Distinguished Majors Program

In order to provide an enriched academic experience for highly motivated students, the Department of Sociology participates in the College’s Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). Students wishing to join the Program should be Sociology majors and have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher. Students are strongly urged to have completed (or be taking) SOC 3120, Sociology Research Workshop, by the time they apply to the Program. Applicants to the DMP must secure the agreement of a faculty member that he or she will take on the responsibility of supervising the thesis. An application form and a copy of the most recent transcript should be submitted to the Sociology Office in the semester prior to entering the DMP. The DMP should be completed over two consecutive semesters, generally during the student’s fourth year (Fall and Spring of the 4th year). However, students may wish to begin the DMP in their 6th semester instead. The choice of the timeframe should be discussed with a faculty adviser. In addition to the general requirements for the sociology major, students in the DMP are required to write a thesis, earning 6 credits over the course of two semesters. In the first semester of the DMP students should register for SOC 4980, Distinguished Majors Thesis Research. In this course, students design and conduct their research under the supervision of a faculty adviser. In the second semester, students register for SOC 4981, Distinguished Majors Thesis Writing, and produce a finished thesis under the supervision of a faculty adviser. A full draft of the thesis is due to the faculty advisor in mid-April. The final thesis is due at the end of classes and will be graded by a member of the Undergraduate Committee in conjunction with the faculty advisor. Students who successfully complete the requirements of the DMP can graduate with distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction depending on the following: (1) grade for the thesis, (2) overall performance in the sociology major, (3) overall College record. The Department annually awards two prizes: the Commonwealth Prize for the Best Undergraduate Paper in a sociology course, and the Prize for the Outstanding Distinguished Majors Thesis. For more information, or to petition for any exceptions to the requirements of the DMP, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.