Structure of the Sociology Major at Dickinson



Required “Spine”

Elective “Ribs”



Senior Thesis Soc 405

Level 1-3

Senior Seminar 400

Independent Research



Level 1-2


Advanced Electives

Classical Socio 330 or

Including Advanced

Contemporary Socio 331

Methods Courses in
Quant (340) & Qual (341)



Level 1



Soc 240 & 241

Majors & Non-Majors



Intro Course

  Social Analysis 110


Note:   Some of the electives at the 200 electives may have prerequisites, although most of them are open to all students.   In some cases, non-majors may be allowed to enroll by permission of the instructor in 300 electives (and possibly in a senior seminar) if there is space available and they have had comparable courses in other departments that prepare them for this level of work.


Each student is required to develop a thematic or focus within the field of sociology. by spring break of the final semester, the student should submit a thematic statement to their advisor that articulates how their (minimum of) three courses relate to one another in ways that fulfill the thematic.

  • Thematic Statement (1-2 paragraphs)--Identifies and describes the thematic you are completing

  • Identify and describe the three courses that you are using to fulfill the thematic requirement.

  • Provide a rationale for how these courses fulfill the thematic requirement-that is, how do they fit the thematic and relate to one another?

  • You will want to consult with your academic advisor along the way as you begin to plan out your thematic. The final statement is due by spring break of your final semester.

Senior Thesis

The Senior Thesis is strongly recommended but not required for the major. Students doing a senior thesis should submit a proposal with a preliminary literature review and bibliography to the Professor teaching the Advanced Research Seminar/Senior Thesis class in the spring semester by the Friday following the Thanksgiving break. The Advanced Research Seminar for the Senior Thesis is designed to support students' individual work and provide a forum within which to peer review students' independent work.

Honors in Sociology

Honors may be granted in Sociology for a two-semester project that results in a well-researched, analytically sophisticated, and finely crafted thesis within the range of 50 - 100 pages. Students will work closely with an advisor from the Sociology department but may receive guidance and resources from other members of the faculty both within and outside the department. Only the best projects will be granted Honors, but any student who completes the project will receive credit for the two independent studies conducted as part of their two semesters of work. Students will be expected to adhere to the following schedule:

  • The Previous Spring: Prepare a preliminary proposal and meet with your advisor. Register for Sociology 550 for the fall semester.

  • On the Third Monday of the Fall Semester: The student must submit a formal proposal.

  • Deadlines for Research and Writing: Will be arranged by the principal advisor in consultation with the student. The work will probably be broken into sections or chapters, with a review of the research literature coming first. In the case of students conducting empirical research, a research proposal including the research design (questions, methods, sample) and instrumentation will come next.

  • By End of the Fall Semester: The full research proposal, including the preliminary literature review, must be completed and approved in order to continue with honors. This work will be due by the last day of class. The faculty in Sociology (and any other faculty who will be serving as readers of the thesis) will meet the following week to give feedback on the proposal. The proposal to continue with honors will either be approved or denied. If the amount or quality of the work is not sufficient to warrant continuing with the project, then the student will receive credit for the independent study in the fall.

  • By Spring Break: The whole first draft must be completed and given to all members of the Honors Committee (which includes members of the Sociology department and any outside readers).

  • Within Two Weeks after the End of Spring Break: Members of the Honors Committee will meet with the student and offer their feedback on the draft.

  • One Week Prior to End of Classes: The Final Draft must be completed and given to all members of the Honors Committee.