Florida State University


College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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AKD Honors Society

The Department of Sociology at FSU sponsors the Alpha of Florida chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta Honors society. This organization is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students and offers opportunities for participating in leadership positions and allows sociology majors to engage with a network of students who share your professional interests.

1AKD’S Mission:

AKD seeks to acknowledge and promote excellence in scholarship in the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and such other social and intellectual activities as will lead to improvement in the human condition.

2)  Benefits of Alpha Kappa Delta. AKD provides a variety of services to its members:

  • Every new initiate receives a certificate of membership, membership card, and a membership activation form.
  • Members who submit completed activation forms receive a free one-year subscription to Sociological Inquiry, the official journal of AKD.
  • Members have access to the AKD Newsletter, election materials, and other services on our website.
  • AKD sponsors student paper contests for members with cash prizes and travel money to participate in the American Sociological Association Honors Program.
  • AKD provides honoraria for initiation speakers, funds student travel to regional sociological meetings, and funds research symposia.
  • AKD sponsors a Distinguished Lecture series at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, and contributes annually to the ASA Minority Scholarship Fund.
  • Members may purchase honor cords for graduation ceremonies, AKD pins, and other memorabilia.
  • AKD Chapters are important in the academic, professional, and social lives of student and faculty members. They provide opportunities for initiating and sharing activities in keeping with the purposes of the Society.
  • AKD members who become Civil Service employees meet one of the requirements for entrance at the GS-7 level (an increase in pay-grade) if they list AKD membership on their applications (providing they enter at the GS-5 level).
  • Great fellowship with motivated, engaging, and sociologically-minded students at FSU.

3)  Eligibility:

Undergraduate Students:

  • Must be an officially declared sociology major or demonstrate a serious interest in sociology within an official program of the host institution.
  • Must be at least a junior (third year) by standards of the host institution.
  • Shall rank in the top 35% of their class in general scholarship.  If class rank is not readily available to a chapter representative, in lieu of class rank, students shall have accumulated the equivalent of an overall grade point average of at least 3.3 by a four point scale where: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0.
  • Must have maintained the equivalent of a 3.0 GPA in sociology courses taken at the host institution prior to initiation.
  • Must have completed at least four regular courses in sociology prior to initiation at the host institution (exclusive of extension or courses graded pass/fail).

Graduate Students:

  • For students classified as graduate students (those officially admitted to graduate study in sociology at the host institution), the following specific requirements must have been met prior to the time of initiation: completion of one half year of graduate study in sociology (i.e., one semester or two quarters or the equivalent academic unit) with a graduate GPA of B or better and continued matriculation in a program of study leading toward a graduate degree in sociology at the host institution.

4)  Dues:

  • International: $50 lifetime – if paid as an undergraduate and now wish to be a grad student member, can fill out a membership renewal form on AKD’s website. 
  • Chapter:  $25 (subject to change)

Local Alpha of Florida Chapter:

Our Alpha of Florida chapter of AKD also has a companion Recognized Student Organization (RSO) at FSU and if one is a member of AKD they will also be a member of the RSO.  Student sociology majors who meet the requirements for AKD but have not had 4 or more sociology courses at FSU may join the RSO while awaiting eligibility for AKD.

For information regarding AKD membership and FSU chapter activities, contact:
AKD Faculty Representative of Alpha of Florida Chapter, Dr. John Reynolds jrreynolds@fsu.edu or Administrator of Alpha of Florida Chapter, Kimberly McClellan kmcclellan@fsu.edu

Visit AKD webpage for further and detailed information on purpose, history, bylaws, requirements, benefits, publication, and more

Honors in the Major


If you are interested in pursuing an Honors in the Major Thesis (HITM) in the Department of Sociology, here are some initial steps to take.

1.  First, go on the HITM website and read through the requirements and look at all of the main links on the site including the admission requirements, committee composition and timeline among other important information.  

2.  If you qualify you will next identify a general topic of interest to you on which you might write a thesis.  This can be a general idea such as:  Whether race/ethnicity affects choice of job or job satisfaction. 

3.  You need to choose a faculty thesis advisor (“Director”) to guide you through the process.  So the next step is to identify a faculty member with whom you would like to work on a thesis.

  • You would ideally consider a faculty member with whom you have had a course (or more than one course) that stimulated your interest in the topic.  You might also consider someone with whom you have done some research or had as a mentor or advisor for a successful Directed Independent Study.
  • You may also look at the research and teaching areas for each faculty member on the Department of Sociology website and identify someone with whom you might like to work based on their areas of expertise.
  • Note:  The thesis chair must be a full-time faculty member (not a temporary or adjunct instructor and not a graduate student instructor). 

4.  Once you have identified one or more possible faculty members who might serve in this role, contact them via e-mail or set up an appointment to meet with them during office hours to discuss whether they might be available and willing to serve as director.

5.  You may also contact Dr. Teresa Roach (troach@fsu.edu),, the Director of Undergraduate Studies if you would like advice about selecting or approaching a possible thesis director.

