Undergraduate Research

An Opportunity to Excel

The Department of Sociology & Criminology offers a unique and dynamic undergraduate research program. Participation is an option available to students interested in expanding their intellectual capacity and taking their studies to the next level. The undergraduate research experience prepares students for a variety of graduate study fields in and beyond the social sciences. Although a number of participants go on to pursue graduate school, the students learn valuable skills that can be applied outside of postgraduate education. These skills include intensive research consistency, effective public speaking, credible presentation delivery, confident self-representation, integrated participation in a group setting, and determined productivity.

How It Works

The program is limited to juniors and seniors, and it lasts one academic year. Students join the group through application and/or nomination process. Approximately twenty students participate in undergraduate research per year. The group meets weekly throughout the year for guidance and support. Participants select and pursue projects that will be presented at a conference. These projects are usually conducted individually, but sometimes with another group member or a professor.

Students may take this course for 1-3 credits. Contact your advisor for more information.


Undergraduate researchers venture to different venues each year. Conferences attended include the Pacific Sociological Association (PSA) annual meeting, the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR), and the Spokane Intercollegiate Research Conference (SIRC).

The PSA is a professional association of sociologists in the Pacific Region of North America. The Association holds an annual meeting in late March or early April and publishes a newsletter, The Pacific Sociologist, and a journal, Sociological Perspectives. Additional information and application materials can be found on the Pacific Sociological Association website.

The NCUR is an interdisciplinary conference where students representing universities and colleges from all around the U.S., and internationally, will present their research and creative works in oral, poster and performance/visual arts presentations. The mission of the NCUR is to promote undergraduate research scholarship and creative activity done in partnership with faculty or other mentors as a vital component of higher education. Additional information can be found on the National Conference of Undergraduate Research website.

The SIRC is a conference where both undergraduate and graduate students in the greater Spokane area and beyond are invited to present original, faculty-advised research in many disciplines. This provides an excellent opportunity for students to present their research for peer review. The research may be original work conducted as part of regular classroom activities or performed outside of class under the direction of a faculty mentor. The standard for quality at SIRC is that the research be suitable for submission to a conference within a specific discipline as determined by a faculty sponsor. Additional information can be found on the Spokane Intercollegiate Research Conference website.

Interested In Undergraduate Research?

Contact Dr. Mike DeLand by email or call (509) 313-5229 for information on the program and the application process.

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