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 (humankind), 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.

Criteria for Membership and 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. The criteria for membership are:

  • 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 should send their college transcript (an unofficial one is fine) to Professor Swingle with all sociology courses highlighted. The department will verify that you meet the criteria and then nominate you to the national AKD office. The deadline this academic year to send your college transcript to Professor Swingle is Friday March 19, 2021. 

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.