The Honors Program
The Honors Program in Sociology consists of advanced independent study under the direction of a faculty supervisor, culminating in the completion and presentation to the department of an honors thesis. A major who successfully completes an honors thesis in sociology will also satisfy the culminating experience in the major. The program is open to any major who satisfies the minimum college honors requirements, including a 3.0 GPA overall, has a 3.3 GPA in the major, and has completed all theory and methods requirements for the major prior to submission of the thesis proposal.
Thesis Writing Timeline
- A written thesis proposal must be submitted to that advisor no later than the end of the third week of Fall '16.
- At the end of your first term of Socy 98 (end of Winter '17), your progress towards completion of the thesis is evaluated by your advisor and the rest of the department.
- The preliminary draft of the thesis is due no later than the end of the fifth week of Spring '17.
- Once revisions have been made the final draft of the thesis is due no later than the end of the eighth week of Spring '17.
Preparing for the Honors Thesis
Toward the end of the junior year a prospective honors major should identify a faculty member in the department who is willing to serve as a thesis advisor in order to discuss the proposed thesis. Advisors must confirm that they will be on campus during the two terms in which the student takes Sociology 98, i.e., sociology honors credits, unless other arrangements are made. A written thesis proposal must be submitted to the advisor no later than the end of the third week of the third term or prior to graduation, and preferably earlier. After the proposal has been approved by the advisor and a copy filed with the department the student is accepted into the honors program.
In thinking through the possibility of doing a senior thesis, much helpful information can be gleaned from the Thesis Guide written by Morgan Matthews '15.
The Thesis Writing Process
All honors majors must take Sociology 98 twice for thesis credit during the senior year, although exceptions may be permitted. Because only one term of Sociology 98 counts as one of the seven additional courses numbered 10 or higher that are required for completion of the major, taking a second term of Sociology 98 means that Honors students will typically take at least 12 course credits in sociology. At the end of the first term of Sociology 98 the student's progress toward the completion of the thesis is evaluated by the advisor in consultation with the department. If satisfactory progress is not being made, then the thesis project may be terminated and a grade given for the first term of thesis credit. (See the departmental handout, "The Sociology Honors Program," for more detailed information.)
A preliminary draft of the thesis must be turned into the thesis advisor no later than the end of the fifth week of the second term of Sociology 98, and preferably earlier. Once revisions have been made, three (3) copies of the completed thesis (one bound and two unbound) must be turned into the thesis advisor no later than the end of the eighth week of the second term of Sociology 98. The thesis will be graded by the thesis advisor and a second reader appointed by the department. Students receiving a B+ (3.33) or higher on the thesis will receive honors recognition in the major. High honors may be awarded by faculty vote for truly exceptional work.
Students interested in participating in the program should obtain the pamphlet "The Sociology Honors Program" from the Department Office.