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Undergraduate Honors in Sociology

Heather Elkins
Undergraduate Advisor
Ballantine 749

2011 Sociology Honors Students

2011 Sociology Undergraduate Honors Students
present their research at Hutton Honors College

1.   How is your honors degree program administered? Is there a specific person who acts as coordinator? Is there a faculty committee?

The Sociology undergraduate advisor is the initial contact for a student interested in the honors program. The undergraduate advisor will put the student in touch with the faculty member who supervises the year-long honors thesis course (usually the Director of Undergraduate Studies). Honors students also select a second reader for their thesis from among the Sociology department faculty.

2.   What are the requirements for admission into your honors program? How are students recruited for your program? May students recommend themselves?

Sociology majors with a 3.5 GPA in sociology and a 3.3 cumulative GPA are eligible to apply. Applications are accepted each spring (link here). The Director of Undergraduate Studies reviews the applications and conducts interviews before making a final decision. Students do not have to have a faculty recommendation to apply.

3.   How does a student graduate with honors from your department?

To graduate with honors in sociology, a student must complete the major with a 3.5 GPA in sociology and a 3.3 cumulative GPA, and must complete an honors thesis in the context of a year-long honors thesis course. Students earn a total of 9 credits for completing the thesis (3 credits each of S495, S498, and S499).

4.   What courses do students take as juniors and before in order to prepare for working on the senior project? How are these honors seminars and courses typically conducted? What are the usual requirements in such courses?

Students are encouraged to take the required theory, methods, and statistics courses before pursuing an honors thesis, along with courses related to their desired honors thesis topic. Students must enroll in the year-long thesis course during their senior year. They will conduct research and write the thesis in this structured, supportive context.

5.   What is the nature of the senior honors thesis and what are the requirements for completing it?

The honors thesis is an empirical research paper based on a research study. It can range in length from 20-30 pages and is completed while taking an honors seminar where analysis and writing issues can be discussed with other honors students and the faculty advisor. Students are required to prepare a formal presentation of the honors thesis in the seminar.

6.   Are there departmental resources available to support internships or research projects related to the senior project?

The Department of Sociology has limited resources to support undergraduate research. Most students in the seminar are eligible for funding through the Hutton Honors College. Please contact the Undergraduate Advisor for more information.

7.   How might the work required for an honors degree be particularly beneficial in future endeavors?

Students participating in the honors program in sociology will benefit in a number of ways. They will:
• Produce an excellent piece of writing, useful for graduate school admissions in any field
• Secure a detailed letter of recommendation for graduate school from a faculty member who had an opportunity to carefully observe their strengths
• Develop skills and build resume for career in marketing, program development, advocacy, counseling, etc.
• Satisfy curiosity—students may choose to research any aspect of society
• Discover if graduate school is the right choice
• Get more integrated into the research side of the sociology department
• Practice presentation skills
• Get intensive feedback on writing
• Participate in an intimate seminar

Apply for the program using this form.

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