), 1270-1281.
  • Wu, Xiaogang 2019. “Inequality and Social Stratification in Post-socialist China." Annual Review of Sociology 45: 363-382
  • Hu, Anning and Xiaogang Wu 2019. "Science or Liberal Arts? Family Background, Cultural Capital, and College Major Choice in China" British Journal of Sociology 70 (1):190-213
  • Miao, Jia, Xiaogang Wu, Xiulin Sun. 2019. “Neighborhood, social cohesion, and the Elderly's depression in Shanghai” Social Science & Medicine 229:134-143
  • Miao, Jia*, and Xiaogang Wu. 2019. “Subjective well-being of Chinese elderly: A comparative analysis among urban China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.” Aging and Society. 1-22.
  • Chen, Wei, Xiaogang Wu, and Jia Miao* (corresponding author). 2019. “Housing and subjective class identification in urban China.” Chinese Sociological Review 51(3): 221–250
  • He, Guangye, Xiaogang Wu. 2017. "Marketization, Occupational Segregation, and Gender Earnings Inequality in Urban China." Social Science Research 65:99-111
  • Zhang, Zhuoni and Xiaogang Wu. 2017. "Occupational Segregation and Earnings Inequality: Rural Migrants and Local Workers in Urban China." Social Science Research 61:57-74
  • Miao, Jia*. 2017. “Birth weight, family socioeconomic status and cognitive skills among Chinese adolescents.” Chinese Sociological Review 49(4): 362–381
  • Miao, Jia*, and Xiaogang Wu. 2016. “Urbanization, socioeconomic status and health disparity in China.” Health & Places 42: 87–95
  • Wu, Xiaogang and Xi Song. 2014. "Ethnic Stratification amid China’s Economic Transition: Evidence from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region." Social Science Research 44:158-172

Selected Faculty Features

"Social Science Research for a Better Society" (Xiaogang Wu, CASER)

"NYU Shanghai CASER Organizes Child Development Workshop with UPenn" (Xiaogang Wu, Jia Miao)

"NYU Shanghai, SHU and HKUST(GZ) Launch Ambitious Collaboration on Urban Research" (Xiaogang Wu)

"NYU Shanghai Professor Inducted into Sociological Research Association" (Xiaogang Wu)

"How Are Neighborhood Organizations Helping Residents During the Shanghai Lockdown?"  (Jia Miao)

"How Does Homeownership Affect One’s Life? Sociologists Study Its Social Consequences"  (Xiaogang Wu, Jia Miao)

"A Researcher's Journey Home" (Xiaogang Wu)

"NYU Shanghai Hosts International Chinese Sociological Association’s First Conference in China" (Xiaogang Wu)

"The Neighborhoods Behind Wuhan's Recovery" (Jia Miao)

"Leading Scholar to Direct New Social Science Research Center at NYU Shanghai" (Xiaogang Wu)

"NYU Shanghai Launches New Sociology PhD" (Xiaogang Wu, Jia Miao)

Program Structure

Students complete the PhD degree requirements set by the NYU Department of Sociology in accordance with the academic policies of NYU GSAS. Each student will develop an individualized course plan in consultation with the Director of Graduate Study at the NYU Department of Sociology and the student’s NYU Shanghai faculty advisor. A typical sequence of study is as follows:

Summer 1
in Shanghai


Begin program with funded research rotation up to 3 months preceding first Fall semester. Become familiarized with NYU Shanghai and faculty and lay a foundation for future doctoral study.

Year 1
(Fall and Spring)
in New York


Complete PhD coursework at theDepartment of Sociology alongside other NYU PhD students. 

Summer 2
in Shanghai


Return to Shanghai for second funded research rotation to solidify relationships with NYU Shanghai faculty and make further progress in research.

Year 2
and Beyond
in Shanghai


Under supervision of NYU Shanghai faculty advisor, pursue dissertation research and continue coursework. Depending on each student’s individualized course of study, return visits to New York may also occur. Complete all required examinations and progress evaluations, both oral and written, leading up to submission and defense of doctoral thesis.

To learn more about the NYU Sociology PhD program degree requirements, please visit this page.


Current Students

Name Research Areas
Zhi Li Social Inequality, Networks and Organizations, Life Course, Computational Social Science
Conor McCutcheon Social Stratification, Education, Elite Formation, Interdisciplinary Research

Application Process and Dates

Submit applications through the NYU GSAS Application portal. Select the Sociology PhD as your program of interest, and then indicate your preference for NYU Shanghai by marking the appropriate checkbox when prompted. Applicants will be evaluated by a joint admissions committee made up of New York and Shanghai faculty. Application requirements are set by the NYU Department of Sociology, and are the same for all NYU PhD applicants regardless of campus preference. However, candidates are encouraged elaborate on their specific interest in the NYU Shanghai program and faculty in their application and personal statements.

The application deadline has passed and the NYU GSAS Application portal is closed. If you are interested in applying in the future, applications will reopen in Fall 2023 for 2024 admission. 


Contact Us

Interested students are welcome to contact Vivien Du, PhD Program Manager, at with any inquiries or to request more information.