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Sociology Honors Concentration

The Honors concentration in Sociology gives Sociology students the opportunity to conduct in-depth research on a topic they are passionate about.  It helps to prepare them for graduate school and affords one-on-one time with a faculty member.  It is strongly recommended for inquisitive and hard-working Sociology majors.

The Honors concentration in Sociology requires a 3.3 overall GPA and a 3.5 GPA in Sociology coursework, with no grade of less than B+ in any Sociology course. Requirements are SOCI 127* (or approval of Director of Undergraduate Studies); SOCI 431, either one Honors-by-Contract course in Sociology or one graduate level course in Sociology; an Honors Thesis in Sociology (SOCI 457); and all other requirements for the major. Students will work with a chosen sociology faculty mentor to identify a thesis topic, develop a thesis outline, and produce a final thesis document. Students may obtain the Honors concentration in addition to other concentrations available in Sociology. Formal application must be made to the Director of Undergraduate Studies for admission to the Honors concentration.

Sociology Honors Thesis Guidelines

Sociology Honors Concentration undergraduate students must complete an honors thesis. Students will work with a chosen sociology faculty mentor to identify a thesis topic, develop a thesis outline, and produce a final thesis document. The objectives of the honors thesis are for students to: (1) develop and execute an independent research project; (2) demonstrate advanced knowledge of specific sociological concepts and/or theories; and (3) produce an original research document. Past thesis project topics include: mass incarceration; sexual assault college adjudication processes; the racialization forms of South Asian Americans; and the Flint, MI water crisis. Copies of past thesis can be found in the Main Office of the Sociology Department.

Students will work closely with their faculty mentor to determine the specific form of the thesis but the following guidelines are encouraged:

  • Follow the American Sociological Association Style Guide, 5th Edition
    See http://www.asanet.org/files/style-guide-5th-ed   https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/583/1/ and
  • Create a Table of Contents; Divide your thesis into chapters or subheadings
  • Minimum length of final document is 25-40 pages
  • Present your findings during the Sociology Department Colloquium, conference, or appropriate venue
  • Consider publishing your thesis in the University of Tennessee undergraduate research journal, Pursuit http://trace.tennessee.edu/pursuit/ or in conjunction with your advisor
  • Distribute a final copy of your thesis to your faculty mentor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies


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