Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Join the Research

Members of our department conduct multidisciplinary research in areas of anthropology, sociology, criminology, social justice and law. Undergraduate students can participate in research projects during Fall, Spring or Summer semesters by registering for an independent study course. While most undergraduate research projects do not provide monetary compensation, they are excellent opportunities to prepare for graduate or professional schools or improve your chances at the job market. Undergraduate students who are interested in current research opportunities should contact listed faculty below via email.

Additional Opportunities

  • Qualified students should also check with the McNair Scholar program for additional assistance in finding research opportunities.
  • Additional opportunities for undergraduate research funding also include the Center for Peacemaking.
  • Our department conducts an annual Research Salon, a student-led conference where interested undergraduate students can present results of their research.


Dr. Louise Cainkar

Dr. Cainkar’s current project is on the resettlement of Afghan refugees, especially women. Contact her for information on paid and unpaid research opportunities available.


Dr. Michael McCarthy

Studies the power and politics of American capitalism through a historical lens. Dr. McCarthy is seeking unpaid research assistants with an interest in the political economy of American capitalism (tasks: literature reviews, making annotated bibliographies, and potentially conducting archival research).


Dr. Jane Peterson

Directs the Archaeology Lab and is currently analyzing artifact collections from historical sites in/around Chicago. See more about Dr. Peterson's lab and research project here.  Opportunities to learn basic artifact processing, analysis, and curation are available.  There are also on-going projects involving both database construction and management as well  building and managing digital image archives available for students.  Work is generally unpaid, but can sometimes be taken for credit as independent study or used senior thesis.

Dr. Aleksandra Snowden

Dr. Snowden is an Associate Professor of Criminology and Law Studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences at Marquette University. She received her PhD in 2012 from Indiana University. Dr. Snowden’s main research interests include (1) the impact of social structure on violence, (2) the role of alcohol availability in violence, and (3) the characteristics of risky facilities that contribute to crime and violence. Dr. Snowden is seeking unpaid research assistants with experience in Geographic Information System (GIS) to study the association between alcohol consumption and crime in Milwaukee.

Dr. Darren Wheelock

Dr. Darren Wheelock is working on multiple projects, some of which offer unpaid and others paid internship positions. His projects include examining the factors that shape homicide sentencing in Wisconsin with Professor Michael O’Hear from the Marquette University Law School. They also include working with CURTO to investigate the juvenile justice system, youth risk assessment tools, and electronic monitoring of juvenile defendants. The last project that can accommodate undergraduate research support is a project to conduct a program evaluation of the Educational Preparedness Program to determine its impact on currently and formerly incarcerated and degree-seeking Marquette students. Interested students should have completed (and received a “B” or better in) their research methods (SOCS/CRLS 3050) and social statistics (SOCS 2060 or an equivalent statistics course) coursework.