6.  Once a faculty member agrees to direct your thesis work, you should identify other committee members, often with help from your thesis director including: another faculty member from the Department of Sociology and an outside member from any other department. 

7.  Contact those other members to determine if they are available and willing to serve.

8.  Before you can enroll with a professor officially or for credit you must submit your application and sign up with HITM.  The application process includes filling out an HITM signature sheet for committee members to sign.  This contains the following information:

  • Thesis title (this can change as the work evolves)
  • Semester in which you will begin (you may take up to 9 credit hours toward the thesis spanning up to three semesters in a row).
  • Thesis Chair/Director’s signature
  • Department Chair’s signature
  • Departmental Liaison’s signature

9.  See Kim McClellan in Bellamy 526 to get registered for credit (on the same day that you get signatures, if possible).  Bring the signature sheet.

10.  Make sure to check http://canvas.fsu.edu for your HITM course once registered.

Social Science Scholars Program


Training Scholars, Building Leaders!
The Social Science Scholars Program was created to recognize and challenge outstanding majors in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. Social Science Scholars are chosen through a highly competitive process. Those selected participate in a leadership seminar during the spring semester of their junior year. The seminar prepares students for research or service projects that are undertaken during the following summer and/or fall semesters.
Social Science Scholars receive grants of up to $5,000 for approved travel and other expenses related to their projects, either in the U.S. or overseas. During their senior year, the scholars report on their leadership projects, attend seminars and symposia, and work with mentors to prepare for graduate school or other postgraduate opportunities.
Students applying for the program must have completed all liberal studies requirements and have a GPA of 3.3 or higher. They also must submit an unofficial university transcript and complete the on-line application located on this website.

The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy produces great leaders!
The Social Science Scholars Program builds upon the college’s history of graduating men and women who have had gone on to distinguished careers in both the private and public sectors, among them:

  • Reuben Askew (Public Administration, 1951), former Florida governor
  • Lynda Keever (Political Science, 1969), former publisher of Florida Trend Magazine
  • Tomas Culligan (Political Science, 1973, and Public Administration, 1977), former CEO of Raytheon International, Inc.
  • Joyce Godwin (Political Science, 1965), a board member of World
    Vision International as well as many other non-profit organizations
  • Eric Reading (International Affairs, 1993), executive vice president of Chemonics International.

More recent graduates of the college also have been recognized for their outstanding academic achievement and leadership. For example, Cara Castellana (Economics, 2006) was Truman Scholar at the University of Chicago. Garrett Johnson (Political Science and English, 2006) and Joe O’Shea (Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and Philosophy, 2009) were Rhodes Scholars at Oxford University. Their example, and a desire to offer more opportunities for students to achieve at such a high level, inspired the creation of the program in 2012.

Since then, the college, and especially the Social Science Scholars Program, has continued to produce students recognized for their scholarship and service:

  • Tara Catanach (International Affairs, 2014), Jacqueline Rojas (Political Science and International Affairs, 2014) and Paige Dabney (International Affairs, 2014) received NESP Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for intensive language study in Tanzania, Mozambique and the Republic of Georgia, respectively.
  • Caitlin Strawder (Political Science, 2013) was awarded a Fulbright Assistantship to teach English in Colombia.
  • Rosalia Contreras (International Affairs and Women’s Studies, 2013), also received a Fulbright Assistantship to teach English in Spain. In 2013-2014 Rosalia served as FSU’s student body president, a position that has been held through the years by numerous social science majors, including the current president, Stefano Cavallaro (Political Science and Accounting, 2015)

If you are a social science student, we invite you to apply to the program. If you are an alumnus of the college, we encourage you to support these valuable opportunities that build outstanding students today and the leaders of tomorrow.
For more information contact
John Mayo (jmayo@fsu.edu), 644-4321 or Tom Taylor (ttaylor@fsu.edu), 933-9444

Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROP)


Florida State University provides high-achieving students an engaging community with the flexibility and funding opportunities to explore their full range of interests. Our award-winning professors focus on student success with opportunities such as undergraduate research, which launches students into the fascinating world of a research university. Watch the video and picture yourself immersing in a culture which prizes academic excellence.

What can I expect from my UROP participation?

  • Join a community of hundreds of first and second-year student researchers and UROP alumni, including discipline-specific, transfer, and student-veteran cohorts
  • Explore academic and career interests through faculty and graduate student mentorship, all while learning to think in creative and innovative ways
  • Choose from literally hundreds of projects representing all areas of study, including fine arts, humanities, sciences, medicine, engineering, business, and social sciences, including the freedom to engage research outside of your proposed, or declared, field of study
  • Join an established researcher or team, with the ability to collect and analyze data, co-author, present findings at conferences, and make other important contributions
  • Gain hands-on knowledge and application of research principles, a competitive and tangible asset for graduate and professional school applications, and an attractive skillset for future employers.