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Honors Program


The Honors Program offers an enhanced academic experience for talented undergraduates. Writing an honors thesis provides a taste of graduate school—students conduct their first original, in-depth research project under the guidance of a faculty member. Those who have completed an honors thesis agree that it is an unforgettable and highly rewarding experience.

Recent theses have addressed such topics as: incarceration, immigration, environmental attitudes, marijuana and the media, and alcohol consumption. Additionally, the College of Letters & Science specifies that only participants in departmental honors programs are eligible to graduate with high or highest honors.

To be eligible, students must be sociology majors who have completed 135 units, taken at least four upper-division courses in the major, have a 3.5 GPA in the major, and have obtained a faculty adviser for the thesis. Completion of an honors thesis and enrollment in SOC 194H is required for students seeking to graduate with high or highest honors.

SOC 199 and SOC 194H

Before writing a thesis, students are encouraged to take an independent study course (SOC 199) with their thesis adviser in the quarter before beginning their SOC 194H units (often Spring Quarter of their third year). Benefits of completing an independent study prior to enrolling in the Honors Program is to obtain a thorough understanding of the proposed thesis topic. SOC 199 activities may include a literature review of the proposed thesis topic, completion of assigned readings as they relate to the thesis topic, regular meetings with the faculty adviser to discuss the readings and/or completion of a reflection paper demonstrating sufficient understanding of the assigned readings. Students will need to complete a variable unit form in order to enroll in SOC 199. Pass/No Pass grading only.

Once accepted into the Honors Program, students will enroll in SOC 194H for two quarters (4 units each quarter).  Often, the first quarter involves a literature review (if not previously completed in a SOC 199 Independent study), primary data collection (e.g., interviews, surveys, or participant observation) or analysis of existing data as it relates to the thesis topic. The second quarter often entails directed reading, research and writing culminating in an honors thesis. Students meet with their faculty thesis adviser on a regular basis during both quarters to assess the progress of the thesis both in the research and writing stages.  After acceptance of their application, they will need to complete a variable unit form in order to enroll in SOC 194H. Pass/No Pass grading only.

For more information, please see:


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