Graduate Program in Sociology

The graduate courses in Sociology of the Faculty of Philosophy, Languages and Human Sciences of the University of São Paulo (USP) take place in the framework of the Graduate Program in Sociology (PPGS). It began its activities, in its current format of Master and Doctoral courses, in 1971. Heir to a long tradition in the history of social sciences in Brazil, its origin dates back to the two chairs of Sociology in the former Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Languages, which were established by what became known as the French Mission and marked the founding of USP in 1934. Throughout the past decades, the PPGS has been a protagonist in the field of sociology in Brazil and has participated in major international networks. The academic staff has significantly contributed to the implementation of a research agenda in the field and, above all, to the qualification of new professionals. The Program was a pioneer in training several generations of renowned researchers. It has also contributed to the creation and implementation of research, promotion, and evaluation policies of other graduate programs in Sociology in Brazil with the purpose of establishing the scientific associations and intellectual debate forums currently existing in the country.

Considered one of the most important graduate programs in Sociology in Brazil and Latin America, the PPGS-USP attracts students from all over the country as well as overseas. In general, the program graduates work in research and teaching at public and private universities, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, advisory and consultancy, research institutes, think tanks, private foundations, and teaching in secondary education.

Two types of courses are offered by the PPGS: Masters and Doctorate. In order to complete these courses the student must complete credits in disciplines and seminars as well as in multiple activities offered by the University. The Master’s course lasts two years while the Doctorate course lasts four years, resulting in the writing of, respectively, a dissertation and a thesis. To this end, the PPGS currently hosts 34 advisors working on various research issues in the framework of five research lines, which are addressed by many different research areas.

The Program follows three major objectives:

1. Intellectual Training 
One aim is to enable researchers to acquire academic excellence, in harmony with the international academic debate, and able to analyze the many different dimensions of the social universe. The Masters and Doctorate courses are organized to encourage the intellectual creativity of students when planning their credit schedule in mandatory disciplines and complementary activities. An original and innovative scientific research is a fundamental requirement when devising one’s dissertation or thesis to earn the title of Master or Doctor in Sociology from USP.

2. Research Support 
The purpose here is to engage students in the PPGS academic structure, the current research areas, and in the activities of the associated research centers and institutes. To do so, the Program seeks to:
 provide infrastructure conditions, such as the Florestan Fernandes Library and the Social Research Laboratory (LAPS);
 offer students the possibility to participate in research groups and centers coordinated by PPGS teachers;
 offer students an interface with data organizing centers, such as the Social Information Consortium (CIS) and UrbanData-Brasil/CEM;
 promote student participation in academic events in Brazil and overseas;
 promote the publication of student articles in high-ranking scientific journals;
 provide financial support through research grants (dependent on state and federal funding agencies);
 financially support academic activities (dependent on state and federal funding agencies).

3. Internationalization
The national and international flow of teachers and students, as well as the collaboration of foreign researchers, are central elements of the PPGS structure. This perspective provides an interface with cutting-edge issues in the global debate on sociological theory and research, contributing to the renewal of the theoretical, thematic, and empirical references of teachers and students as well as the creation of prolific inter-institutional research networks.

In this context, students are encouraged, on the one hand, to undertake research internships overseas by way of partnerships established by the PPGS all over the globe and, on the other hand, to graduate in partnerships with foreign institutions (in what is commonly known as co-tutorship).

Aiming at scientific dissemination, the PPGS collaborates with the publication of two journals:
Tempo Social. Revista de Sociologia da USP, created in 1989 and with a seal of international excellence granted by Qualis/CAPES (2017), belonging to the SCIELO portal and the only Brazilian journal indexed in the Social Science Citation Index;
 Plural. Revista de Ciências Sociais, created in 1994, with semiannual periodicity and currently in electronic version, ranked as “B2” in Qualis/CAPES (2017).