Loyola University Maryland

Department of Sociology

Student Research

Independent research by students is supported by the Sociology Department in several ways:

  • All students must design an original project and write a formal proposal as a component of the Social Research Methods course (SC342). Some choose to put their designs into action by registering for independent study credit with a specific supporting instructor in a subsequent term.  
  • Many upper-level Sociology courses (SC360-499) require extensive research projects.
  • Some students encounter issues that interest them in the course of their service to the community and approach instructors with ideas that are developed through independent studies.
  • Faculty may also invite students to serve as assistants on ongoing investigations.

Sociology students may enroll for credit to conduct research under the mentorship of a professor in the department.

  • SC340, Individual Study Project
  • SC341, Independent Study in Gender Studies
  • SC498, Forensic Studies Experience

Registration for independent studies requires faculty permission and completion of a form specifying what the student will accomplished during the term. Thus, students interested in undertaking independent research should initiate conversations with faculty about their ideas the term before they are interested in starting.

Students may register for independent study credit for consecutive terms, if completion of a research project requires an extended period.

How can I fund my research?

The Sociology Department does not have funds to support independent student research. However, individual faculty may have research funds that they can use to hire Loyola undergraduates

Loyola University Maryland offers the Kolvenbach Summer Research Grant to foster and encourage research that strengthens and supports the work of non-profit organizations working in Baltimore and the university’s connection to the community. These $3,500 grants are available to the entire College community: undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff and administrators.  Students with research interests that fit within this scope should visit the ORSP site for more information and application instructions.  Research initiated through a Kolvenbach Summer Research Grant could be completed during the Fall term through an independent study course.

Prior sociology student recipients of Kolvenbach grants:

Dominic T. Walker. Community Agency: St. Ignatius Loyola Academy Socialization and Education: Navigating Class and Race in Education, 2012

Governor's Summer Internship Program (GSIP) introduces students to the challenges and rewards of working within Maryland state governmDashante Smith (2nd from right) GSIP 2014 poses with Martin O'Mallyent.  This fellowship program provides the best and the brightest of Maryland’s college students with the opportunity to work full-time in state agencies while being mentored by senior level administrators, such as department secretaries and directors.  Additionally, they attend biweekly seminars to explore all facets of state government, speak with key decision makers, and receive coaching by a UMBC Political Science professor on policy writing.  The fellows work together in groups, applying the knowledge gained in the seminars and at their sites to research and prepare a policy analysis and recommendation.  The program culminates in a celebration at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, where fellows present their policies to the Governor and other key decision makers!  Students are paid a stipend of $3,000 for their participation in the program.

Prior sociology student recipients of GSIP Awards:
Dashante Smith ('15) sociology major, pictured second from right with Governor Martin O'Mally.
Molly Cioffi ('16) interdisciplinary major sociology-psychology.

Where can I present my research?

The Loyola Undergraduate Student Research & Scholarship Colloquium offers students an annual opportunity to present their research orally and via posters and compete for cash prizes. Sociology students have done well in this competition.


 Student Place Mentor(s)
Project Title


 Angelica Puzio  1st  Konradi  Sexual Assault Resource Knowledge: Survey and Analysis


 Joseph Kropff
 1st Hendrick
Observing the Disconnect: Dispensing the Law vs. Experiencing the Law
 Brendan O'Kane
 3rd Ryu
Suicide and White Males
 Tamika Jones
 1st Smith
Racial Group Perceptions and Neighborhood Influence
 2005  Stephanie Golden
 3rd  Smith & Peyrot
 Risk Factors for Recidivism with Juvenile Offenders
 2004 Dana Moss
 2nd  Smith  Print Media and the Gender Socialization of Teenage Girls: A Content Analysis of Seventeen Magazine
 2004  Christina Moorer
 3rd  Peyrot  Racial Health Disparities: African American Women and Low Birth Rate
 2003  Marta Ziola
1st Smith  A Multivariate Analysis of Integration Ideology
 2003  Paul Strock
2nd Peyrot  A Multivariate Analysis of the Effects of Back-White Contact on Racial Preferences Concerning Racial Integration


Regional sociology association meetings also offer presentation possibilities.

The Eastern Sociological Society sponsors a four-day Annual Meeting in the early spring. Undergraduate students may submit papers for the annual meeting, (Photo: Joe Kropff presents in 2014, while Dominic Walker looks on).

The Southern Sociological Society sponsors a professional meeting in the late spring. SSS also offers the Odum Award, which carries a cash prize of $100 and up to an additional $200 toward expenses of attendance at the SSS meeting. The Odum Award recognizes outstanding research papers by undergraduates and graduates in the southern region or by students outside the region whose work is mentored by a current SSS member.  Eligibility: The paper must have only one author and conform to the style guidelines and length conventions of Social Forces. The student author need not be a member of the SSS. It is expected that the author will not have presented the paper at another professional meeting. Papers will be judged on the basis of originality, clarity of exposition, conceptualization and analysis. Faculty are asked to nominate no more than one student paper in each category per year. 

The Mid-South Sociological Association sponsors a professional meeting in the fall. 

The following papers were presented at regional meetings by Loyola sociology undergraduates:

Walker, Dominic. “Life at Prep: Testimonies of Navigating Elite Private High School.” 5th Annual Diversity in Research and Practice Conference, Columbia University, New York, NY. May 2014.

Kropff, Joseph. “Police Offender Profiling,” Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, February, 2014.

Walker, Dominic. “The Code of High School Education.” Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, New York, NY. February 2013.

Moorer, C., Peyrot, M., and Smith, L.  "The Effects of Demographic Factors, Psychosocial Factors, and the Healthcare System on Infant Birth Weight in the United States.”  Eastern Sociological Society, 2004.

Moss, D., Smith, L., and Peyrot, M.  “Print Media and the Gender Socialization of Teenage Girls: A Content Analysis of Seventeen Magazine.”  Eastern Sociological Society, 2004.

Strocko, P., Peyrot, M., Smith, L.,and Ziola, M.  "The Effects of RacialEthnic Contact on Residential Segregation."  Eastern Sociological Society, 2003.

Ziola, M., Smith, L., Peyrot, M., and Strocko, P.  "Contact and Integration Ideology: Analysis of Attitudes toward Racial Inclusion."  Eastern Sociological Society, 2003.

Smith, L., Peyrot, M, and Donnelly, A.  “It Takes a Village: An Examination of the Impact of Neighborliness, Community Organization, and Religiosity on Adult Intervention in Youth Conflicts.”  Eastern Sociological Society, 2001.