Senior Thesis

Writing an honors thesis offers students the opportunity to execute a substantial independent research project and to be considered for a bachelor's degree with honors by the Department of Sociology. The following guidelines have been established to govern the process of applying for honors and its assessment by the department faculty.

See a Section of Our Past Senior Theses


Admission to the Sociology honors program requires:

Senior Thesis Declaration of Intent:

Tip: Start early! A conversation with a potential faculty supervisor in junior year will help you think through feasible topics and develop a working relationship.

For any further clarification of information contact UAH, Michael Strand .

If you're having difficulty pairing up with a thesis advisor, consult with UAH, Michael Strand or Department Chair, Laura Miller

Continuation in the honors program in the second semester of senior year requires:

If you or your advisor determines not to continue with the thesis in spring term, you must withdraw from the SOC 99 course bureaucratically with the Registrar. Failure to do so by the posted deadlines will create complications for you as you approach graduation. Also, you must ask your thesis advisor to provide the Registrar with a letter grade for fall term if s/he has not already done so. (Most professors report mid‐year thesis grades as "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" to the Registrar.)

Thesis Evaluation

Defining the Standards


An honors thesis must contain all of the following elements:

High Honors

For high honors, the thesis must contain the elements above and also one or all of the following:

In short, high honors are awarded to theses that offer something new to scholars (data, methods and/or theory) beyond the relevant scholarly literature in the topical area(s) of the thesis.

Highest Honors

To receive highest honors, a thesis must meet the above requirements for both honors and high honors and, in the assessment of the thesis committee, be worthy, after some rewriting, of submission to a scholarly journal. 

In short, the highest honors are given only to a thesis that could serve as the foundation for publishable work. 

Additionally, to receive highest honors, the oral defense of the thesis should be assessed as excellent by the thesis committee. 

Research Involving Human Subjects

Tip: Sometimes the IRB makes a decision, but no notification goes out to you. Be sure you follow up on the status of your protocol after the meeting in case you have more work to do.

2022-23 Deadlines

To encourage timely progress, the following set of deadlines is strongly recommended in the research and writing of your thesis: