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How can I do research on the social sciences?

A: Gabe Gilbert '23

The short answer? Easily.

One of the first questions I had after arriving at Dartmouth was how to do non-STEM research. If you know me, you know I'm not a STEM guy. I'm a prospective Linguistics major, and the first place I looked was the department website. After some quick investigating, I found out the name of a Linguistics professor doing research on language revitalization, my area of interest. I emailed him, we set up a meeting, and he gave me some guidance as to some possible subject areas and I've been collecting more and more information and data over the past few terms. I'm thinking of using the preliminary research I've done so far as the springboard for a bigger future project, possibly for academic credit.

And I'm not the only one! A couple of my friends were contacted by a Linguistics professor for research assistant positions because of their demonstrated interest and passion while in the class.  More broadly speaking, I have friends interested in Government and Sociology who both did the same exact thing as me - reach out to professors who have done work in research areas of interest, schedule a meeting, and get researching! It's that simple. All of the professors have been extremely supportive and constantly willing to provide advice and guidance, and in some ways, research in the social sciences means you'll have an independence that lab work doesn't offer all the time.

At Dartmouth, it's very much about what you're interested in. You have complete control over what you want to research, and many professors are here not only because they love to teach, but also because they want to see their students succeed. Reach out, communicate your goals, and the sky's the limit.

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