Departmental Honors in Sociology

If you have a 3.4 GPA or better – congratulations! You qualify to apply for Departmental Honors in Sociology!

In order to graduate with departmental honors, students must take:

- Two (2) Sociology Honors classes, at least one of them at the 300-level
- Research Insights course (or its equivalent)  for one (1) credit (typically taken during the Junior or Senior year)
- Complete a Senior Honors Project by doing either an independent, faculty-sponsored senior research project or conducting a service project (both options require a written thesis paper)

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 but requires strict planning.)

Departmental Honors Programs are the principal way UMass students earn an Honors diploma as juniors and seniors.  If you are considering attending a graduate program in Sociology or pursuing a career in research, completing an Honors degree in Sociology will help prepare you, as well as make you a more attractive job or graduate program candidate. Working on an honors thesis or project gives you valuable research experience and training, and also provides the opportunity to work closely with faculty.

We encourage you to begin thinking of how you can turn some of your “regular” Sociology classes into honors classes (we can help you think about this, too). Sociology courses taken abroad or at the other area colleges also count as honors courses in Sociology, as do some honors classes in other departments and, of course, our own honors classes.

Application Details

Current members of Commonwealth Honors College: Make an appointment to speak with Honors Program Director Dr. Barbara Tomaskovic-Devey to be added to the program.

For everyone else: There are two windows each year when applications to the Departmental Honors Program are accepted. The first is typically open in the Spring (April-May), and the second is open in the late fall.

Learn more about applying to be in Commonwealth Honors College.

Applying to the Sociology Departmental Honors Program is a two-stage process:

1. Submit your essay to Dr. Barbara Tomaskovic-Devey. Your transcript and 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.

Prompt for Departmental Honors Personal Statement

2. After Dr. Tomaskovic-Devey has given you the go-ahead, submit your official application—i.e., the personal essay—to CHC. About a month after the deadline you will receive a formal letter of acceptance into the Departmental Honors Program and the Commonwealth Honors College.