Special Academic Programs

Outside of upper division Sociology courses, there are various academic programs that students can enroll in/petition to have count towards their major requirements.

Honors Program

The 2019-2020 Honors Program Application is now closed. 

Please see information below regarding requirements and applications. Applications for the 2020-2021 Honors program will be opened during SP20.

Honors Program Overview


The Department of Sociology offers an honors program for students who have demonstrated excellence in the sociology major. Successful completion of the Honors Program enables you to graduate "With Highest Distinction," "With High Distinction," or "With Distinction," depending upon your performance in the program. This program runs fall quarter and winter quarter each year. Enrollment is limited, and the presiding faculty member will make the final decision of acceptance into the program.


Sociology majors may apply to the honors program if they meet the following requirements:

  • Junior or senior standing (90 units completed)
  • 3.5 GPA or better in the major, maintained until graduation
  • Recommendation of a faculty member familiar with your work
  • Must have completed at least four upper-division sociology courses
  • Overall 3.2 GPA or better, maintained until graduation
  • Must have completed SOCI 100 and one upper-division methods course prior to the fall quarter when the honors course begins; alternatively, the consent of the honors program director must be obtained

    Please note that exceptions can be made, particularly with Transfer Students. If in doubt regarding elligibility, please address your question to the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).


Interested students must submit their application online or deliver a hard copy to Sociology Main Office (SSB 401). Completed applications must be in the department office no later than scheduled deadline in the spring quarter prior to the start of the honors program in the fall. If a student will be traveling abroad during their junior year, the deadline for the application still applies, so please make arrangements accordingly.

Course Requirements

The program requires students to take SOCI 196A: Advanced Studies in Sociology and SOCI 196B: Supervised Thesis Research. These two courses can be counted as two elective requirements toward the general sociology major or concentrations. Students choose a faculty adviser to help supervise their thesis research and writing. The honors program director will also assist students in this area and fellow students in the seminar will offer excellent feedback and suggestions. This is a wonderful program that provides participants the opportunity to improve their skills in research and writing. Students planning to go on to graduate school will possess a strong writing sample to submit with their application.

If a participant's GPA in the major falls below 3.5 or their overall GPA falls below 3.2 or if they do not earn at least an "A-" in the program, they will not graduate with honors. However, the two courses will still count as two electives required for the general sociology major or concentrations.

  • Students earning an A+ will graduate "With Highest Distinction."
  • Students earning an A will graduate "With High Distinction."
  • Students earning an A- will graduate "With Distinction."

Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program

The Research Apprenticeship Applications will be available in Week 5 of FA19. Please note that the research projects below are for this 2018-2019 Academic Year. The 19-20 RA Projects will be released when applications open.

The Department of Sociology would like to invite motivated students to participate in our two-quarter Research Apprenticeship Program. Students will collaborate with a member of the Sociology Department currently conducting research in their field.


Students must meet the following requirements:
  • Junior Standing
  • Sociology Major GPA of 3.2 or better
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better
  • Completed SOCI 60 and three additional upper division courses in Sociology
Please note that exceptions can be made, particularly with Transfer Students. If in doubt regarding elligibility, please address your questions to the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).

Course Information

Students selected into this program will be enrolled in SOCI 198RA for Winter and/or Spring Quarter. These two four-unit courses are eligible to be applied towards your major upper division elective requirement*.
Students must complete 12 hours per week as a research assistant for their assigned mentor in order to complete the course.
Optional: Students may choose to participate in SOCI 109M: Research Reporting in Spring Quarter. Only students with previous research experience/data are eligible to enroll in this method course. Students enrolled in SOCI 109M will be required to attend a 3 hour seminar each week and present their findings at the end of the course.
*If applying SOCI 198RA towards major, students may not apply SOCI 199 or AIP 197 towards their major.

Research Opportunities & Applications

Students are encouraged to apply to multiple projects if interested; however, students may only accept one research project.
How to Apply
  1. Review all Research Projects.
  2. Prepare your resume and a cover letter for each research project you're interested in applying.
  3. Download your Academic History (Under Grades and Transcript Tools)
  4. Apply online and upload all documentation.

