Honors Program in Sociology and Justice Studies

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The Departmental Honors Program in sociology and/or justice studies is designed to challenge the intellectual curiosity of the superior student. It also provides an opportunity for students to exercise greater self-reliance, creativity and responsibility through independent study and research. Upon successful completion of an honors project, students will earn the designation of "Honors in Sociology" or "Honors in Justice Studies" on their transcript.

Program Details

Admission Requirements

To be eligible to take part in the departmental honors program, you must either be a sociology major with a 3.25 GPA in required sociology courses and a 3.0 cumulative GPA, or a justice studies major with a 3.25 GPA in required justice studies courses and a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Transfer students without established GPAs at Rhode Island College may be considered for honors eligibility on the basis of their transcripts from their previous institution(s).

Application Requirements

  1. You must submit your application for departmental honors to the chair of the Department of Sociology for sociology honors and to the director of the Justice Studies Program for justice studies honors. The chair/director will work with you to find a faculty member to serve as your mentor. You will be responsible for completing and submitting the Independent Study Form
  2. Your proposed project must be different from the paper or project you will complete in SOC 460: Senior Seminar in Sociology and/or JSTD 466: Seminar in Justice Studies. 
  3. Your project will require approximately 180 hours of work over two semesters, including at least two meetings per month with your faculty mentor over both semesters.
  4. You will enroll in SOC 491/492 or JSTD 491/492, as appropriate. 
  5. If your project is in the form of a paper, your paper must be approximately 40 pages in length and use an approved departmental format. 

Project Requirements

You must provide progress reports and your final paper/project to the Honors Committee as follows: 

  1. You must submit to your faculty mentor by the middle of the first semester an outline of your project, describing the activities you intend to accomplish over the two semesters. 
  2. You must submit to your mentor by the end of the first semester a first semester report, which includes an overview of your project and a tentative bibliography. If your project is a paper, you must also include an introduction and review of the literature. 
  3. You must submit a progress report to your faculty mentor by the fourth week of the second semester. 
  4. You must submit your completed paper/project to your faculty mentor by the eighth week of the second semester. 

Completion of Project

When your paper/project is completed, the following schedule is used: 

  1. Your mentor will grade your paper and return it to you by the ninth week of the second semester. 
  2. You can make corrections/revisions and present your paper/project to the Honors Committee by the tenth week of the second semester. 
  3. You will present an oral presentation and discuss your paper/project before the Honors Committee and interested students and faculty in the eleventh week of the second semester. The Honors Committee will notify you and your mentor as to their approval of your paper/project by the twelfth week of the second semester.

If you are interested in learning more about the departmental honors process, the composition of the Honors Committee, the appeal process or other details, or if you are interested in pursuing an honors project, see the chair of the Sociology Department or the director of the Justice Studies Program as soon as possible and no later than three semesters before you graduate from Rhode Island College. If you require funding to complete your independent honors research, you may be eligible for a Destefano Undergraduate Research/Creativity Award.