Reputation of Program
The Department of Sociology at Washington State University has been consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the nation. In 1994, a comprehensive study of graduate education conducted by the National Research Council ranked Washington State 31st among all graduate programs in sociology in terms of the quality of the program and its faculty. A less comprehensive but more recent survey conducted by U.S. News and World Report ranked Washington State 35th among all graduate programs in sociology in 1998.
The reputation of the department is confirmed by the fact that it has served, in recent years, as the editorial home for several major sociological journals including American Sociological Review, Criminology, and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Productivity of Faculty
A recent study published in Footnotes, the newsletter of the American Sociological Association, compared the reputations of graduate programs with the productivity of their faculty (Bruce Keith, "Scholarship and Departmental Rankings Revisited," Footnotes, May 2000). This study found that Washington State ranked 19th among all graduate departments in terms of the number of articles published by its faculty in seven major journals in the two decades between 1970 and 1989. In addition, this study found that the Washington State also ranked 20th in terms of the number of books published by its faculty during this same time period.
Another study of faculty productivity (John Logan, "Producing Sociology: Time Trends in the Publication of Journal Articles, 1975-1986," The American Sociologist, Summer 1988) found that Washington State ranked 24th among all graduate departments in terms of the number of sole-authored or first-authored articles in the three leading journals of the discipline (American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, and Social Forces) in the ten years between 1975 and 1986.
Placement of Graduates
Since 1980, the Department of Sociology at Washington State University has granted over 100 Ph.D. degrees. Over 60 percent of these graduates secured academic appointments at colleges and universities. Another 35 percent secured comparable research positions with government agencies or private research organizations.
In addition, our graduates are currently employed in a number of government agencies and research organizations. These organizations include the Battelle Institute, the Bonneville Power Administration, the State of Washington, the State of Oregon, the State of Idaho, the U.S. Ninth District Court, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the General Accounting Office.
The department provides all of its students, both graduate and undergraduate, with ready access to computer equipment and software. Graduate and undergraduate students have access to the facilities of the Social Science Computing Laboratory, located in Wilson-Short Hall . This facility includes 16 personal computers and high-speed printers. In addition, graduate students have access to the facilities of the Sociological Data Processing Center, also located in Wilson-Short Hall. This facility includes 14 personal computers, two printers, and a document scanner. All of these computers are connected to the main WSU network and the internet as well as a local file server.
The department also maintains the Small Groups Laboratory, which consists of a complex of laboratory and observation rooms, located in the basement of Wilson-Short Hall. This laboratory, which contains television cameras, videotape equipment, monitors, and personal computers, is used to conduct small group experiments and simulations. Furthermore, the department is associated with the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center, also located in Wilson-Short Hall. This center conducts large-scale surveys for a variety of agencies and organizations using both mail and telephone techniques. Graduate and undergraduate students in sociology are often employed in the conduct of these surveys.