Skip to content

Main Navigation

Do you want to go to graduate school? Would you like to get experience doing research?

Conduct an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

This is typically done over two semesters during your junior or senior year resulting in a polished research paper. Students can either develop and conduct their own research project or do independent research on a faculty member’s project.


To begin a senior thesis you must have

  • completed SOC 3111 (research methods) and SOC 3112 (social statistics)
  • received approval for your senior thesis project from a faculty member who will supervise and guide your research and writing

You can start your senior thesis in spring, summer or fall semester.


  • Enroll in one semester of SOC 3877 Senior Thesis Research 1
  • Enroll in SOC 4877 Senior Thesis Research 2 during the second semester of your thesis research (strongly recommended)

NOTE: Some faculty mentors will only agree supervise a thesis if you commit to enrolling for two semesters. A polished written paper needs to be submitted for approval by your faculty mentor.

Opportunities for thesis writers

  • Undergraduate Research Scholars Designation
  • Funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program

See information below for details on both opportunities.


After identifying a faculty mentor please complete the application form with a brief description of your research project and the mentor’s signature. Submit the form and a copy of your transcript to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Claudia Geist (scan the form or submit a hardcopy).

Senior Thesis Application

noelia juarez with her research poster


The UROP assistantship pays students up to $1200 for one semester to conduct a research project.


Any undergraduate student

  • with at least a 3.0 GPA
  • who is registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours during the semester of the award
  • who is eligible for employment at the University of Utah

You will also need an idea of what you want to study and a faculty mentor who will supervise your project and provide guidance.

 Learn more about UROP

elizabeth izampuye with her research poster


This prestigious designation will appear as an award on your official transcript upon graduation.


Any undergraduate student who has

  • worked with a faculty mentor on research for at least two semesters (i.e., thesis or UROP project)
  • published their work (e.g., Undergraduate Research Abstracts Journal)
  • presented their research at a professional research meeting (e.g., Undergraduate Research Symposium)

If you are interested in this opportunity, contact Claudia Geist, Director of Undergraduate Studies.


Last Updated: 8/23/19