Prospective Students

Information for prospective PhD students

If you are a prospective student, welcome! I am not recruiting students at Cornell because I will be moving on July 1. To work with me, you should apply to the UCLA Department of Sociology. The deadline for 2024 admission has passed, and this page is most relevant for 2025 admission. If you are a UCLA student, feel free to email me about getting involved. I am a faculty member of the Social Inequality Data Science Lab, and that website will give you a sense of some projects in our group.

I would like to particularly encourage potential collaborators who are first-generation students, women, LGBTQ persons, and those identifying with groups historically excluded from or underrepresented in graduate education, including persons of color. My research group strives to be an inclusive and affirming environment for all.

We will work at the intersection of social science and data science, with a substantive focus on inequality. We will also engage with methodological questions in causal inference. This page is designed to help you decide if my research group could be the right place for you. There are a few questions you may be asking.

Is a PhD right for you?

A PhD is hard. There are few extrinsic motivations. You could make more money elsewere, and at least for a while the world will not pay much attention to your work. Someone who will thrive in a PhD is someone who intrinsically enjoys asking important, hard questions and getting to the bottom of them.

A PhD is not like your previous school experiences. The goal is to transition from consuming knowledge to producing knowledge in your own research. Rather than thinking of it as more classes, you should think of a PhD as 5-7 years spent launching your own independent research agenda. If that sounds exciting, then perhaps a PhD is right for you.

Is UCLA Sociology right for you?

The UCLA Department of Sociology is home to many researchers who focus on inequality, and where you will find faculty engaged with a variety of methodological approaches. As a student at UCLA Sociology, you may also find opportunities to be involved with the California Center for Population Research and the Center for Social Statistics. You will also enjoy the beautiful weather!

Is this research group right for you?

My past work is a good indication of the kinds of projects we may undertake together. I also look forward to supporting your independent research agenda, possibly in collaboration with other faculty members.

Should you reach out?

Generally not. PhD applicants are admitted by the department, so I have very little power over the outcome of your application. If you ask me if I have openings for PhD students, I will point you to the department application page. If you are admitted to the department, there will then be plenty of opportunities to discuss the possibility of working together.

If you are already a UCLA student, then definitely reach out if you would like to work together.