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Honors Thesis

During the senior year, each candidate for honors in sociology enrolls in a year-long tutorial (SOC 4950/SOC 4960), taught by the faculty member who has agreed to serve as the honors thesis advisor.

The first semester of thesis work is typically focused on reading the relevant sociological literature, developing a set of research questions for the thesis, and planning for data collection or analysis. At the end of Fall semester, students typically submit a 15- to 20-page literature review to their advisor. Of course, these guidelines and goals vary and should be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor.

During the second semester of thesis work, students often revise and expand their earlier draft to include consideration of additional literature. They also conduct data collection and/or perform analysis, and write up the findings of their study.

Completed honors theses are typically between 40 and 80 pages in length, double-spaced. An electronic copy of the honors thesis should be submitted as a Word document to the thesis advisor and to Sue Meyer (ss30@cornell.edu) via email by 4:00 pm on the Friday before the last day of classes in the second semester of the senior year.

The honors thesis will be reviewed by the thesis advisor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The quality of the thesis will, in part, determine the level of honors that is awarded to the student.

The Department funds the printing of three hard-bound volumes of the thesis. One copy will remain in the Department, one copy will be given to the thesis advisor, and one copy will be given to the student. (Because the theses must be sent out for binding, we typically mail the hard copy of your thesis to you after graduation.)

The following pages provide information on obtaining IRB approval for research with human subjects, as well as other resources and funding opportunities for students writing honors theses.