Honors and Awards for Undergraduates

The Sociology Honors Track

The Department of Sociology offers academically gifted and highly motivated students the opportunity to graduate with departmental honors. In order to participate in the honors track, students must be at least a first semester junior with a minimum major GPA of 3.5.

The requirements for pursuing the sociology honors track are as follows:

  • Students must maintain a 3.5 major GPA.
  • Students are required to take a 3-credit standard graded graduate level sociology course. While any graduate sociology class is open to students on the honors track, students are required to get permission from the class instructor, prior to requesting departmental approval from the DUS.
  • Including the required graduate class, students on the honors track are required to earn at least 34 credits in sociology.
  • Students are required to complete a senior thesis.

Alpha Kappa Delta

Alpha Kappa Delta is an international honor society in Sociology, which was founded for the purposes of stimulating scholarship and promoting the scientific study of social phenomena for the promotion of human welfare.

Academically distinguished students are nominated for membership in Notre Dame’s Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta in either their junior or senior year. During their senior year, AKD members who were initiated as juniors are encouraged to become involved in activities that enhance the intellectual life of the department.

Senior Essay Competition

Each year, the Sociology Department sponsors a competition among graduating Sociology majors for the best essay or research paper submitted on a topic of sociological relevance. The recipient of this award receives a monetary prize along with having his/her name inscribed on a plaque displayed in the Sociology Department. In addition, the winner’s name will appear in the university’s commencement bulletin, and her/his name will be announced at the Sociology Department’s Senior Recognition Event, which takes place on the Friday of commencement weekend.

Though the prize is awarded to a graduating senior Sociology major, the paper need not have been written during your senior year. 

Please click here, to see the biographies of past winners.

Margaret Eisch Memorial Award in Sociology

Joan and John Eisch created this award in 1987 in honor of their daughter Margaret, a rising senior at Notre Dame in sociology who was killed on July 22, 1976 by a drunk driver. Each year, the most outstanding senior sociology major receives the Eisch Memorial Award at commencement time. 

In 2008, Joan and John Eisch expended their generous contributions in order to establish the Eisch Endowment for Excellence. As a result, greater numbers of sociology majors who share the enthusiasm which Margaret had for sociology are receiving support to aid them in their independent research efforts and other types of creative academic endeavors.

Please click here to see the biographies of past winners.