Independent Undergraduate Research

Independent research (SOC 499) in sociology allows students to work closely with faculty on current faculty research projects or on student and faculty designed projects. Similar to internships, independent research can be a valuable part of the undergraduate program, providing experience critical to future employment and graduate work.

Independent research is best suited to students who have a particular research subject they want to investigate and are prepared to find a faculty sponsor and work closely with them on either a jointly designed or already existing research project. Independent study is normally open only to juniors and seniors. Students must provide a written proposal outlining the objectives and research strategy of their project.

Students interested in independent research should also be aware of SOC 494, the Sociology Practica. Practica courses are organized by the department in cooperation with local organizations like schools, businesses, and government programs to immerse sociology students in real-world projects and help them gain valuable experience beyond the classroom. For more information, see Sociology Practica.

Registering for Independent Research (SOC 499)

Students may also receive 2-5 credits through SOC 499. Registering for SOC 499 credit involves two steps:

  • Find a faculty supervisor
  • Complete the SOC 499 Registration Form

Step One: Find a Faculty Supervisor

Think about contacting a faculty member whose class you enjoyed taking or whose research area interests you. You can also look at faculty areas of interest and/or ongoing research to find a faculty member or project that interests you and then contact that faculty member via email.

Step Two: Complete the SOC 499 Registration Form

You can pick up a hard copy of the SOC 499 Registration Form outside the Sociology Advising Office (SAV 203), or access it below. When your faculty sponsor has signed your form and you have attached your research proposal, turn it in to the Sociology Advising Office and we will register you for the credits.

SOC 499 Registration Form