Skip to main content

Special Academic Programs

Outside of upper division Sociology courses, there are various academic programs that students can enroll in/petition to have count towards their major requirements.

Honors Program

The 2020-2021 Honors Program Applications are now closed.

Please see information below regarding requirements and applications. Applications for the 2021-2022 Honors program open up at the start of SP21.

Honors Program Overview

The Department of Sociology offers an honors program for students who have demonstrated excellence in the sociology major. Successful completion of the Honors Program enables you to graduate "With Highest Distinction," "With High Distinction," or "With Distinction," depending upon your performance in the program. This program runs fall quarter and winter quarter each year. Enrollment is limited, and the presiding faculty member will make the final decision of acceptance into the program.

The Honors program allows motivated students who are interested in research to gain experience working on a research topic of their choosing under guidance of a Sociology Faculty Advisor, and the Honors Program Director. Students who are accepted in the program will participate in two courses: SOCI 196A: Advanced Studies in Sociology in FA20, and SOCI 196B: Supervised Thesis Research in WI21. These courses are taught by the Honors Program Director. The Honors Program Director and your Faculty Advisor will facilitate your guidance during the program.

Eligibility

Sociology majors may apply to the honors program if they meet the following requirements:

Please note that exceptions can be made, particularly with Transfer Students. If in doubt regarding eligibility, please address your question to the Virtual Advising Center (VAC). The Honors Program is restricted to Sociology majors only.

  • Junior or senior standing (90 units completed)
  • 3.5 GPA or better in the major, maintained until graduation
  • Must have completed at least four upper-division sociology courses
  • Overall 3.2 GPA or better, maintained until graduation
  • Must have completed SOCI 100 and one upper-division methods course prior to the fall quarter when the honors course begins; alternatively, the consent of the honors program director must be obtained
  • Recommendation from two faculty members familiar with your work
  • Must obtain a faculty advisor to work with prior to the start of the Fall-Winter Honors Program.
    • You will want to secure your faculty advisor prior to applying for the Honors Program.
    • (If needed, the Undergraduate Coordinator or the Director of Undergraduate Studies can help refer you to an appropriate faculty advisor for your project. Please contact Sociology Advising in the Virtual Advising Center in advance of submitting your application).
    • An overview of how to request a faculty advisor can be found below under "Requirements of the Honors Program Application"

Application

Interested students must submit their application online.

Completed applications must be submitted no later than scheduled deadline in the spring quarter prior to the start of the honors program in the fall. If a student will be traveling abroad during their junior year, the deadline for the application still applies, so please make arrangements accordingly. We will provide additional information on enrollment recommendations for Fall Quarter to applicants. 

Requirements of the Honors Program Application

  • Must submit a half page statement with a description of your research topic
    • (There is no character maximum or minimum for the statement, but you will want to convey what your topic is so that we may understand what it is you want to research, why, and potentially how. What would you be looking at for the topic? What motivates your interests? How you think you would execute the research? Etc. We're overall looking for a well thought out statement about your research topic, you don't need the end result in site, just a good overview of what you are looking to research).
  • Must submit a ten-item bibliography with the honors application.
    • Can be bullet points listing the bibliography.
    • Does not need to be a specific format (i.e. APA, MLA). So you are welcome to choose which format to use.
  • Submission of writing sample
    • (e.g., previous final paper, take home exam, similar academic paper).
  • Must obtain recommendations from two faculty members/Professors familiar with your work
    • You will only be requesting that they approve of providing you a recommendation and that they are willing to do so. 
    • A letter of recommendation is not needed for the application
    • The department of Sociology will solicit the recommendation feedback from the faculty you choose. 
    • Select faculty members who may be familiar with your work, or who you have worked with in the past that can provide a strong recommendation for you
  • Must obtain a faculty advisor to work with prior to the start of the Fall-Winter Honors Program. 
    • You will want to secure your faculty advisor prior to applying for the Honors Program. 
    • Information on Requesting a Faculty Advisor to work with you-
      1. It is best to first have your Research Topic statement finalized, or close to being finalized. This way you can present it to a potential faculty advisor and you will know what research interests to look for in a Faculty Advisor
      2. To request a Faculty Advisor you will want to consider which Professor you may want to work with, and who can assist you in your specific topic. For example if your research involves Education, you will want to look for a professor whose research interests include education
      3. Review the Professors and their research interests on the Faculty page of our site (only the Faculty listed on this page may be your faculty advisor)
      4. You will want to look to see if their research or interests align with yours
      5. Next reach out to the faculty that you're interested in working with via email to inquire if they would be available to mentor you for the program, and if your topic would be one that they can assist with (you’re welcome to send them an overview of your research topic statement)'
      6. Faculty may want to schedule a virtual meeting to discuss with you further prior to committing to being an advisor
    • Keep in mind that Faculty Advising will be a two quarter commitment, so some Professors may be unavailable due to prior commitments, or may only be able to take on a certain amount of students for the program

