Sociology PhD Program

NYU Shanghai, in partnership with the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science and the NYU Department of Sociology, invites applications from exceptional students for PhD study and research in Sociology.
Participating students are enrolled in the NYU GSAS Sociology PhD program, complete their coursework at the NYU Department of Sociology in New York, and then transition to full-time residence at NYU Shanghai where they undertake their 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 intellectual resources of NYU GSAS and NYU Department of Sociology
  • Cutting-edge research environment at NYU Shanghai, including the Center for Applied Social and Economic Research, a thriving community of PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and research associates, activities such as a regular program of seminars and visiting academics, and links with other universities within and outside China
  • Financial aid through the NYU Shanghai Doctoral Fellowship, including tuition, fees, and an annual stipend equal to stipends received by all NYU Sociology PhD students
  • Additional benefits exclusive to the NYU Shanghai program, including international health insurance and travel funds

Supervising Faculty

Xiaogang Wu

Xiaogang Wu

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

Jia Miao

Jia Miao

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

Recent Publications by NYU Shanghai Faculty

  • 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

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

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

Structure of Program

Participating students complete the PhD degree requirements set by the NYU Department of Sociology and in accordance with the academic policies of NYU GSAS. Each student develops 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 follows:

Summer 1
in Shanghai


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

Year 1
(Fall and Spring)
in New York


Complete PhD coursework at Department 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.


Application Process and Dates

Applications are to be submitted through the NYU GSAS Application portal, within which students should select the Sociology PhD as their program of interest, and then indicate their preference for NYU Shanghai by marking the appropriate checkbox when prompted. Applicants will be evaluated by a joint admissions committee of New York and Shanghai faculty. Application requirements are set by the NYU Department of Sociology and are the same as those for all NYU PhD applicants, no matter their campus preference; however, candidates are recommended to elaborate in their application and personal statements about their specific interests in the NYU Shanghai program and faculty.

The NYU GSAS Application portal is now open for Fall 2021 admission, and the deadline is January 4, 2021. Applications are only accepted for Fall admission.


Contact Us

Interested students are welcome to contact Vivien Du, program coordinator of the NYU Shanghai Sociology PhD, via email at with any inquiries or to request more information.