Eligibility for the Sociology Honors Program requires completion of:

  • at least four of the five sociology core curriculum courses
  • and at least two 300 level elective courses in sociology by the end of the junior year
  • with a Sociology GPA of 3.5 or higher

Additionally, by the time of graduation, all students must complete all remaining core curriculum and elective course requirements. Students interested in pursuing the Senior Honors Program must spend a total of TWO SEMESTERS registered for the program.

The Honors Program involves securing a faculty thesis advisor from the sociology department prior to the start of those two semesters. Students must then complete the following steps:

  • completing one semester of the Honors Research Seminar (230.511) in their first semester of the Honors program,
  • enrolling in one semester of the Honors Independent Study (230.512) with their thesis advisor in their second semester of the Honors Program,
  • and submitting a sole-authored Honors thesis. Students will earn a total of 6 credits for the honors program. 

The Honors Research Seminar (230.511) is required in the first semester of the Honors program because it is designed to assist students in the early phase of their Thesis and to provide a community of peers in the Honors Program. Students are welcome to audit the second semester of the Honors Research Seminar without credit, if they wish. Note that the Honors Research Seminar is graded as S/U and cannot count as one of the Sociology elective classes required for the major.

Also note, the thesis submitted for Honors in Sociology is not eligible to receive Honors in any another department.  

Enrolling in the Honors Program

To enroll in the Sociology Honors Program, a student must complete an application BEFORE the registration for the two-semester program begins. Therefore, those graduating in the spring of their senior year must submit their application during the spring of their junior year. Those graduating earlier must submit their application earlier. For example, by the end of the fall semester of their junior year, for those graduating in the fall of senior year.

This application includes a provisional thesis title, 3-5-page description of the project, and a calendar of deadlines agreed upon between the thesis advisor and student. These deadlines are also important because they allow the DUS to submit honors candidates to the university for the graduation program in April. Students must email their completed Honors application (signed by their faculty advisor) to [email protected].

Honors Program Expectations and Guidelines

The scope, obligations, and methods of evaluation for the final honors thesis are worked out case-by-case between the student and the faculty thesis advisor. Of course, guidelines and goals vary and should be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor.

The result is a set of binding expectations. If students do not meet the deadlines agreed to in the application they will not be able to register for the second semester and will not receive honors. In the first semester of the Honors Program, students should expect to further develop their research question, write a literature review, formulate their research design, collect data, and begin preliminary data analysis in close consultation with their advisor.

The Honors Seminar will help guide students through these steps, but students are also expected to maintain direct and regular communication with their thesis advisor through the first semester. By the end of the first semester, most students submit to their advisor a 15- to 20-page thesis segment or proposal, as determined in consultation with their advisor. The format or content of the paper will vary by faculty advisor, but generally include an articulation of the research question, a literature review, and a summary of the methods.

The second semester of the program is graded by the thesis advisor on the basis of the completed thesis, including an expanded literature review, revised research design, data analysis and conclusion, as well as any other revisions requested by the advisor. Completed honors theses are typically between 40 and 80 pages in length, double-spaced. An electronic copy of the honors thesis should be submitted as a Word document to the thesis advisor and to [email protected] by 4:00 pm on the Friday before the last day of classes in the semester of graduation.

AKD Honor Society

AKD (Alpha Kappa Delta) Honor Society is an open, democratic, international society of scholars dedicated to the ideal of Athropon Katamanthanein Diakonesein or “to investigate humanity for the purpose of service.” AKD seeks to acknowledge and promote excellence in scholarship in the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and such other social and intellectual activities as will lead to improvement of the human condition.


Election to Alpha Kappa Delta is without regard to race, creed, or national origin. To be eligible for membership, majors must have:

  • At least junior year standing
  • An overall GPA of at least 3.0
  • A sociology GPA of at least 3.5
  • Taken at least four courses in sociology

To apply or for more information, contact the AKD faculty chapter representative at [email protected].


Initiates receive a chapter pin, a certificate of membership, and a membership activation form. Members who submit completed activation forms receive a one-year subscription to Sociological Inquiry (the official journal of the society), the Alpha Kappa Delta newsletter, election materials, and other services. AKD members wear AKD honor cords at graduation ceremonies.

In addition, the society is proud to do the following:

  • Sponsor student paper contests
  • Provide honoraria for initiation speakers
  • Provide funds for student travel to regional sociological meetings
  • Fund research symposia
  • Sponsor a distinguished lecture series at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA)
  • Contribute annually to the ASA Minority Scholarship Fund

AKD chapters are important in the academic, professional, and social lives of student and faculty members. They provide opportunities for initiating and sharing activities in keeping with the purposes of the society. Our local chapter affords the opportunity for faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students to interact informally and to plan together events to enrich the intellectual and social life of the department.