Sociology Honors Degree

Requirements for the Sociology Honors Degree

The Department of Sociology has an honors track for students in the Honors College who wish to enrich their experiences within the Sociology major. The honors track in sociology may be especially useful for honors students majoring in sociology who are focused on graduate school by helping them engage in advanced research. Students completing the Sociology Honors Track will graduate with an Honors Bachelor of Science (H.B.S.) or Honors Bachelor of Arts (H.B.A.) in Sociology.

The benefits include:

  • Developing advanced research skills
  • Improving writing skills
  • Becoming an expert in a specific sociological topic
  • Achieving a more signature educational experience
  • Enhancing your application to graduate programs


The departmental honors courses count toward the student’s major as well as toward the honors degree. Students considering pursuing an honors degree in Sociology should talk to an advisor in the Honors College, attend an Honors College Thesis information session and make sure they understand all the requirements of the Honors College. (See honors.utah.edu for more information.)

Additionally, students considering the honors track in Sociology should schedule an appointment to meet with the departmental honors advisor. The departmental honors advisor can provide honors students with additional information on the honors track courses, help students plan for completing the course requirements of the degree, and prepare them to complete an honors thesis in Sociology. This process needs to begin early as the honors thesis courses that must be completed have prerequisites.

Admissions and Requirements:

Students must be admitted to the University of Utah’s Honors College (honors.utah.edu) in order to pursue an Honors degree in Sociology.
To earn an Honors B.A. or B.S. degree in Sociology, students must satisfactorily complete eight approved Honors courses and an Honors Thesis:

  • Three Honors Core Courses
  • Two semesters of Intellectual Traditions (Honor 2101, 2102, 2103...)
  • One semester of Honors Writing (Honors 2211, 3200, 3800)
  • Two additional Honors courses either through the Honors College or departmental honors classes. (Examples of Honors classes include American institutions, Honors Calculus, Honors Core in Social and Behavioral Sciences, Honors Core in Physical and Life Sciences, Honors Core in Fine Arts, Construction of Knowledge or Honors Think Tanks.)
  • One Sociology Honors track course. Honors Sociology courses are specifically approved graduate level courses offered each semester. These courses meet with the regularly scheduled graduate classes and introduce honors students to the kind of advanced research skills explored at the graduate level.
  • Two semesters of honors thesis courses. These courses are meant to be taken in sequence. The first course is 4998 Honors Thesis 1 (prerequisites are SOC 3111 Research Methods and SOC 3111 Research Methods) and the second course is SOC 4999Honors Thesis 2 (prerequisite SOC 4998).
  • Complete the honors thesis.


Students must complete the departmental honors courses in sociology with a minimum grade of a B and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better in all course work to complete the degree.
Students must have their Honors Thesis approved by their Sociology faculty supervisor and the departmental honors advisor, and Dean of the Honors College. Honors Thesis and Honors Supervisor within the Sociology Department.

In order to complete an honors thesis, each student must have an eligible sociology faculty member to supervise the research and writing of the thesis.

Honors students are responsible for identifying and asking a sociology faculty member to serve as the honors supervisor. The departmental honors advisor is available to assist students in identifying faculty whose research interests may fit with the student’s honors topic.

Please be aware that teaching assistants, graduate instructors, and most adjunct professor are not eligible to supervise an honors thesis.

The faculty supervisor, as well as the Departmental Honors Advisor, must approve the final version of the honors thesis and will grade the required honors thesis hours (SOC 4998and SOC 4999) when the thesis is completed. The following are some things to think about when considering an appropriate faculty supervisor:

  • Typically, this faculty member will be someone whose research overlaps with your proposed thesis topic.
  • Typically, this faculty member will be someone with whom you have already developed a relationship—i.e. someone you have taken a class with and done well; someone you have worked with as a research/teaching assistant, and so on. In most cases, the faculty member needs to have some basis for judging whether or not you are an appropriate student for them to supervise.
  • Remember this all starts early—build relationships with your professors by introducing yourself, being engaged in their classes, meeting them in their office hours, and so on.  One of the benefits of this program is that your thesis supervisor not only serves in this capacity, but can be a valuable resource for you in the future (i.e. writing letters of recommendation for graduate school, jobs, scholarships, and so on).
  • An Honors Thesis Proposal Form (available on honors.utah.edu) signed by your Faculty Supervisor and Departmental Honors Advisor must be submitted to the Associate Dean of the Honors College by Sept. 15th (for students planning to graduate in May).