Undergraduate Research Experience (SONA)

As you progress in the Criminal Justice major, you will learn about research in many areas of criminal justice. To enhance your understanding of the nature of social science research, it is important that you get some first-hand experience with research. For that reason, students are required to have direct experience with social science research.

Students enrolled in these sections are required to engage in research experience.

Course Section Course Title Instructor
CJ 1310 251 INTRO TO CJ Raymie Payne
CJ 1310 252 INTRO TO CJ Brian Reyes
CJ 1310 253 INTRO TO CJ Taylor Polk
CJ 1310 254 INTRO TO CJ Meagan Robbins
CJ 3346 253 RESRCH IN CRIM JST Jeffrey Bumgarner
CJ 3346 254 RESRCH IN CRIM JST Doyoung Kim
CJ 3346 255 RESRCH IN CRIM JST Alyssa Shallenberger
CJ 3347 251 STATS FOR CRIM JUS Lucia Summers
CJ 3347 252 STATS FOR CRIM JUS Tayte Olma
CJ 3347 253 STATS FOR CRIM JUS Emily Spivey
CJ 3347 255 STATS FOR CRIM JUS Hunter Martaindale
CJ 3347 256 STATS FOR CRIM JUS Wesley Smith
CJ 3347 257 STATS FOR CRIM JUS Matthew Logan

How to Participate

There are two options for gaining this research experience: one involves participation in research studies whereas the other does not.

Option 1: Volunteer as a Research Participant

If you are 18 years of age or older, you are eligible to participate in studies (the age restriction is due to federal policy). Your participation in studies will give you a chance to have direct contact with research. 

Participation in studies at Texas State University that require 29 minutes or less are worth 1 credit; studies that take between 30-59 minutes are worth 2 credits; studies that take between 60-89 minutes are worth 3 credits; studies that take between 90-119 minutes are worth 4 credits. 

The number of credits will be noted in the study description that you see when you sign up. Only studies approved by the criminal justice department qualify for credit (they will be listed in SONA). In addition, paid studies cannot be used to satisfy the Research Requirement.

  1. Visit the SONA website and log in with your Texas State credentials.
  2. Choose the course for which you want your credits to apply.
  3. Look up studies that fit your schedule.
  4. Keep your own record of the studies you participate in. 
  5. You may need to periodically check in to Sona to see what studies are available. Study availability will change throughout the semester at each researcher’s discretion. Do not wait until the last minute to complete studies as this will limit what options you have available.

Option 2: Research Article Summaries

As an alternative to participating in a research study, you may also demonstrate direct contact with research by submitting a written summary of a research article published in Volume 61 (any issue) of the journal Criminology or Volume 19 (any issue) of Journal of Experimental Criminology. Each 500-word written summary is worth 2 credits.

  1. Download the article(s) from the online library database.
  2. Read and summarize the article. Each summary should include a description of the research problem, the theory being tested, the methodology used, the findings, and how the study contributed to social science research. 
  3. Papers should be written in complete sentences using your own words, avoiding direct quotes.
  4. Each summary should be two typed, double spaced pages totaling approximately 500 words with one-inch margins and 12-point font.
  5. Submit article summaries to sonasystem4cj@txstate.edu by the research experience deadline. You must include your name, class and section number, and your professor’s name in the subject line. You must also include the APA reference for the article you are summarizing in the body of the email.

You must complete four research experience credits by Wednesday, May 1, 2024 by 5pm. To obtain research experience credits by participating in a research study, please log in to the Criminal Justice SONA website.

Students will be able to log in on the first day of class. However, it is at each researcher’s discretion when they post studies. Therefore, students should frequently log in to see what studies are available.

Questions about SONA?

You can email us with any SONA-related questions.