Honors Program in Social Science

What is it?

Through a series of seminars and carefully-supervised research projects in an area of personal interest, students explore how the social sciences share some intellectual heritage and how they can come together to address problems confronting the contemporary world. In particular, participants will examine the perspectives of psychology, sociology, political science and anthropology on matters including family, work life, the legal system, religion, hatred, aggression, poverty, international conflict, and other topics. Most courses are taught by a team of two or three enthusiastic social scientist.

Who should apply?

Open to students from any concentration, the track is expected to draw primarily from sociology, psychology, political science, and anthropology majors. GPA must be at least 3.0

What's in it for me?


Students in the track can expect a unique learning opportunity led by interdisciplinary teams of accomplished social scientist who are committed to their role as teachers. Students will read and discuss some of the finest thinkers in human history and learn how to conduct meaningful social science research. We hope that many students in this track will be able to present their findings at scholarly conferences and, even to publish their work.

The social Social Science Honors Track is particularly appropriate for students who want to strengthen their applications to law school or graduate school in psychology, sociology, political science, anthropology, and associated fields.

Can I handle this along with everything else I'm doing?

We are committed to helping you succeed. Track courses can count toward the fulfillment of GE requirements. We encourage you to give it a try.

How do I apply?

As soon as you develop an interest in the program, contact the Honors Office at (973) 720-3657 for an application.

What courses should I take?


Track courses are designed to be taken in numerical sequence, when possible. However, with the permission of the Track Coordinator, students may modify the order in which they take courses.

SSH 201
Honors Seminar in the Social Sciences I: Theory
SSH 202
Honors Seminar in the Social Science II: Methodology
SSH 301
Honors Seminar in the Social Sciences III: Application
SSH 401
Honors Thesis I
SSH 402
Honors Thesis II

Social Science Honors 201 - Honors Seminar in the Social Sciences I: Theory

As social scientist attempt to decipher human social behavior, they must make various moral, theoretical, political, and methodological choices. The first two seminars in the program examine the intellectual origins of such choices. A special effort is made to identify where the various social science disciplines differ and where possibilities exist for interdisciplinary cooperation. Students in the first seminar explore these issues while reading and discussing classical work in psychology, sociology, political science, and anthropology.

Prerequisite: Admission to the Social Science Honors Track


Social Science Honors 202 - Honors Seminar in the Social Sciences II: Methods


This seminar focuses on the various methodologies of the social sciences. As in SSH 201, students read important social scientific studies in the original. An effort is made to use such works, often drawn from scientific journals, as the basis for discussion of methodological questions. The seminar covers qualitative as well as quantitative approaches.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Social Sciences Track. In addition, it is recommenced that students complete SSH 201 prior to taking this course and, more important, that they complete at least one methods course in sociology, psychology, political science or anthropology.

Social Science Honors 301 - Honors Seminar in the Social Sciences III: Application


Each semester, this seminar examines a different social dilemma from a variety of social science perspectives. Seminars may address: (1) Law and Justice, (2) International Conflict, (3) Family Matters, (4) Religion, or other topics.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Social Science Honors Track or permission of the Track Coordinator. Students may repeat this course for credit, though subsequent enrollments would count as electives.

Social Science Honors 401 - Honors Thesis I

Students design and carry out research in preparation for writing an honors thesis. We will embrace the methodological diversity, requiring primarily that a project be feasible and fall within the domain of the social sciences broadly conceived. Faculty members are committed to helping students conduct successful research.

Prerequisites: SSH 201, SSH 202, and SSH 301 or permission of the Track Coordinator.

Social Science Honors 402 - Honors Thesis II

Students write and present an honors thesis.

Prerequisites: SSH 401 or permission of the Track Coordinator.

For additional Information, please contact the Honors Office at (973) 720-3657 or the Track Coordinator, Dr. Neil Kressel at (973) 720-3389, kresseln@wpunj.edu