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Sociology and Criminology & Law


Upper Division Honors

Upper Division Honors was established to recognize high performing undergraduates. In addition to an Honors designation at graduation (based on grade point average), it enables especially qualified and independent students to pursue High or Highest Honors. For Criminology & Law majors, that requires completing a senior thesis. The college establishes deadlines for submission.

Requirements to Graduate with Honors

  • Upper division GPA (on courses taken after 60 hours) of at least 3.5

Requirements to Graduate with High or Highest Honors

  • Upper division GPA (on courses taken after 60 hours) of at least 3.5
  • The completion of a senior thesis

How to Write a Senior Thesis

Planning for your thesis

Start the process during your junior year.

    • Determine your eligibility for honors. You must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 on all coursework after 60 hours.
    • Determine a general topic for your thesis. o Identify a faculty member or Ph.D. student who will serve as the chair of your senior thesis committee. The chair of your committee should have expertise in an area related to your thesis topic. The chair will work with you to narrow your general topic into a research question that can be accomplished. She/he will assign the letter grade for the thesis hours that you take.
    • Put together a thesis committee of either 2 faculty members or 1 graduate student and 2 faculty members. You will have to defend your thesis before that committee and the committee will make the recommendation as to the level of honors you will be awarded.
    • Obtain an honors thesis form from the undergraduate coordinator that indicates your topic, your chair, and your committee and obtain approval for registration.

Working on your thesis

  • You are allowed to take 3-6 credit hours of senior thesis credit (CCJ 4970), which is usually earned over the course of two semesters. These credits will count as criminology electives
  • It is recommended that you complete the following tasks during the first semester of your thesis work:
    • Make an outline of your thesis
    • Conduct a literature review
    • Develop your survey instruments or data collection tools
    • Obtain IRB approval if required. If you are collecting data (i.e., administering surveys) for your thesis, you are required to obtain approval from UF’s Institutional Review Board. Discuss this requirement with your thesis chair.
  • It is recommended that you complete the following tasks during the second semester of your thesis work:
    • Collect your data early in the semester
    • Analyze your data
    • Interpret your findings
    • Provide a draft of your thesis to your committee chair
    • Make revisions to your draft based on your chair’s comments
    • Distribute your thesis to your other committee members.

Final Stage

  • Check the university deadlines for defending and submitting your thesis so that you complete everything on time.
  • Get a draft of your thesis to your committee ahead of time.
  • Successfully defend your thesis in front of your committee. (The distinction between High and Highest is based on the quality of the work. Highest Honors is reserved for the most exceptional theses and will be decided by committee. Final approval is given at the CLAS/University level.)
  • Make changes to the draft as required by your committee and have those changes approved by your committee.
  • Have your committee sign this form.
  • Ensure the form is submitted to the Undergraduate Coordinator by your committee chair no later than the last day of regular classes for the semester to ensure that this information is noted on your transcript.
  • Students may choose to submit their final theses.