During their fourth year, sociology majors are required to complete an original research project on a topic of their choice. This culminates in the BA thesis—a final paper ranging from twenty to forty pages in length.

Recent projects have included:

·      conflict and safety in urban Chicago neighborhoods

·      new forms of social interaction on the Internet

·      immigration and national identity in Germany and Guatemala

·      gender dynamics in the workplace

·      homosexuality and AIDS in South Africa

·      religion among Korean immigrants

·      public housing policies

·      role models among Mexican-American youth

·      gender roles in families

·      peer pressure and teenage pregnancy

·      American attitudes about immigration

Students devise their project, conduct their research, and write up their thesis over the course of the BA senior seminar (SOCI 29998), which runs from the spring quarter of the third year to the winter quarter of their fourth year. The class meets on Thursdays from 4:30 - 6:20 pm for each of these quarters. Students complete and turn in their thesis during spring quarter of their fourth year. Students who plan to study abroad during any of these quarters must still participate in the seminar by completing required assignments and submitting them online and on time.

Students will work on their BA thesis under the guidance of a sociology preceptor and a faculty advisor. Students and their selected adviser must complete the advisor must complete and turn in the advisor consent form to the sociology department office. Students may register for additional reading courses (SOCI 29997). Please note: only two sociology reading/research courses will be counted toward courses required for the sociology major. 


Faculty advisors may nominate students for honors if they meet the following criteria:

·      a cumulative GPA at or above 3.25

·      a sociology major GPA is at or above 3.5

·      a grade of at least A- in the BA thesis seminar

Be sure to discuss the criteria for honors with your individual faculty advisor. 

Thesis TIMELINE (during the BA seminar)

Spring of 3rd Year

·      Week 2 – Formulate Topic Statement

·      Week 4 – Complete Research Plan Form

·      Week 6 – Complete Pilot Study Report

·      Week 8 – Consult Literature

·      Week 8 - Faculty Advisor Consent Form 

Summer of 4th year

·      Data Collection

Fall of 4th year

·      Week 2 - Methods Section Pt. 1: Explanation of Method

·      Week 4 - Methods Section Pt. 2: Explanation of Analysis

·      Week 6 – Draft Bibliography

·      Week 8 – Draft Thesis Outline

Winter of 4th year

·      Week 1 – Draft Analysis of Data

·      Week 3 – Draft Literature Review

·      Week 5 – Draft Introduction and Conclusion

·      Week 7 & 8 - Presentations & Peer Review Exercise

Spring of 4th year

·      Turn in BA thesis

·      Week 7 - Final thesis grade from faculty advisor due (emailed to preceptor)

·      BA thesis poster presentation and award ceremony (date TBD annually)