To graduate with “honors” in Sociology, a major must meet the following requirements:

  • a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 overall and in the major;
  • completion of an honors thesis based on independent study (which may or may not involve collection of one’s own set of data) under the supervision of a faculty thesis advisor;
  • participation in a senior honors thesis seminar–in both the Fall (SOCI 691H) and the Spring (692H) semesters senior year.

Either one or two courses’ worth of credit (SOCI 691H and SOCI 692H) can be earned for the thesis and seminar participation, depending on how much work the thesis actually entails. However, only one semester (SOCI 691H) of the senior honors thesis seminar may be counted as “upper-level” (400 level or above) credit toward the Sociology major.

The department attempts to identify and invite all qualified students to participate in the honors program at the end of their junior year.  But some are occasionally overlooked.  This is especially true for double-majors and transfer students and for those who declare their major in sociology relatively late in their college careers.  Anyone who is interested in the honors program and who might qualify to participate should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Howard Aldrich, or the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies, Claire Chipman, no later than preregistration time in the second semester of his or her junior year.

To pursue an honors thesis, students must first choose a faculty member who will serve as adviser for the student’s honors thesis. Once a faculty member has agreed to serve as the student’s honors thesis adviser, the student should inform the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Howard Aldrich) or the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies (Claire Chipman), who will then confirm this with the student’s faculty adviser. In mid May, the Sociology Department will register students in Sociology 691H who have a confirmed faculty adviser for their honors thesis and meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 3.3.

The Howard Odum Undergraduate Award

This award was established in 1967 in honor of Professor Howard Odum, who founded and first chaired the UNC Sociology Department.  Odum was a pioneer in American sociology and a major influence on the discipline.  The Department faculty selects the recipient of the annual Award on the basis of grade records and other demonstrations of academic talent and accomplishment as an undergraduate.