Honors in the Major

Honors in Sociology/Criminology (“Honors in the Major”)

Within CLAS, each major develops its own requirements to achieve “Honors in the Major.”  Below are the requirements needed to complete Honors in Sociology and Criminology.

  1.  Cumulative University of Iowa GPA of at least 3.33 and a GPA of at least 3.33 in all major courses (Sociology or Criminology, Law, and Justice).
  2.  Take at least one upper-level undergraduate course as honors (courses numbered SOC:3000/CRIM:3000 or higher) or a Sociology graduate course (SOC:5xxx or higher).
  3.  Write an Honors Thesis  
  • A. Complete the Honors Seminar (SOC: 4997) in the Spring of their junior year.  This is a 1 semester hour class.

  • B. Complete 3 semester hours of Honors Research (SOC: 4998, CRIM: 4998) in their senior year.  A student does NOT need to do all 3 hours in the SAME semester (e.g., the student may do 1 hour in the Fall, and 2 hours in the Spring). 

  • C. Have a final thesis defense meeting with their committee (their advisor and a reader).  During this meeting, the student will do a short presentation of his/her work and answer questions from the committee.  At this time, the committee may develop a list of revisions/modifications they would like the student to implement before submitting the final thesis.  Ideally, the meeting should be held at least 1 week before the final thesis is due to the Honors Program.

  • D. Submit the final thesis to the advisor. (Students *may* submit their thesis to Iowa Research Online (Due date: Wednesday of finals week at 11:59 pm).  See more details: https://clas.uiowa.edu/faculty/honors-thesis-or-project-submission.)​​​​​​

Past honors thesis topics:

  • Family structure, poverty and mental health
  • Relationship satisfaction in intimate relationships
  • Immigrants and identity
  • Pre-marital cohabitation and divorce
  • Police legitimacy
  • Partner violence

Fall 2021 – Undergraduate Honors Theses

Department of Sociology and Criminology





Isaac Bills


Connectivity and Recovery in the Wake of Widespread Job Loss: A Case Study of Waterloo, Iowa

Freda Lynn


Cassandra Calkins


Differences in Security/Safety Reform in Response to School Shootings in America

James Wo

Cecilia Cornejo

Captured by Crime: Representation of Women in True Crim Media

Jennifer Haylett


Elizabeth Lovell


More Than Just Books: The Impact Public Libraries Have on the Changing Roles of Librarians

Jennifer Haylett


Michaela Messier


The Relationship Between Black Lives Matter Protests and Police Reform

Bodi Vasi

Sophia Shubatt

Best Practices for Teaching Higher Education in Iowa Prisons

Stephanie DiPietro

Regan Smock

Examining the Effectiveness of Sexual Assault Prevention Education Programs at College

Mary Noonan

Graduation Details

  • When applying to graduate, students need to indicate that they are “Pursuing Honors in the Major” on their degree application. 
  • Students who have earned Honors in the Major will see this achievement added to the Commencement Program and announced at the graduation ceremony; the designation is also noted on the transcript and diploma. Students who have earned Honors in the Major also have this achievement signified by a white cord worn at the commencement ceremony. CLAS students may request the cord in 120 Schaeffer Hall once their Honors in the Major status has been finalized.

Honors Advisor – Jenn Haylett