Prospective Students

Welcome to the PhD program of the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign! We are a vibrant community of accomplished scholars and committed teachers engaged in cutting-edge research on questions central to the field of sociology and relevant to contemporary issues. Our graduate students, like our faculty, come from a diverse array of backgrounds. We invite you to learn more by clicking the links on the right. There you will find answers to common questions about how to apply and departmental funding.


Contact a Current Student

Would you like to know more about the department from the perspective of current graduate students? They are uniquely positioned to tell you more about our graduate program and life in Urbana-Champaign. Although you are welcome to contact any of our current graduate students link to graduate student page, the three students listed below have volunteered to respond to questions from prospective graduate students.


Quinesha Bentley

I am first- year PhD student in the Department of Sociology. My research interests include inequality, racism, and the sociology of law. My current research explores factors that influence court awarded damages in tort ligation, specifically in mass shootings at churches and schools. Please feel free to reach out with any questions at





Isha Sallah  

I am a first-year PhD student in the Sociology department. My broad research interests explore gender, sexuality, Blackness, Black girlhood, and Queer of Color Critique. Currently, I am interested in film and television as a medium for analysis with a focus on Black femme and Black Queer subjects. I am a pop-culture enthusiast, so when I’m not working, I am always catching up on movies, television, and pop-culture trends. I love all things fashion, beauty, and visual art. Above all, I feel most at home spending quality time with family and friends. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have—I would love to hear from you! 



Mahbubeh Moqadam
Mahbubeh Moqadam

Hello! I’m in my second year in the department. My research interests include global and transnational sociology, social movements, gender studies, and Middle Eastern studies. I’m currently taking various courses and trying to find related resources around campus. When I’m not working, I like to run, do yoga, hike, explore nature, garden, listen to music, and dance. I can answer broad questions about the department or Urbana-Champaign, but I’m also an international student and can speak to those experiences as well. If needed, I’ll happily connect you to colleagues and others on campus who can provide their valuable perspectives and share their information. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!