Sociology Thesis and Orals Student Learning Goals

Written Thesis Learning Goals

  1. SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION: The student effectively demonstrates the use of a sociological imagination – the thesis is clearly sociological.
  2. PROJECT JUSTIFICATION: The student designs a good thesis project in an area of choice and explains why various decisions were made.
  3. THEORY: The student effectively describes and critically and reflectively applies some basic theories or theoretical orientations in at least one area of social reality. If applicable, the student makes appropriate links between theories.
  4. RESEARCH METHODS: The student demonstrates a keen understanding and application of concepts relating to social research methodology in the thesis project – e.g., sample, data analysis, ethics, variable measurement, limitations, etc.
  5. THEORY AND DATA INTEGRATION: Theory and data analysis are effectively integrated.
  6. LITERATURE REVIEW: The student’s thesis contains an appropriate body of literature, critically assessed, and cited correctly.
  7. ORIGINALITY: The student is thoughtful, accurate, and creative in presenting original sociological data and/or in theorizing.
  8. SOCIOLOGICAL CONCEPTS: The student demonstrates understanding and correct application of sociological concepts that are relevant to the thesis project.
  9. INTELLECTUAL DEPTH: The student moves from recall analysis and application to synthesis and evaluation.
  10. WRITING AND ORGANIZATION: The student demonstrates effective writing quality and the thesis is organized such that a central focus or framework is clear.
  11. ENVS Relevance: The thesis engages significantly with the environment or an environmental problem.
  12. ENVS Interdisciplinary Content: The thesis displays in-depth engagement with the environmental issue at hand from at least one other discipline beyond sociology (e.g., descriptions of biological processes, chemical impacts, use of environmental philosophy)

Oral Comprehensive Exam Learning Goals

  1. SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION: The student effectively demonstrates the use of a sociological imagination – the student’s contribution to the oral examination is clearly sociological.
  2. PROJECT JUSTIFICATION: The student demonstrates a concrete understanding of the thesis project and can effectively explain why various decisions were made.
  3. THEORY: The student demonstrates knowledge of and ability to reflectively apply some basic theories or theoretical orientations in at least one area of social reality. If applicable, the student makes appropriate links between theories.
  4. RESEARCH METHODS: The student demonstrates an understanding of basic methodological approaches and can respond accurately to questions relating to social research methods that may or may not apply directly to the written thesis.
  5. THEORY AND DATA INTEGRATION: The student demonstrates an ability to effectively integrate theory and data in his or her oral responses.
  6. PAST RESEARCH: The student demonstrates a sophisticated familiarity with relevant past research in discussing the thesis project.
  7. ORIGINALITY: The student is thoughtful, accurate, and creative in presenting original sociological data and/or in theorizing.
  8. SOCIOLOGICAL CONCEPTS: The student demonstrates understanding and correct application of sociological concepts that are relevant to the thesis project or to the discipline of Sociology as a whole.
  9. INTELLECTUAL DEPTH: The student moves from recall analysis and application to synthesis and evaluation during the oral exam.
  10. ORAL COMMUNICATION: The student demonstrates effective oral communication skills, both in presenting ideas and in responding to questions or critiques of these ideas, and takes initiative during the oral exam.
  11. ENVS Relevance: The student engages significantly with the environment or an environmental problem during the oral exam.
  12. ENVS Interdisciplinary Content: The student displays in-depth engagement with the environmental issue at hand from at least one other discipline beyond sociology (e.g., descriptions of biological processes, chemical impacts, use of environmental philosophy) during the oral exam.