Undergraduate Certificate in Social Science Research

This interdisciplinary certificate gives students the opportunity to learn a range of basic social science skills, and focus their efforts in primary research opportunities. Undergraduates are increasingly seeking out research experience, whether to prepare for graduate or professional school, or further employment, and many majors in the social sciences offer research experiences as part of their core requirements.

For further information, please contact Dr. Sung Hee Kim, shkim00@uky.edu (Psychology Majors only) or Dr. Alice Turkington, alice.turkington@uky.edu.

Who May Participate?

Undergraduates pursuing any of the following Social Science majors may participate:


  • Anthropology
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Geography
  • Linguistics
  • Psychology
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • International Studies
  • Environmental and Sustainability Studies Health, Society and Population
  • Economics Mathematical Economics


  • Agricultural Economics


  • Economics


  • Communication


  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation
  • Educational, School, & Counseling Psychology

Admissions Criteria:

  • A minimum second-semester freshman
  • 3.0 overall GPA and in good academic standing
  • Application submitted through the Central Advising Office in A&S (202 POT)

Curriculum Requirements*:

  1. One research design/ methods class. Choose from:
    • ANT 302
    • ANT 541
    • ANT 543
    • ANT 585
    • COM 365
    • COM 553
    • EDP/EPE/KHP 520
    • GEO 311
    • GEO 406
    • GWS 400
    • LIN/SOC 508
    • PS 372
    • PSY 215
    • SOC 302
  2. One quantitative/ technical methods course. Choose from:
    • AEC 490
    • ECO 391
    • EPE/EDP/EDC 522
    • EPE/EDP 557
    • EPE/EDP 558
    • GEO 309
    • GEO 310
    • GEO 409
    • PSY 216
    • SOC 303
    • STA 291
    • STA 296
  3. One independent study (or equivalent), 3 credits. Choose from:

    Included as part of this course requirement is the program requirement for a presentation of research in a public forum. This requirement must be included in the learning contract for the Independent Study/ Research course.

    • AEC 395
    • ANT 399
    • ANT 581
    • COM 395
    • ECO 395
    • ENS 395
    • GEO 560
    • GEO 499
    • GWS 395
    • HSP 499
    • LIN 395
    • PS 395
    • PSY 393
    • PSY 394
    • PSY 395
    • PSY 495
    • PSY 496
    • SOC 395
    • SOC 565
  4. One “outside area course” which must be a course from a department other than the student’s major, chosen from the courses listed above.

*Please note that some of these courses may be restricted to majors only, or may require certain prereqs. It may be worthwhile to speak with the instructor prior to enrolling in a course outside your own discipline; many courses admit students “with consent of instructor”. It is recommended that the student complete at least ONE methods course (chosen from the lists in 1 or 2) prior to enrolling in the Research course (listed in 3). Ideally the student will complete BOTH methods courses before pursuing independent research. This is a recommendation, not a program requirement however. Finally, the student must receive permission from a faculty member prior to enrolling in a 395 (or equivalent) under that faculty member’s supervision.

Additonal Notes: 

  • The student must complete 12 credit hours of graded work to earn the certificate.  
  • All courses for the certificate must be completed with a combined GPA of 3.2 or better.
  • At least 3 credit hours toward the Certificate must NOT be used to satisfy requirements for the student’s major.
  • The student must make a presentation of the research in a public forum to earn the certificate; many opportunities are available (on campus or off).
  • The student must complete a Bachelor’s degree to earn the certificate.
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