The Society for Social Research (SSR) was founded in the early 1920s by the Department of Sociology as a collegial research group for advanced graduate students and faculty. Over the course of its history, it has served as the intellectual home for many of the classic Chicago School studies, published a book by Georg Simmel, and run numerous academic workshops.

Today's SSR is open to all graduate students in the department and is active in two major areas. The first is the Spring Institute, an annual event in its 82nd year that brings together the University of Chicago Sociology community to attend two days of workshops, speeches, dinners, and the Follies, the annual lampooning of the faculty by the first year cohort. Recent Spring Institute speakers include: John Meyer, Michele Lamont, Claude Fischer, Gerald Suttles, Gary Alan Fine, Donald Bogue, Frances Fox Piven, and Loic Wacquant.

The second area of activity for SSR is as the official representative of the department's graduate students. Through SSR, students are active on commitees from faculty hiring to the future of the program.