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Department of Sociology Research Opportunities

Soc 497: Capstone Research Practicum

Students will engage in hands-on research. Topics will vary based on faculty research interests. Students must have completed Soc 310 (theory), Soc 317 (research methods), and Soc 321 (statistics) before taking this course. This course fulfills the capstone requirement for sociology majors.

Soc 498: Research Assistantship

The Sociology Department at WSU has a diverse and energetic faculty who are actively engaged in a variety of research projects. Their work provides opportunities for student training and research experience. Highly capable undergraduate students may apply for positions as research assistants for up to two semesters. The goal is to provide research experience for those interested in further graduate training. Students may receive 3 credit hours (repeatable for up to 6 credits) by registering for Soc 498. Interested students should complete an application (including faculty recommendations) in the spring the year before the desired assistantship will occur.
Below are some examples of a few faculty research projects that students have worked on over the past few years. Involvement in these projects has provided these students with closer connections to faculty as well as new skills:

Yajing Lan worked with Professor Julie Kmec on a project funded by NSF ADVANCE that examined, among other things, partner accommodation in academic hiring. Their executive summary was distributed to seven universities.

Jessica Paoletti worked with Professors Monica Johnson and Christine Horne on an Honors College funded project on norms regulating teen sexual behavior.

In Spring 2016 eleven students worked with Dr.’s Erik Johnson and Jennifer Schwartz to construct a unique database of the most serious environmental crimes to be prosecuted by the federal government in the past forty years. One of these students, Christina Hubbard, received an Undergraduate Summer Minigrant from the Washington State University College of Arts and Sciences to work on an independent research project using these data. The results of this research on the “Effects of Poverty on Sentencing for Environmental Crimes” were presented at the 2017 WSU Research Showcase.

During the 2016-2017 academic year a team of four undergraduate computer science majors worked with Dr. Erik Johnson, as part of their capstone course, to develop a unique database parsing program that can be used to convert repeated text documents into an active research database.

Jessica Do and Pabi Dhaliwal worked with Dr. Emily Kennedy on a project examining the environmental concerns of Washington State residents. The students assisted in developing the sampling strategy, preparing the interview guide, conducting interviews, and transcribing and analyzing interview data.


Students should also contact our academic and career advisors to discuss current research opportunities.


Research Opportunities at SESRC: Social & Economic Sciences Research Center

Information forthcoming as opportunities arise