Curriculum Vitae

Josipa Roksa


To what extent does education amplify, preserve, or reduce social inequality? This has been the central question guiding Professor Roksa’s scholarly inquiry. In addressing this question, she has aimed to extend the conversation beyond focusing on academics to consider broader social contexts of education. She has thus examined the role of state contexts in shaping access and attainment in higher education, the importance of life course transitions, including work, marriage/cohabitation and parenthood, for educational success, and the role of parenting in fostering academic achievement among K-12 students. Moreover, she has studied not only entry and completion in higher education (i.e., who enrolls and who graduates), but also what happens within colleges and universities, what activities students engage in and how that shapes their learning.

Professor Roksa is co-author of Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses and Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates. Moreover, her research has been published in a range of peer-reviewed journals, including Social Forces, Sociology of Education, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Teachers College Record, Review of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, and Social Science Research.

Professor Roksa teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in social stratification, education, research methods, and statistics. She was named a University Teaching Fellow (UTF, 2008-2009), a Mead Honored Faculty (2010-2011), and a Fellow of the National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education (2009-2012).

Selected Publications


Selected Recent Articles

Roksa, Josipa, and Richard Arum. 2015. “Inequality in Skill Development on College Campuses.”  Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 39: 18-31.

Potter, Daniel, and Josipa Roksa. 2013.  “Accumulating Advantages over Time: Family Experiences and Class Inequality in Academic Achievement.” Social Science Research 42: 1018-1032.

Roksa, Josipa, and Melissa Velez.  2012. “A Late Start: Delayed Entry, Life Course Transitions, and Bachelor’s Degree Attainment.” Social Forces 90:769-794.

Roksa, Josipa, and Daniel Potter.  2011.  “Parenting and Academic Achievement: Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Advantage.” Sociology of Education 84:299-321. 

Roksa, Josipa, and Tania Levey.  2010. “What Can You Do with That Degree? College Major and Occupational Status of College Graduates over Time.” Social Forces 89:389-416.

Roksa, Josipa.  2010.  “Bachelor’s Degree Completion across State Contexts: Does the Distribution of Enrollments Make a Difference?” Research in Higher Education 51:1-20.

Roksa, Josipa, and Melissa Velez. 2010.  “When Studying Schooling is not enough: Incorporating Employment in Models of Educational Transitions.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 28:5-21.


University of Virginia Sociology Department
Randall 206
P.O. Box 400766
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Office Hours

Monday 10-11am, and by appointment

Phone | Fax

(434) 924-6528 | (434) 924-7028



Undergraduate Level

  • SOC 3130 (311/313) – Introduction to Social Statistics
  • SOC 327 - American Public Education: Successes & Challenges
  • SOC 3370 (337) - Schools & Society
  • SOC 3371 (3559) - Merit, Privilege & American Higher Education

Graduate Level

  • SOC 5100 (510) - Research Design Methods
  • SOC 5120 (512) - Intermediate Statistics
  • SOC 5370 (8559) - Inequality in Higher Education
  • SOC 5420 (542) - Social Stratification
  • SOC 7130 (711/713) - Intro to Social Statistics