Are you looking to pursue in-depth study in Sociology & Anthropology? If so, consider applying for entrance into our Honours Programme!
Many students looking towards graduate school will need to complete an honours degree. That said, even if you are not planning to apply to grad school, there are advantages to completing an honours degree:
- Completing a thesis gives you the chance to research information on a topic that is of particular interest to you. Our students have completed theses in a variety of areas, as shown here.
- Working closely with your thesis advisor, you will be more fully exposed to current research methods from faculty “in the know”
- Students who maintain a GPA of 3.5 or better in the 10 required honours units and no grade below B- in all courses counted for the degree beyond the first five units taken will be awarded “First-class honours” at graduation. What a great accomplishment to add to employment and grad school applications!
The main steps for applying to and completing an Honours in Sociology/Anthropology are listed below.
Talking to an advisor
The requirements for a BA (Honours) in Sociology/Anthropology are different than the requirements for the major. Honours students need to take additional 3000 level or above SOAN courses, as well as achieve and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher in SOAN and overall (after the first five units).
It is important to meet with an advisor to identify your remaining course requirements and to make a plan for your final year(s) of study.
To request academic advising, please email Marisa Grant, our administrative assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finding a supervisor
Once you have determined with your advisor that you meet the academic requirements for Honours, it is time to find a faculty member to supervise your thesis project.
To find contact information for the faculty, or to review their research interests, please take a look at their profiles. You can find this information here.
Applying to the program
As of June 2021, we have moved our application form online. You can access the application by clicking here.
Students usually apply after they have completed 12.5 units of course work. However, you can apply early and receive conditional acceptance.
The department will review your application. You will receive an email from the Department Chair with a decision on your application. Decisions are usually made and communicated within four weeks of an application. If you do not receive a decision within that time frame, please reach out to Marisa (email@example.com).
If you are accepted to the program, you will need to update your program status with the Registrar’s Office before starting your thesis. You can do this via the Program Change form located on the Registrar’s Office website.
Organizing your thesis committee
If you are accepted to the Honours program, you will need to work with your supervisor to build a thesis committee.
A thesis committee consists of two members, one of whom is your supervisor. At least one member has to be a full-time member of the SOAN department. The second member can be from the SOAN department or an appropriate external authority; anyone external to the University and/or does not hold a PhD needs to be approved by the department.
Once you have your committee decided upon, your thesis supervisor must email the committee list to Marisa. All members of the committee must be copied on that email.
During the course of your work, there may be tie decisions between committee members. If that happens, a third reader from the department will be selected and assist in resolving the tie.
Completing the thesis proposal
The purpose of a thesis proposal is to make a road-map for your project work. The proposal will:
- Identify the purpose of your research;
- Demonstrate links between your research topic and previous research;
- Describe the conceptual approach you plan to take; and
- Describe the methods you will use when researching your topic.
Once your written proposal is completed, you will meet with your committee to discuss it. The format of this meeting will be determined by your committee (e.g. informal, formal, full hearing). The purpose of this discussion is for your committee to provide feedback on your research plan and help you to identify areas that require more work or clarification. Any needed changes to your plan that are identified at this stage will be summarized and provided to you.
It is important that your thesis work, including your proposal, is written following a consistent citation style. For more information on citation styles, please visit the MSVU Library Citation Guides by clicking here.
Obtaining research ethics approval
It is required that all students who are undertaking research with human participants receive research ethics approval before starting the research project.
At least three weeks before your thesis project commences, you must apply for ethics approval through the department. Details on our Departmental Research Ethics policy can be found by clicking here. The MSVU Policies and Procedures for Ethical Review of Research Involving Humans can be found by clicking here.
It is critical that data collection does not start before official ethics approval is obtained.
Completing your thesis
Once you have obtained ethics approval, you can start your data collection and analysis. What that looks like and how long it takes varies depending on your project.
Your supervisor will provide feedback on drafts of your thesis as you move along in your project. It is important to have a clear plan on when draft sections are due to your advisor, and stick to that plan. Once you have a complete draft that both you and your supervisor are happy with, it is then sent to your committee for feedback. Any revisions that are needed must be completed before you can present your research.
Presenting your research
Now that you have completed a thesis draft that meets your supervisor and committee’s specifications, you are ready to present your research to the public. A public presentation is required as to partially fulfill the requirements to graduate from the program.
When you are ready, your supervisor will work with Marisa to book your presentation. A notice of the presentation will be sent to the department and SOAN majors, inviting them to attend.
At your presentation, you will be expected to discuss your research results and answer questions from your committee, supervisor, and the audience.
Following your presentation, your committee will meet to determine whether to pass your project as-is, or to request revisions. If revisions are necessary, your supervisor will determine when they have been successfully completed. Please note that in both cases, a grade of B- or higher is required in order to pass the thesis.
Once your thesis is approved by the committee, you need to provide one hard copy to your supervisor.
Please make sure that your thesis contains a cover page that looks like this.
Upon receipt of your final approved thesis, your supervisor will submit your final grade to the registrar’s office.