Honors/Senior Seminar

Honors (A.B. Sociology & Sc.B. SAR)

In order to be considered for honors, students must (1) be in good standing with the College, (2) have completed at least half of the concentration coursework, and have earned a majority of “A” grades in the concentration. Honors also require a senior thesis, with a recommendation of Honors by the advisor and reader, that demonstrates an understanding of empirical research. The thesis will be directed by a faculty member in Sociology. A second reader will be chosen by the thesis director and the student. Students writing a thesis will enroll in SOC 1950 and will also enroll in SOC 1980 and SOC 1990 during their senior year (SOC 1980 and SOC 1990 do not count toward the 10-13 course requirements for the concentration).

The Senior Seminar

Sociology requires all concentrators to complete a thesis or project in their senior year as a capstone experience. The purpose of the thesis or project is to allow students an opportunity to apply the knowledge they acquired on a topic of their own interests. This capstone experience provides a hands on experience through which students learn what can be done with Sociology. To fulfill the capstone requirement students enroll in SOC 1950 – Senior Seminar during the senior year. This is a one credit course offered in the Fall semester only. The senior seminar is focused on finalizing a senior project or thesis and giving a presentation of the completed work. Participation in this seminar allows each cohort of concentrators to discuss their diverse interests and expose them to the wide range of applications of sociological knowledge.

The senior thesis is supervised by a faculty member who serves as the primary advisor, and one additional faculty member who serves as a reader. The primary advisor and the reader are chosen by the student and approved by the Concentration Advisor. The reader will receive a draft and a finished copy of the student's thesis, which the reader will be responsible to grade. The reader may be involved in the earlier development of the thesis depending upon the arrangement made by the student with the reader. The senior thesis will normally consist of a major research paper. By the end of the sixth semester, students must submit a prospectus of the senior thesis to the Concentration Advisor by uploading your documents through this form no later than May 15th. At the start of the seventh semester students should submit to the Concentration Advisor a proposal (not more than four pages) accompanied by the signature of one faculty member indicating that he or she is willing to serve as primary advisor on the thesis. Only a senior thesis qualifies the student for Honors. A thesis can include one or two semesters of course credit through Senior Thesis/Project (fall semester) and/or Senior Thesis/Project (spring semester). SOC 1980 and SOC 1990 do not count towards the course requirements for the concentrations.

senior project differs from a thesis in its scholarly content and form, and it depends only on the evaluation of the senior seminar instructor (although students may elect to have a faculty advisor for the project, in addition to the senior seminar instructor). Whereas the senior thesis follows the form of a conventional research paper, the project allows a wider array of research and creative outputs, including but not limited to video documentaries, photographic exhibitions, and applied or policy related reports with an off-campus organization. Projects should be complemented by an analytical paper that situates the central subject matter of the project within the context of sociological scholarship.