Honours Program in Sociology

If you have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in all courses acceptable for credit in Arts, and you have a 3.0 or better in your Sociology courses, you should consider the Honours program in Sociology.

What is an Honours degree?
The Honours program is designed to provide a high degree of specialization in Sociology, and more than the usual level of training in critical reading, writing, and thinking. The Honours degree normally takes four years of full-time study to complete, instead of the three years required for the Sociology General degree and the Criminology Major. The entrance and performance requirements are higher than the Sociology or Criminology Major programs. The Honours program provides a more sophisticated learning experience for strong students who may not want to go on to graduate study, and is also the preferred program for students planning to pursue graduate degrees.

Why an Honours degree?
There are a number of benefits to completing an Honours degree in Sociology:

·     An Honours degree helps you to get the most from your education. Higher entrance and performance requirements coupled with smaller class sizes serve to maximize the benefits you receive from your sociological training. The Honours Program is recognized as a sign of academic excellence by employers and other universities.

·     The Honours program provides opportunities and benefits normally reserved for graduate students. Fourth-year Honours students are eligible for teaching assistant positions, office space, and access to the department photocopier and graduate student computer lab. Honours students are also able to contribute to departmental decision-making by participating in various committees.

·     An Honours degree prepares you to continue on to Master’s and Doctoral degrees. The Honours Program is the ideal program for students planning to go on to graduate study in Sociology.

·     Honours students benefit from the "cohort effect" whereby they become part of a small group of highly motivated and academically strong students. Invitations to departmental social events provide an opportunity for informal networking with graduate students and faculty members.

·     The Honours program allows you to keep your options open. Taking the Honours track allows you to easily shift to a General degree in Sociology or Criminology if you change your plans along the way.

Honours Program Entrance Requirements
To apply to the Honours Program, students must complete an application form available in the Dean’s Office, Faculty of Arts. To be eligible for acceptance, you must have a minimum grade point average of 'B' or better in all Sociology courses and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or better on all courses including failed and repeated courses. You must also have completed 6 hours of credit from each of four different subject fields. Applications are normally accepted in the month of May.

Required Courses
Prior to each registration, Honours students must have their programs approved by the Department of Sociology, and then by the Faculty of Arts. Changes to the student’s program can only be made upon receiving permission from the Department of Sociology and the Faculty of Arts.

The table below shows the course requirements for an Honours degree, arranged in a standard four-year format.



Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Required courses

SOC 1200


SOC 1210 * & SOC 1220 *

*(offered by Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface)

SOC 2010 , SOC 2220 , SOC 2290

6 credit hours in Sociology

6 credit hours from 
SOC 3310
SOC 3330 , SOC 3350 , SOC 3360 ,  SOC 3380 ,  SOC 3390 , SOC 3700

12 credit hours in Sociology courses at the 2000 or 3000 level

SOC 4450 , SOC 4460 , SOC 4560 , SOC 4570 

3 credit hours from SOC 3820, SOC 4580


24 credit hours of U1 courses

12 credit hours in ancillary options

12 credit hours in ancillary options

12 credit hours in ancillary options


Continuing in the Honours Program
To continue in the Honours program, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at each point of assessment on all courses where a final grade is recorded. Students who fail to maintain the required minimum cumulative GPA are required to withdraw from the Honours program.

Students admitted to the Honours program must, by the time they have completed 60 credit hours, have successfully completed (or be registered for) at least three credit hours in a course with significant content in written English and at least three credit hours in a course in mathematics. The Undergraduate Calendar contains a complete list of the courses which satisfy the written English and Mathematics requirement. In addition to the designated courses listed in the Calendar, individual sections of courses which satisfy the written English or Mathematics requirements are marked in the Registration Guide with a "W" or an "M" after the course section.

The Honours Thesis
An Honours thesis is an original research project that students undertake in the final year of their program. The Honours thesis requires students to articulate a focused research question, and then seek answers to that question through rigourous research. The thesis provides students with valuable training and experience in critical and independent thinking. The results of the research are presented in the form of a written manuscript of approximately 50 pages in length. Writing an honours thesis allows students to develop their skills in:

·        asking important questions

·        identifying investigative approaches to find answers

·        using libraries, archives, databases, and other research resources

·        applying various social science research methods

·        organizing and writing a research report

·        presenting and defending the report to an academic audience.

The Honours thesis is conceived and executed as part of the Honours Seminar course ( SOC 4450), which involves intensive discussion of selected sociological problems, and culminates in the production of the Honours thesis. Students are supported in this endeavour by the Honours Seminar instructor and by their thesis advisor. One of the most important benefits of writing a thesis is the opportunity to work one-on-one with a with a Department of Sociology faculty member. Choosing a thesis advisor is an important task—your advisor will ideally be someone who has both expertise and interest in the subject matter of your thesis. The courses that you take prior to the Honours Seminar can provide valuable insights into which faculty members might be good choices for the role of thesis advisor. It is a good idea to approach your professors early in your program to discuss informally the possibility of working with you as an advisor. Such meetings are also a good opportunity to begin identifying and refining your research interests.

Graduating from the Honours Program
Students must present, with a passing grade, 20 full-course equivalents (120 credit hours) in order to receive an Honours degree in Sociology. Included among the courses presented for graduation there is to be at least one full-course equivalent completed in five different subject fields. In addition, a subject field may also satisfy the requirement for a Humanity, or Social Science, or Science. Among the courses presented for graduation there must be at least one full-course equivalent (i.e., six credit hours) in a Humanities subject field, at least one full-course-equivalent in a Social Science subject field, and at least one full-course equivalent in a Science subject field. Students must also satisfy a residency requirement (namely, that 54 credit hours must be from acceptable courses offered by the University of Manitoba), and attain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.0 on all coursework where a final grade is recorded.

Sociology Honours Award
Since 2006, the Department has given an annual award to an outstanding graduating Honours student. All graduating students will be considered for the award, which is based on GPA.