Honors Guidelines

Completing an honors thesis under the guidance of a faculty member in the department offers students a unique opportunity to explore a topic of special interest and further hone research and writing skills. Honors projects may be based solely on an analysis and synthesis of secondary sources or may integrate secondary and primary data collection and analysis. Successful projects develop out of students’ intellectual passions, self-directed research efforts and determination, willingness to seek out the particular expertise of faculty members, ability to listen to advice and revise and rework ideas within the framework of these standards and deadlines.

(Please note: the Sociology Department has recently made some changes to the Honors process, so please read carefully).

To earn Honors in Sociology, a student is required to complete a written project of roughly 30 pages that is based on independent research and demonstrates the ability to clearly articulate a research question, critically synthesize and evaluate various theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches, sustain an argument with appropriate evidence, and situate findings into key sociological debates. Research projects may be based solely on an analysis and synthesis of secondary sources or may integrate secondary and primary data collection and analysis. Honors work requires students to work creatively and independently. Students considering honors work are strongly encouraged to apply for a summer research fellowship before their senior year. 

An Honors Project usually involves two semesters of independent study under the direction of a faculty advisor. Interested students must submit a proposal in the spring of their junior year. Proposals are due April 29th, 2022. Students interested in Honors work should consult a Department faculty member to express their interest and get advice on their project and proposal well ahead of this deadline.  For full Honors Guidelines, click here.

Honors projects are rigorous endeavors that require a lot of time and resources. For these reasons, students considering honors work are strongly encouraged to apply for a variety of research fellowships offered by the College and department in the spring of their junior year.