Research and Teaching

Each year some undergraduates experiment with teaching as a career by joining Teach for America or working in another educational setting in which they can gain teaching experience. Others go directly into master’s and doctoral programs in sociology and related fields. The PhD. degree can lead to positions in college and university teaching as well as in nonprofit organizations, consulting firms, and government agencies that need research and analysis. All of the sociology courses offered in the department are good preparation for this career pathway. We recommend that students also take Soc 4981 Honors Research, where they spend one or two semesters on an in-depth research project. Our theory and methods courses are especially good preparation, too. Courses in theory and methods are listed below. See the catalog for more details, and see YES for current offerings.

  • Soc 2100 Statistics for Social Scientists
  • Soc 3001 Sociological Perspectives
  • Soc 3002 Introduction to Social Research
  • Soc 3003 Research Practicum

The Honors Program
Writing an honors thesis is the single most important learning experience you can have in college. Not only will you develop expertise in an area of interest, but you will also gain the research and writing skills necessary to translate that expertise into an independent and creative project. In addition to being personally rewarding, writing a successful thesis will help position you both for graduate school and for the job market. It will also allow you to test out how much you enjoy research as a possible career.

Sample Alumnae and Alumni Careers

  • Abigail Gravenhost (BA 2012) is Research Associate at Economists Incorporated (Washington, DC), a firm that does policy analysis
  • Ethel Mickey (BA 2012) is in the Ph.D. program in sociology at Northeastern University
  • Jinsu Sohn (BA, 2012) is in the School of Nutrition, Columbia University, and plans a career in research
  • Amy Cooter (BA, 2005) is finishing her PhD in sociology at the University of Michigan. With the generous support from a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, she conducted more than three years of fieldwork with the Michigan Militia, and she is writing about what the group can tell us about lower-middle class, white men’s understandings of nationalism, politics, race, and masculinity.

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