SOAN students have multiple opportunities to learn, apply, and present original, independent research. Sociology & Anthropology students take both SOAN 298 Social Research and SOAN 299 Ethnographic Methods to administer surveys, conduct interviews, engage in participant observation, mapping, and other forms of social research. In SOAN 299, students develop, execute, and write up an original ethnographic project. SOAN majors also complete a senior thesis, which can be augmented with empirical work through SOAN 491 Senior Research Seminar.



Above: Emma Erler presents her senior thesis, which focused on research data collected during her junior year semester abroad in India, at the SOAN Research Symposium.


  • Many SOAN majors build on their classroom research experience to do independent summer research through the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Summer Research Fellowship. This grant provides funding that allows students to conduct 10 weeks of independent research.
  • In addition to our methods and thesis courses, many SOAN elective courses are built around experiential research projects, including Visual & Media Anthropology (SOAN 308), Migrants in the Global City (SOAN 377), and Indonesia & Southeast Asia in Cultural Context (SOAN 312).
  • Many SOAN majors present their original research at professional conferences, such as the Pacific Sociological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology.
  • The SOAN Research Symposium provides an annual forum for the presentation of original student research, including senior theses, summer research, and conference presentations.