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Independent Research

Independent studies are a unique way to delve more deeply into a topic that interests you and to learn valuable research skills. The topic and type of work that you will do is arranged on an individual basis between you and your faculty advisor.

Independent studies step by step:

  1. Communicate interest in an independent study to a prospective faculty advisor the semester before the start of independent study.
  2. Complete the SOC 395: Practicum in Sociology learning contract.
  3. Turn in a copy of the completed and signed learning contract to the sociology front office.
  4. Register for SOC 395.
  5. Arrange a meeting with your faculty advisor during the first week of the semester for which you registered.

Examples of past and current independent studies:

  • Jalyn Hewitt researched gender, beauty, and femininity in Disney princesses with Dr. Ana Liberato.  Watch Jalyn’s video about her research.
  • Ryan McElhose is comparing incarceration policies in the U.S., Morocco, and Spain with Dr. Janet Stamatel.
  • Iman Ali and Nora Mattingly are working with Dr. Mairead Moloney and Dr. Tony Love analyzing Twitter data.
  • Ned Katz is studying the effects of online sexual victimization on victims with Dr. Janet Stamatel.
  • Brianna Damron is examining sleep coaching as a case study of the capitalist model of medicalization with Dr. Mairead Moloney.

For assistance, contact your academic advisor or the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Jordan Brown at