University of Massachusetts Amherst

Department of Sociology



Honors Work in Sociology

If you have a 3.4 GPA or better and are interested in applying for our Departmental Honors Program, you can! For Departmental Honors in Sociology, students must:

  • take two (2) Sociology Honors classes, at least one of them at the 300-level;
  • take the one-credit Research Insights course (typically during your junior or senior year); and
  • complete a senior-year honors project-with-thesis by doing an independent, faculty-sponsored senior research or service project.

The program is open to current or rising sophomores and juniors. (If you are a rising senior, it is still possible to complete the requirements, just harder.)

Application Details:

If you are already a member of the Commonwealth Honors College, all you have to do in order to join our Departmental Honors Program is visit Dr. Barbara Tomaskovic-Devey, Departmental Honors Director, to be added to the program.

For everyone else:

There are two "windows" each year when applications to the Departmental Honors Program are accepted. These windows typically open over the summer to close in mid-September, and open in late fall to close in mid-January.

Applying is a two-stage process:

  • First, submit your essay to Dr. Barbara Tomaskovic-Devey ( by January 6th for the 2014-15 academic year. Your transcript and your essay will be reviewed and suggestions made before you finally submit your application to CHC. This first step will also make it easier for you to register for honors classes before your formal acceptance.
  • Next, submit your official application — i.e. the personal essay — to Commonwealth College by January 23rd. A few weeks after that deadline you will recieve a formal letter of acceptance into the Departmental Honors Program and the Honors College. (Note: Although membership in a Departmenal Honors Program means that you will also be a member of the Commonwealth Honors College, there will not be any additional honors requirements for you to fulfill)

This Departmental Honors Programs are the principal way UMass students will earn an honors diploma as juniors and seniors. The Commonwealth Honors College has a different honors program for freshmen and sophomores. Students may either do that program, or do only Departmental Honors, or may do the freshman-sophomore program and then do Departmental Honors.

Application Essay:

Submit application essay to Dr. Barbara Tomaskovic-Devey;
deadline for 2014-15 academic year is January 6th, 2015.

Commonwealth Honors College with Departmental Honors Personal Statement


Department of Sociology • Thompson Hall • University of Massachusetts–Amherst, MA 01003