Program Objectives

The objectives of the Ph.D. program in medical sociology parallel the department's mission and that of the University.

  • To provide the opportunities and core training that enable students to effectively design and carry out research projects in a variety of contexts (clinical settings, health agencies, communities, regions and nations) in order to give students research career options both within and outside of academia.
  • To provide an atmosphere for the development and dissemination of new information relating to the role of social, cultural and psychological factors on the health of individuals and groups.
  • To provide core courses in general sociology as well as advanced training in medical sociology that prepare students for the option of teaching in university sociology departments, medical schools, and other health professional schools such as public health and nursing.
  • Through research, to contribute to the provision of high-quality, cost-effective health care and community social services.
  • To contribute to a partnership with other health-related programs at UAB by providing doctoral-level curricular support to these programs.
  • To contribute to a partnership among departments by providing research support through on-site placement of graduate students conducting thesis and dissertation research.
  • To supplement the extramural funding efforts of medical departments by providing methodological expertise and student research assistance.

These objectives mesh well with the mission, vision, and values of the University. In addition to the program's major emphasis on high quality health-related research, the department takes seriously its relationship to the community and state by developing research projects which not only address critical local issues but incorporate these research problems into larger issues of importance to the disciplines of sociology, public health, and medicine.

The commitment to learning and a community of scholars is paramount in our program at all levels. The faculty have active research agendas, publishing extensively in the major journals of the profession, as well as producing a number of books and research monographs on health-related issues.