Mexican Migration Field Research Program

The application process for the Mexican Migration Field Research Program (MMFRP) is now open for 2019-2020! The MMFRP is a unique, year-long program for undergraduate and graduate students who want an in-depth, community-based research practicum focused on international migration.

Students involved in MMFRP work directly with migrant families and often describe their participation as a life-changing experience. Participants may be able to use the MMFRP to satisfy international field experience requirements, obtain data for thesis projects, and expand their publications records.

This year, students will conduct interviews and surveys with deportees living in migrant shelters in Tijuana and with high school students with migration experience at schools in San Diego and Tijuana. The data gathered will shed light on how migration affects families and people’s lives on both sides of the border.

To participate, students are required to participate in a series of classes:

  1. Fall 2018: Sociology 125 – Sociology of Immigration (4 units)
  2. Winter 2019: Sociology/Urban Studies and Planning 188 – Mexican Migration Field Research Practicum (8 units, including travel and fieldwork in Tijuana)
  3. Spring 2019: Sociology 109M – Research Reporting (4 units)

All three quarters are mandatory, though exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Spanish proficiency is highly recommended.

The deadline to apply has been extended to October 1, 2019, and applicants will be notified of their acceptance by the start of fall quarter. To apply, please fill out this google form (including a CV and 250-word personal statement) and enroll in Sociology 125 for Fall 2019 (please waitlist in the course if it is full)

Check out this flyer for more information, and please email alandrews@ucsd.edu  for additional questions.

Special Studies Courses (SOCI 199 & 198)

Special studies courses give students the opportunity to explore in more detail what they have learned in the classroom. Students engage in field research in a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a faculty member. If a student wants to work individually with a professor, they enroll in SOCI 199, Independent Study. If several students want to work as a team on the same project, they take SOCI 198, Group Independent Study.


To enroll in a special studies course, a request must be submitted via the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy) before the end of the add/drop period of a quarter.

Students should meet with a professor who has either performed research in an area they would like to pursue, or a professor whose course they have previously taken and enjoyed prior to submitting the request.

The student and professor will decide together on a project proposal, including the objective, the method by which it will be carried out, and the means of Evaluation (paper, final, etc.).

The following information is needed to submit a request:  

  • Prerequisite course work or knowledge needed for this project
  • The nature of the project
  • How often you will meet
  • How you will be evaluated
  • Supporting documentation will need to be uploaded
    • This can be an overview of your project proposal Including:
      • Aim of Project
      • Methods of project
      • Relevant reading list, etc.

For more details instructions, read the following guide on suibmitting an EASy request: https://students.ucsd.edu/academics/enroll/special-enrollment/special-studies-classes.html.

Submitting an enrollment request with UCSD's Enrollment Authorization System (EASy)

Once both the student and faculty sponsor have met regarding the EASy Application, the student should submit the completed request for review via the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy) . Once submitted, the Undergraduate Coordinatior will then review the request.

Plan early, so that you can allow time for the proposal to be developed, approvals to be obtained, etc. The official university deadline to add classes is Friday of Week 2, however, you will want to submit your Special Studies request well before this. Please submit the request minamally 2-3 buisness days prior to add/drop period of a quarter.

Special study courses are highly recommended by the department. A special studies course may be used to satisfy an upper-division electives. While students may enroll in more than one SOCI 198/199 in their undergraduate career, special studies courses are taken P/NP, so only one may be used towards the Sociology major.

Academic Internship

Students interested in sociology should consider the possibility of an internship sometime during the course of their undergraduate years. The benefits of an internship are considerable: career sampling, resume enhancement, and personal growth.

