International migration is a burgeoning field in sociology, and the UCI's immigration program in sociology ranks among the best in the world. Renowned faculty members work with graduate students on a variety of funded projects, focusing in particular on how immigrants are integrated into the United States. Work done through the Center for Research on International Migration is wide-ranging, multi-method, and interdisciplinary. Among the projects are studies of:

  • Intergenerational mobility among Mexican Americans.
  • The durability of ethnicity
  • Educational outcomes of the children of immigrants.
  • Methods of collecting and reporting data on the unauthorized population.
  • Racial and ethnic diversity, intermarriage, and multiracial identification, based on interviews with multiracial families and census data.
  • Ethnic and generational differences in college attainment.
  • Naturalization and immigrant public assistance.
  • Ethnic economies.
  • Criminalization of immigrants.
  • Immigration enforcement.
  • The children of immigrants, now in adulthood.




Stanley R. Bailey
Latin America, race and ethnicity in Brazil and the United States, religion, U.S.-Mexico border
Frank D. Bean, Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Demography, welfare use, racial and ethnic identity, fertility, unauthorized population
Susan Brown, Professor Emerita
Spatial and socioeconomic integration, education, urban sociology, immigrants' social networks
Rocio Rosales
Ethnic economies, economic mobility, the effects of legal status
Rubén G. Rumbaut
International migration, social inequality and mobility, race and ethnicity
Irene Vega
International migration, racial group formation, socio-legal studies, educational         inequality               
Edward Telles, Cluster Coordinator
Intergenerational integration, race, ethnicity, Latin America, Latinos
Mirian Martinez-Aranda
international migration, immigration detention, law and society, race and ethnicity


In addition, immigration scholars are found through the university, in Anthropology; Political Science; Chicano and Latino Studies; Criminology, Law and Society; Urban Planning and Public Policy; Education; Law; Public Health; Asian American Studies; History, and more. 



To take the field exam in immigration, students must take three of the courses offered in migration. These courses may include:

  • Immigrant America (Rumbaut). Focuses on why international migration occurs, the contexts of reception at the destination, the development of ethnic identity and historical immigration policy in the U.S.
  • Immigrant Integration (Bean). Examines theories of immigrant group integration in the U.S., the meaning of citizenship and current migration policy.
  • Community and Immigration (Brown). Discusses the meaning of community in urban sociology, the role of ethnic enclaves and residential integration of immigrants and their descendants.
  • Ethnic America (Rumbaut). Examines theories of ethnicity, and the permanently unfinished character of American ethnicity, in historical and contemporary contexts.
  • Immigration and Ethnic Economies (Rosales). Examines the importance of ethnic economies to immigrant mobility.
  • Race, Immigration, and Inequality (Telles). Examines the relationships of immigration, racial and ethnic identity formation, and the role of inequality.
  • Crimmigration (Vega). Covers the criminalization of immigration in law and enforcement practices.


In addition, we recommend that majors take at least one class in a related area, such as race/ethnicity or population.

Students wishing to meet the requirements of a second field exam with immigration must submit substantial papers on discrete topics from three courses on immigration or related fields (as approved by the cluster coordinator).



connect with us


© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766