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Special Project & Research Information

Description of Special Projects / Research Experience

The Special Project entails a student working with a full-time Social Science faculty member to provide a culminating experience for the student majoring in one of the Social Sciences. The project may include writing a thesis paper, conducting research, or some other academic work that is negotiated between the student and faculty member.

Students majoring in Health & Behavioral Science, Psychology, Social Sciences, Sociology or Political Science must take either Special Projects (SOS 4301) or Field Experience (SOS 4380) in order to graduate (course exemptions to this requirement may be acceptable for Social Sciences, Sociology and Political Science, see the discipline coordinator for information).

Student Eligibility for Special Projects

Students eligible for Special Projects are junior or senior-level students (60 semester credit hours) in good standing (2.0 GPA).

Faculty Eligibility for Special Projects

Full-time faculty in the Social Sciences are eligible to supervise a student’s project. Adjunct faculty cannot supervise a special project.


1. The student locates a faculty member willing to supervise a project. The student and faculty member meet and discuss the details of the project. The project can take various forms (for example, it could entail library research or field research and may include several small papers or one large term paper), the form of which is dependent upon the individual faculty member with whom the student works. Once an agreement for a project is reached between the student and faculty member, the student and faculty member should produce a written project plan which briefly describes the project, course assignments, and meeting requirements, if any.

2. The student gathers and completes the following:

3. Once all forms are completed and signed, where needed, by the student and faculty member, the student emails all the required forms to the Assistant Chair (or if unavailable, to the Chair) of the Social Sciences Department. The Assistant Chair will review the forms. If not approved, the Assistant Chair will notify the student by email. If approved, the Assistant Chair will sign the approval form and open a slot for the student to register in the course. Once a slot is opened, the student may register for the course. Students should take note that finding a faculty member, negotiating a project, and completing the required documents takes time and should begin this process one semester prior to the one in which the project is to be done.

Grade & Deadlines

Work is to be turned in to the faculty member as determined by the professor but must be prior to the last day classes meet for that semester (before reading days).