Qualifying for Honors

TO:         Sociology Senior Majors
FROM:    Mary Ann Clawson, 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.  Qualifying students who are 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.

For students participating in the department Honors program, the Thesis Seminar fulfills the Senior Research requirement.  All other Sociology majors fulfill that requirement through completion of an Advanced Research Seminar.  Majors may enroll in an Advanced Research Seminar as seniors or second-semester juniors.

Enrollment in the Honors Thesis Seminar is selective and the Thesis Seminar is POI.  Actually enrollment in the seminar occurs during add/drop in the fall semester of the senior year.  Review of honors candidacy is not completed until well after the close of spring semester pre-registration.  Therefore, rising seniors interested in the honors thesis program should pre-register for a full schedule of courses as if completion of the major will not include the thesis seminar. 

Participation in the honors program is based on a comprehensive review of student performance in the sociology major and, in most instances, an individually scheduled informal meeting with an honors thesis seminar advisor to discuss participation in the honors program. Consideration focuses on the potential for successful completion of a project that is both creative, well-formulated and creatively formulated and executed honors project.

All rising senior majors interested in qualifying for the Honors Thesis Seminar are encouraged to attend the annual spring Thesis Seminar meeting hosted by the Thesis Seminar advisor.  Each spring, senior majors are notified of the date/time/place of the meeting and the meeting is open to all majors.  Attendance at this meeting is the mandatory first step towards participation in the honors program provides the best opportunity for students to ask questions and gain a fuller understanding of the thesis process.  The meeting is usually scheduled after the annual spring due date for honors theses completed by graduating seniors.

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

Thesis: based on (a) a record of distinction in course work and (b) completion of the two-semester senior thesis seminar, SOC 405/406, culminating in a thesis project which receives a grade of Honors or higher.