Most undergraduates consider several career options before making a final--or not so final--choice. An internship can be used as a device to test a field as part of the process of making a rational decision about one's future. Although internships do not, as a general rule, offer students all the responsibilities associated with full-time jobs, they do not usually involve all of the pressures of a full-time assignment either. What they do offer, however, is an opportunity to get some substantive experience, while observing firsthand the relationship between the content of a career and the lifestyle choices associated with it.

An internship in any field improves the perceived qualifications of a job applicant. It is seen as an indicator of serious interest; it represents an attempt at careful career preparation. If the internship is in the field in which an application for employment is being proffered, the applicant appears to have reached his or her career choice on the basis of a real and positive experience.

Finally, an internship can be a great experience. It is a change from the lifestyle of the university. It usually puts one in contact with persons of more varied age and experience levels than those found in the context of undergraduate life. It offers a taste of "real life." It may serve to confirm a suspected interest. If it does not, it may be of even greater value: it can save a student from seeking a job in an area that he or she might not enjoy.


Most internships need to be set up in advance, so be sure to plan ahead by one or two quarters. For more information on internships, visit the UCSD Academic Internship Program or go to the Academic Internship Office located in the literature building. You can also look into other internships offered through the Career Services Center.

An Academic Internship, taken under the course number AIP 197, may be used to satisfy an upper-division elective as long as a student is supervised by a sociology faculty member.

An AIP 197 is taken P/NP so only one may be used toward the major. The course needs to be petitioned to the undergraduate coordinator along with the AIP learning agreement, in order to count toward the major.

UCDC Program

The UCDC Program is an academic internship program providing UC San Diego students with the opportunity to intern for a quarter in Washington DC while enrolling in UC courses and living in the UC Washington Center. This program gives students the opportunity to receive internship credit/experience (POLI 197I) and research seminar credit (SOCE 194) by developing and completing of an independent and significant research project under the supervision of UC faculty, and guided by a teaching assistant.


Students interested in this program should visit the UCDC Program page on the AIP website.  Please note that application deadlines are set approximately 2 quarters prior to departure.   

Study Abroad

The Sociology department encourages students to study abroad, either for a quarter or for a full year. UCSD provides three options for studying abroad: EAP, OAP, and Global Seminars.

All courses taken through EAP are considered UC courses for which UC credit is earned and grades are directly recorded on the transcript and are factored into your UCSD overall GPA. However, the Department of Sociology independently determines which courses may be applied to the major. This decision is made in response to a general petition submitted after students return.

In the case of course work completed through OAP, the UCSD Admissions Office is responsible for decisions on the transfer of credits into UCSD and onto the UCSD academic record (transcripts). Credits transferred through the Opportunities Abroad Program appear on UCSD transcripts with course titles and units transferred. Grades from OAP courses will appear on the transcript from the institution where the work was completed, but these grades are not recorded on the UCSD transcript, nor are they factored into the cumulative UCSD grade-point average (GPA). After the admissions office's acceptance of course units, the Department of Sociology independently determines which courses may be applied to the major.

All courses taken on a Global Seminar (GS) program are accredited UC San Diego courses, and grades are factored into your cumulative UCSD GPA. GS courses may also fulfill major, minor or College/GE requirements. The Department of Sociology independently determines which courses may be applied to the major. This decision is made in response to a general petition submitted after student returns.


In order to study abroad, students need to consult with the advisors in the Study Abroad Office. Visit Sociology's Study Abroad Information page on the Study Abroad website for details and step-by-step instructions.

Sociology majors may, with permission obtained through student petitions, take up to four required courses for the major while abroad. There is considerable flexibility on the sociology courses that the department will accept. Students are encouraged to take courses that have a sociological approach, not simply those that are just about sociology.

Please Note: The department does not make the decision on a simple "four units earned equal one course" formula. In general, most yearlong courses are more closely equivalent to two 'four-unit' courses than to three 'four-unit' courses (even when year-long courses appear on transcripts as twelve quarter units). Semester courses, which transfer onto the transcript as six-unit courses, do not necessarily become the equivalent of one and a half UCSD sociology courses. More typically, it's one course equivalent per semester course taken.