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Christine L. Williams, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Sociology Honors Program

Each department and program in the College of Liberal Arts offers its majors the opportunity to graduate with Departmental Honors.  To do so, students must complete their department’s Honors program, which involves conducting original research and writing a thesis under the supervision of a departmental faculty member.  Theses are typically longer and more in depth than papers written for other undergraduate classes.  Honors students often regard writing a thesis as one of the most meaningful and intellectually stimulating experiences of their college careers.

Sociology Honors is a double-semester program during which students write a thesis under the supervision of a member of the Sociology faculty and a “second reader,” who can come from any department in the University.  Honors students also attend a seminar during both semesters, which meets for an hour twice weekly.  The seminar is taught by Dr. Penny Green, the Sociology Honors Advisor.  Its purpose is to provide support, resources, and assistance relevant to successfully completing a Sociology Honors Thesis.  The seminar also strives to build a close mentoring relationship between first and second semester Honors students, thereby creating a genuine community of young scholars.

Sociology majors interested in participating in Sociology Honors should contact Dr. Green as early as possible, and no later than the first semester of their junior year.  This early contact insures that Honors prerequisites are scheduled far enough in advance to allow students to complete Sociology Honors and still graduate in a timely manner. This initial meeting is also useful in terms of acquainting interested students with Sociology Honors and helping them identify potential thesis supervisors, based on their academic interests.

Students are admitted to Sociology Honors in both the spring and fall semesters.  Dr. Green begins reviewing applications for and making decisions on spring admissions on September 15.  Consideration of fall applications begins on March 1.  Assuming Honors slots are still available, applications received after those dates are considered on a first-come, first-served basis, until all available spaces are filled.  Applicants must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and a Sociology GPA of at least 3.5.  They must have completed SOC 302 (Intro to Study of Society) and SOC 317L (Statistics) before their first semester in Honors.  Applicants must also have completed SOC 317M (Methods) or SOC 379M (Theory) prior to beginning the program; preferred applicants will have completed both.  Students who have not completed both SOC 317M and SOC 379M before entering Honors must take the missing requirement during their first semester in the program.

Students are encouraged to secure a thesis supervisor before applying for Honors, although this is not a requirement.  Dr. Green can help identify potential supervisors, which is an advantage of making early contact.  Applicants should also have at least a general idea of the area they would like to work in.  Preferred applicants will have a reasonably well-defined thesis topic.  Applications should be submitted to Debbie Rothschild (CLA 1.216) or directly to Dr. Green (CLA 3.602). Applications can be downloaded from: www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/sociology/undergraduate/honors.php.

Honors coursework consists of two 3-hour courses, SOC 679HA (first semester) and SOC 679HB (second semester), which must be taken over two long semesters.  Dr. Green assigns the grade for SOC 679HA, and the thesis supervisor assigns the grade for SOC 679HB.  Students must receive either an A- or an A in both SOC 679HA and SOC 679HB in order to graduate with Departmental Honors.  These courses are in addition to the 27 hours required for the Sociology major and are included when calculating Honors students’ Sociology GPA.

Graduation Requirements for Departmental Honors in Sociology

  • Completion of all Liberal Arts and Sociology degree requirements
  • University GPA of at least 3.0
  • Sociology GPA of at least 3.5
  • A grade of A- or A in Sociology 679HA
  • A grade of A- or A in Sociology 679HB

Copies of past Honors Theses are available from Debbie Rothschild in CLA 1.216.

For more information about Departmental Honors in Sociology, please contact:

Dr. Penny Green, Sociology Honors Advisor

Office: CLA 3.602, (512) 232-6306

Alpha Kappa Delta

Alpha Kappa Delta is an international honors society for Sociology majors. The requirements to join are 3.3 GPA both overall and 3.0 GPA in Sociology, upper-division standing (60+ hours), and 12+ hours in Sociology coursework (although students who do not yet meet these requirements may get involved early). Members get a lifelong membership to AKD, an invitation to the Spring Banquet, honors cords, and much more. AKD aims to promote Sociology as a major, to promote socialization within the major, and to help students learn how to utilize their Sociology degree. AKD needs members to help design a t-shirt and come up with creative ways to promote future events, such as the Sociology Jeopardy Bowl.

Website: blogs.utexas.edu/ug_soc/alpha-kappa-delta

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