Course Requirements during the Honors Program

The program requires students to take SOCI 196A: Advanced Studies in Sociology and SOCI 196B: Supervised Thesis Research. These two courses can be counted as two elective requirements toward the general sociology major or concentrations. Students choose a faculty adviser to help supervise their thesis research and writing. The honors program director will also assist students in this area and fellow students in the seminar will offer excellent feedback and suggestions. This is a wonderful program that provides participants the opportunity to improve their skills in research and writing. Students planning to go on to graduate school will possess a strong writing sample to submit with their application.

If a participant's GPA in the major falls below 3.5 or their overall GPA falls below 3.2 or if they do not earn at least an "A-" in the program, they will not graduate with honors. However, the two courses will still count as two electives required for the general sociology major or concentrations.

  • Students earning an A+ will graduate "With Highest Distinction."
  • Students earning an A will graduate "With High Distinction."
  • Students earning an A- will graduate "With Distinction."

Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program

The 2020-2021 Research Apprenticeship Program Applications are now closed. 

The Research Apprenticeship Applications will be available in the beginning of Fall Quarter. Please note that the research projects below are for previous years. The 20-21 RA Projects will be released when applications open. Please see the information below regarding requirements and applications. Applications for the 2020-2021 RA program will be opened during FA20.

Research Apprenticeship Program Overview

The Department of Sociology would like to invite motivated students to participate in our two-quarter Research Apprenticeship Program. Students will collaborate with a member of the Sociology Department (Professor or Graduate Student) currently conducting research in their field.

Eligibility

Sstudents must meet the following requirements:

  • Junior Standing
  • Sociology Major GPA of 3.2 or better
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better
  • Completed SOCI 60 and three additional upper division courses in Sociology
Please note that exceptions can be made, particularly with Transfer Students. If in doubt regarding eligibility, please address your questions to the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).


Course Information

Students selected into this program will be enrolled in SOCI 198RA for Winter and/or Spring Quarter. Accepted students must enroll in SOCI 198RA during Winter Quarter. Continuation of SOCI 198RA for Spring quarter will be optional, and available only if both sides (Professor/ Graduate Student and Undergraduate student) agree to continuing research during Spring quarter. These two four-unit courses are eligible to be applied towards your major upper division elective requirement*.

Students must complete 12 hours per week as a research assistant for their assigned mentor in order to complete the course.

Optional: Students may choose to participate in SOCI 109M: Research Reporting, in Spring Quarter using the research gathered in SOCI 198RA. Only students with previous research experience/data are eligible to enroll in this method course. Students enrolled in SOCI 109M will be required to attend a 3 hour seminar each week and present their findings at the end of the course. SOCI 109M will complete the Methods requirement for the major. If you've already taken one instance of a Methods requirement (SOCI 101- SOCI 110), the course will then fulfill an upper division elective requirement for the major.

*If applying SOCI 198RA towards major, students may not apply SOCI 199 or AIP 197 towards their major.

Research Opportunities & Application

Available Research Projects for 20-21: TBA

Students are encouraged to apply to multiple projects if interested; however, students may only accept one research project.

How to Apply:
  1. Review all current Research Projects.
  2. Prepare your resume and a cover letter for each research project you're interested in applying.
  3. Download your Academic History (Under Grades and Transcript Tools)
  4. Apply online and upload all documentation.

