College of Arts & Sciences Sociology

Beyond the Classroom

The American Sociological Association has a wealth of information for undergraduate students majoring in sociology, including how to properly cite references in essays and papers, the marketable job skills that majors in sociology gain, how to market these skills and get a job, where recent graduates are working, and how to apply to graduate school and find the right program.

The Midwest Sociological Society welcomes undergraduate student members. Undergraduate student members have an opportunity to participate in the annual meeting by submitting and presenting a paper or poster, compete in the MSS student paper and poster competitions, apply for MSS grants and awards, and participate in the governance of the organization through the election of officers and committee membership.

USD's Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta: the International Sociology Honor Society confers the status of Life Member upon those students who have been approved for membership and who have paid the initiation fee for membership (currently $40.00). The status of Voting Member is conferred upon those Life Members who maintain a current subscription to Sociological Inquiry, the official journal of the United Chapters of Alpha Kappa Delta.

To be eligible for membership, students must:

  1. Be an officially declared sociology major or demonstrate a serious interest in sociology within an "official program" at USD, such as Criminal Justice.
  2. Be at least a junior as defined by USD.
  3. Have accumulated the equivalent of an overall grade point average of 3.3, and the equivalent of a 3.0 GPA in sociology courses taken at USD.
  4. Have completed at least four regular courses in sociology prior to initiation (exclusive of extension courses or courses graded pass/fail).

The sociology program is the home to the USD Beta Chapter of Pi Gamma Mu, "the oldest and preeminent honor society in the social sciences."  Each year, Pi Gamma Mu provides up to 11 scholarships ($1000-$2000) for one year of graduate study. A life-time membership is a one-time fee of $40 and includes a certificate, membership card and a one-year subscription to International Social Science Review.

To be eligible for membership, students must:

  1. Be a junior, senior or graduate student in the upper 35 percent of their classes.
  2. 20 or more semester hours in social sciences.
  3. Overall GPA of 3.0 or better.

Applicants do not have to major in any of the social sciences.

Membership, which is an important credential for admission to graduate programs, can be obtained only through the local chapter. For more information on Alpha Kappa Delta and Pi Gamma Mu, as well as assistance in the application process, contact:
  • Jack Niemonen, Ph.D.
    Professor of Sociology
    Sociology Program Director, Chapter Representative for both Alpha Kappa Delta and Pi Gamma Mu

Are you uncertain about the quality of your paper, poster, or presentation skills? Annual meetings of the Great Plains Sociological Association offer both new and "seasoned" researchers the opportunity to present their findings in an academic, yet comfortable and amiable, setting. Students and professors alike are encouraged to submit their work and participate in the Association's activities. The Association annually releases The Great Plains Sociologist, the official journal of the GPSA. Submissions from students are welcome.