Independent Research Course

Independent Research Course

Sociology has a few courses with an E indicator. You do not enrol in these courses using ROSI, but instead enrol through the Department of Sociology. One type of E course is the "permission of the instructor" courses. 

The following describes the enrollment procedure for Independent Research courses.

General Information

Independent Research courses allow students to pursue a specific topic of interest. These courses are offered at the 300- and 400-level, and as full or half courses. Students work independently with a professor in the Department who acts as research supervisor. There are no formal class meetings, lectures, or readings other than what is agreed to with the supervisor.

Professors accept supervisory responsibility at their discretion. They are not required to serve as research supervisors. It is recommended that students approach a professor working in the same subdiscipline of sociology. Often students become interested in a topic through a SOC course and approach the instructor of that course for supervision; however, this is not required.

See Contact information for instructors.


  • Students must have completed 10.0 courses towards their degree and have completed a 200 level SOC course to be eligible for a 300-level Independent Research.
  • Students must have completed 15.0 courses towards their degree and have completed a 300 level SOC course to be eligible for 400-level Independent Research.

Restrictions on taking Independent Research courses

  • There is a limit of 1.0 total courses in Independent Research with the same research supervisor.
  • There is a limit of 2.0 total courses in SOC Independent Research.
  • Students cannot take a course having the same number more than once.


Method is determined together with the research supervisor at time of application, and is subject to approval by the Department of Sociology.


It is inadvisable to have all of the final mark depend on one piece of work due at the end of the term. We recommend that at least one significant assignment be graded and returned before the last date to withdraw from courses.

Regular meetings between student and supervisor are recommended to monitor research progress.


  1. Students must select their own research topic and then seek a supervisor. In some cases the topic originates from professors, who usually recruit interested students from their courses.
  2. Enlist the assistance of a professor in the Department of Sociology to serve as your research supervisor. This step may require a more specific statement of the scope and objectives of your research. This process may require some discussion and preliminary reading on your topic. Do not leave it until the last minute.
  3. Decide on the weight (full or half course) and the level (300- or 400-level). Bear in mind that this decision will determine the academic standard at which your work will be evaluated.
  4. Decide on the duration (Y/F/S) of the course. This will affect the hours per week you are expected to dedicate to the research, working independently. Determine the supervisor's availability during the duration of the research to ensure it will be adequate for your needs.
  5. Together with your supervisor, complete the research contract.
  6. Students do not need to enrol in these courses using ROSI; the Department will handle enrolment.
  7. The deadline to submit your form is the first day of classes of the session in which you wish to enrol in Independent Research.

You can obtain a SOC Independent Research Form:

The form is self-explanatory. Your form MUST be signed by yourself and by the supervisor. Submit the completed form to the Department by one of the following methods (we cannot accept faxed or e-mailed forms):

  • In person, by bringing the form to the Department of Sociology. You do not need to see the advisor; your form may be left at the front desk, addressed to the Sociology undergraduate office; or
  • By mailing your form to the Sociology undergraduate office, 725 Spadina Avenue, Room 284, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2J4.
The deadline to submit your form is the first day of classes of the session in which you wish to enrol in Independent Research