               20-21 RA Program Applications are due: TBA

Past Projects

To view a previous years' projects, select the year of interest-

Mexican Migration Field Research Program

The applications for the Mexican Migration Field Research Program (MMFRP) is now open for 2020-2021!

Mexican Migration Field Research Program (MMFRP) Overview


The MMFRP is a unique, year-long program for undergraduate and graduate students who want an in-depth, community-based research practicum focused on international migration and social justice.

Students involved in MMFRP work directly with migrant families and often describe their participation as a life-changing experience. The program satisfies requirements for the Sociology major (two UD electives, & Methods course), international fieldwork and practicum requirements, and makes up most of the Human Rights & International Migration minor.

In 2020-21 MMFRP will continue ongoing work with asylum seekers and deportees at the US-Mexico border. Depending on Covid-19-related guidelines, it may be online or in-person.

Eligibility/ Course Information

To participate, students are required to enroll in a series of classes:

  1. Fall 2020: Sociology 125 – Sociology of Immigration (4 units)
  2. Winter 2021: Sociology/Urban Studies and Planning 188 – Mexican Migration Field Research Practicum (8 units, including travel and fieldwork in Tijuana depending on Covid-19 guidelines)
  3. Spring 2021: Sociology 109M – Research Reporting (4 units)

All three quarters are mandatory, though exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Spanish proficiency is required unless you have spoken to the director and agreed otherwise (see application form for contact information).

Application

The deadline to apply closes on September 30, 2020, and applicants will be notified of their acceptance before the start of fall quarter. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis (Due to numbers we suggest applying early).

To apply-

  1. Please fill out the Application form (including a 250-word personal statement)
  2. And enroll in Sociology 125 for Fall 2020 (please waitlist in the course if it is full)

Check out https://mmfrp.org/ for more information on the program, and to apply.

For questions regarding the courses please contact Sociology Advisors in the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).

Special Studies Courses (SOCI 199 & 198)

Special studies courses give students the opportunity to explore in more detail what they have learned in the classroom. Students engage in field research in a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a faculty member. If a student wants to work individually with a professor, they enroll in SOCI 199, Independent Study. If several students want to work as a team on the same project, they take SOCI 198, Group Independent Study.

Preparation

To enroll in a special studies course, a request must be submitted via the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy) before the end of the add/drop period of a quarter.

Students should meet with a professor who has either performed research in an area they would like to pursue, or a professor whose course they have previously taken and enjoyed prior to submitting the request.

The student and professor will decide together on a project proposal, including the objective, the method by which it will be carried out, and the means of Evaluation (paper, final, etc.).

The following information is needed to submit a request:  

  • Prerequisite course work or knowledge needed for this project
  • The nature of the project
  • How often you will meet
  • How you will be evaluated
  • Supporting documentation will need to be uploaded
    • This can be an overview of your project proposal Including:
      • Aim of Project
      • Methods of project
      • Relevant reading list, etc.

For more details instructions, read the following guide on submitting an EASy request: https://students.ucsd.edu/academics/enroll/special-enrollment/special-studies-classes.html.

Submitting an enrollment request with UCSD's Enrollment Authorization System (EASy)

Once both the student and faculty sponsor have met regarding the EASy Application, the student should submit the completed request for review via the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy) . Once submitted, the Undergraduate Coordinator will then review the request.

Plan early, so that you can allow time for the proposal to be developed, approvals to be obtained, etc. The official university deadline to add classes is Friday of Week 2, however, you will want to submit your Special Studies request well before this. We recommend students to submit Special Studies requests 2-3 business days prior to add/drop period of a quarter.

Special study courses are highly recommended by the department. A special studies course may be used to satisfy an upper-division electives for the major. While students may enroll in more than one SOCI 198/199 in their undergraduate career, special studies courses are taken P/NP, so only one may be used towards the Sociology major. No Special Studies course may be used to apply towards the Sociology Minor.

Academic Internship

Students interested in sociology should consider the possibility of an internship sometime during the course of their undergraduate years. The benefits of an internship are considerable: career sampling, resume enhancement, and personal growth.

