Sociology Honors Program
Effective Fall 2012
The Honors Program in Sociology combines the advantage of a liberal arts college with that of a major research university by offering students the opportunity to answer their own independent research question with the guidance of faculty mentors. The research culminates in a thesis, a written analysis of the research data. The thesis demonstrates the expertise students have developed in their undergraduate years and illustrates their capacity to contribute to a field of inquiry -- especially important should they pursue advanced degrees. It stands as an emblem both of undergraduate achievement and of scholarly promise.
Equally important, Honors students find the opportunity to work in tandem with inventive and highly-motivated peers a reward in itself. The sequence of thesis seminars provides a context in which students exchange information, provide support for one another's work, and offer feedback as projects develop.
Beyond these educational rewards, the pragmatic benefits of the Honors Program are also important: independent research naturally looks good to graduate and professional schools, as does a recommendation from a professor who knows the student well. A Michigan degree awarded "with Honors" (or perhaps "with Highest Honors") catches the eye of prospective employers.
Regardless of whether a student enters the University in the LSA Honors Program, all students who meet the minimum requirements for the Honors Program in Sociology must apply to participate. Students do not have to have been admitted to the LSA Honors Program as a first-year student in order to apply.
The Program begins with SOC 497 (3 credits) in the second term of the junior year and continues through the senior year with SOC 498 (3 credits) and 499 (3 credits). During SOC 498 and 499, students work with the supervision of their faculty mentors, while continuing to meet individually with the faculty Honors coordinator. SOC 497 is offered in the Winter Term only.
Honors Application Prerequisites and Course Planning
Applicants to the Honors Program in Sociology have at least a 3.5 GPA within their sociology courses and at least a 3.4 cumulative GPA in their LS&A courses. In addition, they already will have demonstrated originality in their own course work, shown a serious interest in scholarly research, and given evidence of their ability to work independently on a thesis. Students should plan on completing SOC 210 or STATS 250 (or 350) prior to enrolling in SOC 497 and should take SOC 310 or 312 prior to or concurrently with it. The Honors Program in Sociology is a three-semester sequence of course and thesis work. Students typically apply as first-semester juniors and begin with the first course, SOC 497, the following semester.
To graduate with Honors, students must meet all requirements for the major; complete SOC 497, 498, and 499; write an acceptable Honors thesis; and maintain a 3.4 overall GPA. Upon completion of this course work and dependent upon the evaluation of the thesis, the academic record and diploma will designate the degree awarded "with Honors," "with High Honors," or "with Highest Honors."
Interested students should call (734) 764-6324 or visit www.lsa.umich.edu/soc/undergraduateprogram/advisingandprogrampolicies to make an appointment with the department's department advisor.
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