Social and Behavioral Sciences at West

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New College
Academic Unit: 
Social and Behavioral Sciences


Faculty Honors Advisors

Jeff Kassing

Thesis/Creative Projects: 

The thesis is a more traditional academic document and endeavor whereby students design and execute an in depth examination of a social phenomenon. This takes the form of writing a comparatively extensive research report, literature review, critical analysis, etc. The length of the thesis will depend on the area of interest, topic of choice, scope of the research, and committee/faculty expectations. In contrast the creative project can take many different forms with the end goal being the production of some creative outcome. For example, this might involve building a repository of resources on a given subject, creating and hosting a podcast, developing a digital archive, or producing a short documentary film. While the thesis is quite formulaic, the creative project can be completed in innumerable ways. Regardless of your choice, students are required to develop and work with the guidance of a faculty committee of two (one of whom must be an active faculty member at ASU).

Academic Preparation: 
It is advisable for those pursuing a thesis to have taken the required methods courses in their major before beginning the thesis.
Other Honors Opportunities: 

Stand-alone honors courses are unusual in the unit given the diversity of majors and the interdisciplinary focus of the school. But you can check BHC’s webpage for a list of the current honors course offerings.

SBS students can also earn honors credit through Honors Enrichment Contracts and faculty in the unit routinely work with students in this capacity. This is an excellent way to extend your coursework in SBS into honors credit. To do so, you should confer with the instructor of a given course at the beginning of the semester about the possibility of attaining honors credit in the course via an Honors Enrichment Contract. If and when a mutually agreeable plan for a contract is developed you should then follow the appropriate steps for submitting the necessary documentation. While no two honors contracts are the same, they typically require students to engage with the course content in a more extensive manner or to examine additional material relevant to but not included in the course. It is the responsibility of the students to apply for the honors contract through BHC via the student’s MyASU page. Faculty can only approve honors contracts after students have initiated the process.