Qualifying for Honors

TO:         Sociology Senior Majors
FROM:  Greg Goldberg, Chair
RE:         Qualifying for Honors in Sociology

The Department of Sociology offers a two-semester Honors Thesis Seminar (SOC 405-406) supervised by a member of the sociology department faculty who serves as thesis advisor for students enrolled in the seminar. Students selected for participation in the seminar work individually with the seminar advisor and meet weekly with other thesis writers in a process directed toward the formulation and production of an original piece of imaginative and sophisticated scholarship. Consideration focuses on the potential for successful completion of a project that is both creative and well-formulated.

The Sociology Department’s yearlong Thesis Seminar proceeds in three stages:

Stage 1. Students will submit a writing sample that will be used to evaluate a candidate’s potential for successful completion of an Honors project. Please note that this writing sample is not a prospective Thesis proposal. Rather it is a completed work, selected by the student and chosen to reflect the student’s best work, i.e., the work of which the student is most proud. The central considerations for evaluation of the sample are formal, not substantive and, as a result, the student writing can be drawn from any creative context, including but not limited to, coursework completed in Sociology of elsewhere. There is no prescribed number of pages required for the submission.

Students who wish to be considered for the enrollment in the Honors Thesis Seminar will submit a PDF file of the writing sample by the end of the first week of April.

Writing Samples should be emailed to Professor Courtney Patterson-Faye, cpatterson@wesleyan.edu. Please include THESIS SEMINAR WRITING SAMPLE—all caps—in the subject line of the email.

Stage 2. In most instances, the petition process includes an interview, either on-campus or virtual, with the professor leading the seminar in order to explore tentative ideas for thesis topics and discuss the nature of the commitment required for completion of an independent Honors Thesis. Candidates will be contacted directly in order to schedule an interview.

Stage 3. Enrollment in the two-semester Thesis Seminar is managed as a POI course. Successful candidates will be formally enrolled in the seminar (and, thus, in the university-managed Honors College administrative system) during add/drop at the start of senior year.

Department faculty may also elect to work with a senior major toward completion of an honors thesis outside of the context of the Thesis Seminar. Independent thesis tutorials are established at the discretion of members of the sociology department faculty.