Senior Thesis, Honors, and Awards

Information on Writing a Senior Thesis in Sociology

Information on WCAS Honors, Awards and Fellowships

Preparing to start your senior thesis?

Department Honors

The Department of Sociology recognizes the work of its outstanding seniors with departmental honor awards which are presented at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (WCAS) Convocation. Departmental honor awards are given to those students who show outstanding scholarship in their major course of study.

Nominations are submitted to the College Committee on Superior Students and Honors, which has final authority to grant the honors degree. The Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Committee on Superior Students and Honors reviews students' grade point average, senior research thesis, and faculty recommendations to determine which students receive Departmental Honors.


Senior Thesis with Distinction Award

The Department has established an award program for sociology majors, which recognizes outstanding thesis in the Senior Research Seminar. Senior thesis completed in other departments that satisfy the Department's thesis requirements, such as a senior thesis in Urban Studies, may also be submitted to the Department for consideration. This award is based on each student's creative ability, persuasiveness and systematic way of doing research. Recipients are determined by the Departmental Honors committee, and are announced each spring quarter (usually end of May).


Best Senior Thesis in Sociology Award

The Department has established an award for the Best Senior Thesis in sociology. Recipients are determined by the Departmental Honors committee, and are announced each spring quarter (usually end of May).


William Henry Exum Award

The intent of this prize is to honor the memory of William Henry Exum, a member of the Department of Sociology and the African American Studies Department, who died in 1986 at the age of 37. Exum was concerned with the quality of writing and research analysis in student papers. He was also interested in racial problems facing minority youths in higher education. This award was established as a means of continuing his goals of breaking barriers for all minorities.

The award submission deadline is April 24, 2014. All interested students should submit a paper, typed and double-spaced, and 20 pages maximum, on a topic dealing with race and ethnicity. Students are not limited to a sociological approach in preparing their submissions, nor is the award limited to sociology or social science majors. The paper should include a cover sheet with the student's name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, year in school, major, and the title of your paper. The paper must be submitted by the announced deadline via email to

This award is open to all undergraduate students from all disciplines.


Sociology 2013 Senior Theses

Bethany Polhamus

Thesis Title: Decision Points: How Educated Evangelical Women Navigate Marital Choices

Marina Mason

Thesis Title: Identity Formation of Latino College Students

Nickolas Kaplan

Thesis Title: "The Song And The People": A Socioaesthetic Narrative of Bebop Music via Contemporaneous Jazz and Mainstream Media Discourses.

Sherilyn DeStefano
*Best Thesis & Distinctions

Thesis Title: Understanding Connections Between Service Work and Empathy Among Premedical Students.

Stephen Yanni

Corrupting Public Trust: Effects of Corruption Convictions on Trust in Government in the United States

2013 Exum Award Winners

Chase Eck & Stephen Rees

Claims of Racism at Northwestern University: 1963 to 2012

To see 2012 thesis title click here.








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Upcoming Events

Colloquium: Tianna Paschel, University of Chicago
April 24, 201412:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Culture Workshop: Christopher Carroll, NU Sociology
April 24, 20143:30 PM - 5:30 PM

March 21, 2014