The department welcomes students with international interests and encourages them to study abroad for one or two semesters. We accommodate such students by permitting them to take required courses out of sequence and allowing them to use transfer credits from overseas institutions to fulfill some requirements of the major. Typically, Sociology majors are allowed to satisfy up to 2 courses toward the major during each semester abroad. Interested students should consult with their faculty advisor and should also contact the Cornell Study Abroad Program for further information.
IMPORTANT: It is not hard to find courses at overseas institutions that will satisfy elective requirements for the major; the department routinely counts non-sociology courses from these institutions as sufficiently “sociological” to merit transfer credit. However, sociology majors should bear in mind that it can be difficult to find substitutes for the required course Sociology 3010. This can create some scheduling complications. Students who wish to go abroad in their junior year and return to write an honors thesis in their senior year should take Sociology 3010 before they go abroad.
Research Opportunities for Undergraduates
Qualified sociology majors are invited to participate with faculty members in conducting research. Such projects are usually initiated in one of two ways: the student may offer to assist the faculty member in an ongoing project, or the student may request that the faculty member supervise the execution of a project conceived by the student. In either case, the student should enroll in Sociology 4910 (Independent Study). Interested students may direct inquiries to member of the Sociology faculty.
Up to two independent study courses (including SOC 4910 and SOC 4950/4960 for the honors thesis), taken for at least 3 credits, may be counted as elective courses toward the fulfillment of the Sociology major.
Funding for Undergraduate Research
There are a number of sources of financial support for undergraduate research. These sources can support both independent study as well as honors research. Although there are no guarantees that a particular project will receive financial support, experience suggests that students with a reasonable topic and a well-documented proposal can obtain funds to cover their research expenses. Below are listed different funds that have, in past years, been available to undergraduate students. In all cases, please apply as early as possible in order to increase your chances of receiving funds.
- The College of Arts and Sciences through its Undergraduate Research Program has long encouraged its students to gain first-hand experience in research, or whatever form discovery takes in the discipline that interests them. For more information, contact David DeVries, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and the contact person for the Undergraduate Research Program.
- Special programs, such as the Presidential Research Scholar Program and the Mellon Mays Fellows Program, also provide support to carry out an approved project that a student has designed with the help of faculty experts in the field.
- Students interested in international studies should contact the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies for funding opportunities. The various areas studies programs within the center, such as the Institute for European Studies provide some undergraduate research support.
- Cornell Career Services supports undergraduates who wish to apply for prestigious fellowships. These fellowships typically provide support for research and study in the year following receipt of a bachelor’s degree, although some, such as the Truman Scholarships, are awarded to juniors who then receive awards in their senior years.
Statistics Tutoring for Seniors
Senior majors in the Department who are working on honors theses or who are working with faculty members on research projects can request help with learning statistical packages – such as SPSS or Stata – that facilitate data analysis. Advanced PhD students in the Department are available to serve as tutors in the basics of operating these programs (e.g., inputting data, saving and opening files, executing basic statistical tests). Contact Sue Meyer if you would like to request this service.
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