Most undergraduates consider several career options before making a final--or not so final--choice. An internship can be used as a device to test a field as part of the process of making a rational decision about one's future. Although internships do not, as a general rule, offer students all the responsibilities associated with full-time jobs, they do not usually involve all of the pressures of a full-time assignment either. What they do offer, however, is an opportunity to get some substantive experience, while observing firsthand the relationship between the content of a career and the lifestyle choices associated with it.

An internship in any field improves the perceived qualifications of a job applicant. It is seen as an indicator of serious interest; it represents an attempt at careful career preparation. If the internship is in the field in which an application for employment is being proffered, the applicant appears to have reached his or her career choice on the basis of a real and positive experience.

Finally, an internship can be a great experience. It is a change from the lifestyle of the university. It usually puts one in contact with persons of more varied age and experience levels than those found in the context of undergraduate life. It offers a taste of "real life." It may serve to confirm a suspected interest. If it does not, it may be of even greater value: it can save a student from seeking a job in an area that he or she might not enjoy.

Preparation

Most internships need to be set up in advance, so be sure to plan ahead by one or two quarters. For more information on internships, visit the UCSD Academic Internship Program or go to the Academic Internship Office located in the literature building. You can also look into other internships offered through the Career Services Center.

An Academic Internship, taken under the course number AIP 197, may be used to satisfy an upper-division elective as long as a student is supervised by a sociology faculty member.

An AIP 197 is taken P/NP so only one may be used toward the major. The course needs to be petitioned to the undergraduate coordinator along with the AIP learning agreement, in order to count toward the major.

UCDC Program

The UCDC Program is an academic internship program providing UC San Diego students with the opportunity to intern for a quarter in Washington DC while enrolling in UC courses and living in the UC Washington Center. This program gives students the opportunity to receive internship credit/experience (POLI 197I) and research seminar credit (SOCE 194) by developing and completing of an independent and significant research project under the supervision of UC faculty, and guided by a teaching assistant.

Preparation

Students interested in this program should visit the UCDC Program page on the AIP website.  Please note that application deadlines are set approximately 2 quarters prior to departure.   

Study Abroad

The Sociology department encourages students to study abroad, either for a quarter or for a full year. UCSD provides three options for studying abroad: EAP, OAP, and Global Seminars.

All courses taken through EAP are considered UC courses for which UC credit is earned and grades are directly recorded on the transcript and are factored into your UCSD overall GPA. However, the Department of Sociology independently determines which courses may be applied to the major. This decision is made in response to a general petition submitted after students return.

In the case of course work completed through OAP, the UCSD Admissions Office is responsible for decisions on the transfer of credits into UCSD and onto the UCSD academic record (transcripts). Credits transferred through the Opportunities Abroad Program appear on UCSD transcripts with course titles and units transferred. Grades from OAP courses will appear on the transcript from the institution where the work was completed, but these grades are not recorded on the UCSD transcript, nor are they factored into the cumulative UCSD grade-point average (GPA). After the admissions office's acceptance of course units, the Department of Sociology independently determines which courses may be applied to the major.

All courses taken on a Global Seminar (GS) program are accredited UC San Diego courses, and grades are factored into your cumulative UCSD GPA. GS courses may also fulfill major, minor or College/GE requirements. The Department of Sociology independently determines which courses may be applied to the major. This decision is made in response to a general petition submitted after student returns.

Preparation

In order to study abroad, students need to consult with the advisors in the Study Abroad Office. Visit Sociology's Study Abroad Information page on the Study Abroad website for details and step-by-step instructions.

Sociology majors may, with permission obtained through student petitions, take up to four required courses for the major while abroad. There is considerable flexibility on the sociology courses that the department will accept. Students are encouraged to take courses that have a sociological approach, not simply those that are just about sociology.

Please Note: The department does not make the decision on a simple "four units earned equal one course" formula. In general, most yearlong courses are more closely equivalent to two 'four-unit' courses than to three 'four-unit' courses (even when year-long courses appear on transcripts as twelve quarter units). Semester courses, which transfer onto the transcript as six-unit courses, do not necessarily become the equivalent of one and a half UCSD sociology courses. More typically, it's one course equivalent per semester course taken.