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UTEP Launches New Ph.D. in Sociology

First cohort of University’s 25th doctoral program begins in Fall 2023

EL PASO, Texas (Jan. 12, 2023) – Beginning in Fall 2023, The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) will offer a Ph.D. in Sociology. The new program, which will focus on further understanding of the U.S.-Mexico border and its culture, is the University’s 25th doctoral degree program.

UTEP Launches New Ph.D. in Sociology
Denis O’Hearn, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, will lead the new Ph.D. in Sociology at UTEP, which will have its first cohort beginning Fall 2023. Through this program, students will have the opportunity to study the complexities of the border region, using this knowledge to pursue careers in academic research, public policy and more. Photo: J.R. Hernandez / UTEP Marketing and Communications

Because of UTEP’s unique location in a predominantly Hispanic community along the U.S.-Mexico border, the new degree will provide doctoral students a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore the social complexities of the region and beyond in three main components: borders and immigration, health and the environment.

“We have a very distinctive Ph.D. because it really emphasizes the border and the Hispanic population, which is the strength of UTEP and what makes us exceptional,” said Howard Campbell, Ph.D., professor of cultural anthropology and chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at UTEP.

Students enrolled in the program will have access to unique resources, including the Socio-Environmental and Geospatial Analysis lab, where students can conduct research at the intersection of social and environmental sciences, and data from federal statistical agencies through the Rocky Mountain Research Data Center that can be utilized to further support their research.

These initiatives will allow them to learn more about the challenges and opportunities for the future of the population of the border region, and become experts who can continue to research and address sociological challenges through public policy.

“Students will be able to participate in existing research projects by working closely with faculty, many of whom have grants to fund research assistants and other students, but they will also be expected to develop their own research projects both in classes and for their dissertations, with close expert supervision by world-leading scholars,” said Denis O’Hearn, Ph.D., UTEP professor of sociology.

Prospective student Johnathan Cereceres is excited at the prospect of accelerating his professional development through the program.

“The courses, professors and degree will empower my research capacities that are applicable across various sectors and professions,” Cereceres said. “I want my research contributions to highlight and validate the resilience of my community. Despite being an underserved and underrepresented region, I believe the Southwest has unique narratives within specific demographic groups that ought to be explored and studied.”

Graduates of the program may work as professors, in government and the nonprofit sector.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the Ph.D. in Sociology in fall 2022. The program is pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. To learn more, visit utep.edu/liberalarts/sociology-and-anthropology/.

About The University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas at El Paso is America’s leading Hispanic-serving university. Located at the westernmost tip of Texas, where three states and two countries converge along the Rio Grande, 84% of our 24,000 students are Hispanic, and half are the first in their families to go to college. UTEP offers 169 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs at the only open-access, top-tier research university in America.

Last Updated on January 17, 2023 at 12:00 AM | Originally published January 17, 2023

By MC Staff UTEP Marketing and Communications