Independent Study

Independent Study with Sociology Faculty

Independent studies allow for Sociology students to support a faculty member with a research project. Students earn 1 CU for the semester-long project, and the CU can be counted towards the Sociology major or minor requirements (under "Additional SOCI courses").  The CU is graded.  Students are expected to spend approximately 10 hours a week working on the research project, for a total of 100 hours. The exact nature of the work and the final product is to be worked out with the faculty member, but it typically involves research support such as library work, transcribing, translating, coding, and/or analyzing data.

Setting up an independent study

Students who are interested in an independent study can get started in several ways:

  1. Reach out to the undergraduate coordinator to express your interest in participating in an independent study. The undergraduate coordinator will try to connect you with a professor who is looking for undergraduate help with their current research. If possible, the undergraduate coordinator will try to match you with a professor whose work falls under your research interests.
  2. Reach out directly to the professor whose research you'd like to support. 
  3. Respond to emails from the undergraduate program manager that announce research support opportunities with Sociology faculty.

Once students have expressed interest, usually a meeting takes place between the student and the faculty to discuss the project, tasks, and schedule. Once both faculty and student agree to the arrangement, the students must send an email to the undergraduate coordinator (copying the faculty member). The undergraduate coordinator will create an independent study course number (SOCI 3999) for the student to register. The student’s engagement in the independent study should result in the execution of a well-conceived, substantive research paper.

Students who are interested in engaging in independent study with our faculty should always think a semester ahead; for example, a student who wants to participate in an independent study in the Spring semester should explore opportunities in the beginning of the preceding Fall semester.