Qualifying for Honors

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. To apply to write a Sociology Honors project, students will submit a brief application that includes a writing sample that will be used to evaluate a candidate’s potential for successful completion of an Honors project.

  • The application link (along with a FAQ sheet) has been sent out to all rising seniors. Along with general information, the application asks students to briefly outline a potential thesis topic, including theoretical frameworks and methods (qualitative/quantitative; interviews, surveys, secondary analysis, comparative study, or any other approach) that they consider essential to its completion. Responses should be clear and concise, and students should recognize that the project may/will change substantially. The thesis seminar encourages students to formulate an original piece of imaginative and sophisticated scholarship, so they should use the application to demonstrate their creativity, cohesiveness, and clarity.

  • Uploaded with the application, the writing sample should be a well-written, completed piece of work (in Sociology or elsewhere) that best represents the student’s voice and style of writing. The sample should not be a research proposal nor exceed 10 pages.

Students who wish to be considered for enrollment in the Honors Thesis Seminar should complete the application at the aforementioned link by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Monday, April 15, 2024. Late applications will not be accepted.

Questions about the thesis seminar and its application can be emailed to Professor Courtney Patterson-Faye at cpatterson@wesleyan.edu. Please be sure to refer to the FAQ that has been distributed for more information. 

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.

Double-filing theses

Double-majors who are completing honors theses/projects for another department on campus can request to have their thesis considered for honors in Sociology. In this case, the student must complete a thesis tutorial with a member of the Sociology Department for at least one semester their senior year.