Undergraduate Research

You are strongly encouraged to reach out to department faculty and graduate students who share your research interests; through these conversations, you may unearth previously-unknown opportunities!


Individual Research Project

If you have an area of interest in sociology that you want to explore in depth and for which no class is offered, you may wish to enroll in SOC 497, or an Individual Research Project. In SOC 497, you will work closely with a professional in the department who will guide you through your chosen topic of study, and teach you the skills required for conducting professional research projects.

Undergraduates who are interested are also strongly encouraged to contact graduate students who are studying related topics for additional guidance. SOC 497 can be taken for a maximum of 6 credits, and requires a prerequisite of 19 sociology course credits and approval of the department.

Independent Study

Students who wish to complete readings on a special topic and receive credits for their work should enroll in SOC 496. Similar to preparing for SOC 497, undergraduates are strongly encouraged to contact graduate students who are studying their topics of interest, and should anticipate learning how to critique academic journals and navigate graduate-level coursework. SOC 496 may be taken for a maximum of 6 credits, and requires a prerequisite of 19 sociology course credits and approval of the department.

Internships and On-Campus Research

Students also have the opportunity to receive internship credit for either volunteer or paid work by enrolling in SOC 498. This course may be taken for a maximum of 3 credits, and requires a prerequisite of 19 sociology courses and approval of the department.

Students should realize that changes have occurred since 2020. While the safety and well-being of our students is of paramount importance, we are in the process of reinstating in-person internships and on-campus research opportunities, as they become appropriate.To seek internship opportunities, or even research opportunities that are available in the Department of Sociology, undergraduates are strongly encouraged to speak with graduate students and faculty members who are conducting research in their chosen topics of interest.

The College of Social Science has also traditionally had a number of scholarships, awards, and funded research opportunities available. Please see information found at the links below. Students should confirm with the department the current status of the opportunity in which they are interested.


University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum

Save the Date! The 24th UURAF will take place on April 8, 2022, in-person at the Breslin Center and virtually on Symposium by ForagerOne. Poster, oral, performance, film, exhibit, and demonstration presentations will all be on display.  Abstracts/proposals do not need to be complete at the time of registration.  Registration will be open from January 11 until February 10, 2022.

Current MSU undergraduates and December 2021 graduates are eligible to present at UURAF 2022. This event provides an opportunity for students involved in research and creative activities at Michigan State to share their work with their peers, faculty, staff, and external audiences. Work presented at other venues (college/department forums, off-campus conferences, etc.) are also invited to present at UURAF.

All stages of research and creative scholarship are welcomed--from preliminary to capstone projects and everywhere in between! Research and creative activity conducted during courses, internship/REU, Education Abroad, or community-based participatory research are also accepted. Work conducted during any semester (fall, spring, and summer) may be submitted for presentation at UURAF.  Research is a process. Share with the university community where you are in that process when you present at UURAF.