Student Opportunities

Off-Campus Study

Although you may not presently want to take the time off to further your education in an off-campus program, it is something to consider and plan for in your schedule. Taking time for an off-campus program may help expand your thinking beyond a purely academic approach to sociology, and help you understand what it really means to "study" another culture. Many off-campus programs in other parts of the world are available through international study and exchange programs. If you are creative, you can put a social scientific slant into almost any program you choose. You can get information about these and other off-campus programs from the Office of International Study/Exchange.

Presentations, Conferences, and Awards

Much of sociology consists of discussion and debate about research. As an undergraduate there are a number of ways you can take part in this exchange of ideas. The Department will keep majors informed about student conferences and contests to which you can submit papers. Also, if you would like to publicly present some work you have done, or perhaps share your off-campus study experiences with the Wellesley community, talk to the chair of the department about setting up a special colloquium. Take the plunge!

Wellesley College has grant money available to support student travel to conferences and student research with faculty members. Students who wish to apply for a travel or research grant should fill out an application form. To read more about these grants and the application process, go to

In addition, the department offers the Alpha Kappa Delta award for an outstanding senior in sociology. This prize is awarded at graduation.

Alpha Kappa Delta Honorary Society at Wellesley College

The Wellesley Sociology Dept is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, the international Sociology Honor Society. AKD was founded in 1920 in the Sociology Department of the University of Southern California by Dr. E. S. Bogardus. The name Alpha Kappa Delta represents the first three letters of three Greek words: anthropon (mankind), katamanthanein (to investigate thoroughly or to conduct research), and diakonesein (for the purpose of service). There are more than 500 AKD chapters across the nation and membership is limited to undergraduate (and graduate) students with high academic achievement. Once you are inducted into AKD, you become a lifetime member. The Wellesley College Sociology Department's criteria for membership are detailed below.

Procedure for Application

Juniors and seniors are eligible for membership as long as they meet the minimum requirements set by the national AKD office and additional requirements set by the Wellesley Sociology Department. Individual students who believe they have met the minimum requirements for membership should contact the professor in the department designated to handle AKD matters (currently Professor Joe Swingle is the department's AKD chapter representative).

It is critical that eligible students take the initiative in contacting the Sociology Department because the Registrar's Office does not calculate major-specific GPAs and lacks the resources to provide the Sociology Department with this information on a regular basis. Students will be asked to provide a current Wellesley transcript to facilitate the verification process. The transcript does not need to be an official transcript - an unofficial one will suffice.

Criteria for Membership

  • Junior or senior standing.
  • Sociology major or minor.
  • At least 5 graded courses in the major, 2 of which must be among the required core courses for the major (190, 200, 201, 301). Courses taken C/NC will not count towards this 5-course requirement.
  • A minimum Sociology GPA of 3.50.
  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.50.

Students who meet these criteria may contact the Sociology Department requesting AKD membership at any time during their junior or senior years. New student membership applications will be submitted by the Sociology Department to the national AKD office twice a year (November and April). Again, once you have earned AKD membership it is yours for a lifetime.

Class of 2020 students who wish to be considered for election to AKD should contact Professor Swingle no later than March 15, 2020. 

For academic year 2019-2020, students should contact Professor Swingle by October 1, 2019 or March 15, 2020.

For more information, see the AKD website.

The Freedom Project

The Freedom Project at Wellesley College is dedicated to the exploration of the idea of freedom in all of its manifestations, but especially in the tradition of Western classical liberalism and its continuing influence and relevance in the modern world.

For more information, see The Freedom Project website.