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Honors Program


McMURRY UNIVERSITY HONORS PROGRAM: Dr. Philip LeMasters, Director

The McMurry University Honors Program includes two distinct tracks designed to enrich the academic experience of our most outstanding students. Every McMurry student with a 3.25 GPA is considered an honors student and encouraged to take honors courses. In order to graduate from the Honors Program, a student must be admitted to and complete all the requirements of one of the following honors tracks:

University Honors: Incoming Freshmen Incoming freshmen are eligible to apply for admission to this four-year honors track if they meet one of the following criteria: 27 ACT/1220 SAT; standing in the top 5% of the graduating class; or completion of twelve hours of dual-credit courses at McMurry with a GPA of at least 3.5. The deadline for application is February 1 of the calendar year in which the student enrolls at McMurry. The top three applicants receive full-tuition scholarships for four years, while others may receive a $3,000.00 scholarship each year for four years. Students who apply for the program after February 1 may in some cases be eligible to receive a $3,000.00 award, dependent upon how many students have been admitted to the program previously.

Departmental Honors:
This honors track is designed for students who wish to develop an advanced level of competence in their major field. Students must have a 3.25 GPA* and have completed 60 semester hours of college work in order to apply for admission. Students will earn 7 hours of honors credit, normally including 3-6 hours of honors courses in the department and a 1-3 hour honors thesis in the major field. Students in all majors may participate in Departmental Honors. *(A GPA higher than 3.25 is required for admission to departmental honors in Business, Communications, Curriculum & Instruction, Music, and Nursing. It is possible to apply for admission to Departmental Honors in Music after completing 30 hours of college work.)

Departmental Requirements for Honors Thesis
Each academic department determines the prerequisites for writing an honors thesis in that discipline. Regardless of which track of the honors program a student is in, he or she must meet the requirements set by the major field. In the case of an interdisciplinary thesis, such as one in Great Books, the honors program director will appoint at least three appropriate faculty members to determine the course requirements for the student and oversee the thesis. In all cases, it is the responsibility of the student to be aware of the requirements for graduation from the honors program and to be in touch with the honors program director whenever questions arise. In order to receive the approval of an academic department for admission its honors program, a student must complete the “Application for Honors Program” form with the endorsement of the head of the appropriate department.

In order to begin work on an honors thesis, a student must complete the "Application for Honors Program" form with the endorsement from the head of the appropriate department. In order to begin work on an honors thesis, a student must must complete the “Honors Thesis Proposal” form with the endorsement of the student’s thesis committee. A copy of each of these forms is included in the appendix of The Honors Handbook. These requirements apply to students in both tracks of the honors program. In order to graduate from either track of the honors program, a student must earn at least seven hours of honors credit and maintain an overall and major field GPA of at least 3.25.

Sociology Honors Program: Admission requires completion of at least 60 hours of college work; an overall Sociology GPA of 3.25; completion of 15 hours of Sociology; eligible for membership in Alpha Kappa Delta. Students will complete SOC 4X96* Honors Tutorial and SOC 4X97* Senior Thesis.
Eligible sociology students can participate in the University Honors or Departmental Honors tracks. The final stage of either Honors track is the writing of a thesis which represents the signature of excellence for an undergraduate degree.

"During my four years at McMurry, I have had the privilege to grow as a student and person.  While writing this honors thesis I found new challenges and achievements with the help and support of friends, family, and professors.  I am deeply honored to have participated in the honors program as well as completing the entire thesis process.”
Jennifer
Jennifer Wells and her thesis advisor, Dr. Robert Wallace during  graduation in 2011.
Below is a list of sociology honors students and their theses.  Several of these theses have been presented at the Southwestern Sociological Association meetings, while Jeff Scott's work won the General Social Survey's Undergraduate Paper Competition.
Samantha Derden. 2015. The Changing Face of Innocence: Female Exonerations in Texas.
Jordan Duncan. 2013. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": The Sociological Significance of Policy and Change. 
Vonda Sills. 2011. Social Class and Parenting Styles: Understanding American Individualism.
Jennifer Wells. 2011. Vindictive Justice: America's Pursuit of Punishment.
Morgan Brooke-Allen. 2009. Social Class and Morality.
Steven Redondo. 2007. The End of Class Politics in America?
Jori Coll. 2001. Religious Effect on Marital Status.
Jeff Scott. 1997. Women of the Upper Class: A Quantitative Reexamination.