Research Opportunities

The Sociology Department is proud to provide students ample opportunities to develop research and writing skills both within the curriculum and through faculty-student partnerships. If you are considering graduate school, doctoral studies, or a career that involves research and writing, we recommend you pursue a research experience. You might even consider presenting your work in a public setting or publishing it in our online student journal.

Student standing in a hallway, holding a folder, and smiling

Most full-time faculty are engaged in some form of research, and sometimes they take on research assistants -- just ask! You might take a methods course to prepare yourself or simply enroll in classes with faculty who share your interests so they may get to know you.

Directed studies exist for students to receive course credit as they pursue independent research projects with faculty support. Undergrads with at least a 2.75 GPA and senior standing can pursue this by enrolling in SOC 4990 with faculty permission. Graduate students can enroll in SOC 5980 with instructor consent.

Students considering graduate and postgraduate studies are encouraged to develop a thesis project under faculty advisement. Thesis opportunities exist at both the undergraduate (4930 and 4960) and graduate level (5970 and 5990). 

The prestigious Mellon-Mays Research Program offers sophomores a year-long funded research opportunity, individualized mentoring, professional development, and financial support for doctoral studies.

The California Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to increase the pool of potential CSU faculty by empowering CSU students into the Ph.D. Students who receive the fellowship ("Sally Casanova Scholars") receive a year of mentorship and a summer research opportunity at a doctoral-granting institution. 

Present Your Research

Graduate and Undergraduate students can present their completed research in symposia and conferences on campus and through professional associations. These valuable experiences allow you to share your insights and obtain feedback on your work while boosting your academic record. 

Campus Opportunities

Social Theory Conference - Students are invited to present their completed research and works-in-progress at the department's annual Social Theory Conference. Be on the lookout -- a call for applications is sent by email each Spring.

RSCA Student Symposium - The university sponsors an annual student symposium at which students can share a poster or oral presentation. Awards are given to students from each college, with winners advancing to a regional competition.

CSU Social Science Student Symposium - CSU holds an annual symposium for social science students. This is a "free, student-only" conference in a relaxed supportive environment.

Professional Associations

*The College of Natural and Social Sciences provides grants to support student travel. The Office of Graduate Studies Travel Support Program offers up to 70% reimbursement for students who present at professional conferences. Professional associations also offer grant programs for students presenting at conferences. Be sure to check their websites for details and deadlines.