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Honors in the Social Sciences (HSS)

The Honors in the Social Sciences (HSS) program encourages students to gain an in-depth understanding of social science traditions and methods. It offers ambitious students a rigorous program of study emphasizing theories and methods from several social scientific disciplines, as well as the opportunity to work closely with HSS faculty to develop unique multi-disciplinary honors projects.  It is designed to parallel Honors in the Humanities (HTH) and Honors in Mathematical and Science (HMNS) programs. Students in the program complete a total of 21 credits, most of which satisfy General Education and/or departmental major and minor requirements.

Students who complete all of the program requirements will have HSS recorded as a minor on their Queens College transcripts.

Program Requirements:

  1. Social Sciences and Society (HSS 200, 3 credits).

An interdisciplinary seminar that is open to all students who are interested in the HSS program. The course provides a foundation and an overview of the program, and introduces students to theories and methods from several social scientific disciplines.  The course emphasizes the diversity of approaches through which knowledge about “society” is produced in the academy today. Faculty from across the Division of Social Sciences give guest lectures. (3 Credits).

  1. HSS Program Application

Following HSS 200, students apply to gain official acceptance to the program by filling out an HSS program application.   Blank application forms are available in the HSS director’s office.

  1. Minor Concentration Form

Students who are accepted into the HSS program must immediately complete a minor concentration form.  This form requires students to describe in detail the plan of study they will take to fulfill all HSS requirements and the theme they have chosen.  It should be completed in consultation with the HSS director. Blank minor concentration forms are available in the HSS director’s office.

  1. Thematic courses

Students take four thematically related courses – at the 200 level or above, with at least one at or above the 300 level – for a total of 12 credits. These courses should be selected from at least two disciplines in the social sciences.  Possible thematic tracks include:


• Migration

• Democracy, Collective Identity, and Citizenship

• Public Policy

• Society and Culture in Comparative Perspective

• Race, Class, and Gender in Historical and Comparative Perspective

It is also possible for students to focus their studies more specifically within these broad themes. For example, a focus on Health and Society could be developed within the broader theme of Public Policy; or a focus on Religion could be developed within Society and Culture in Comparative Perspective.

Students should select the thematic courses they wish to take in consultation with the HSS director.  

 5.   Capstone Project 

Each junior or senior in the HSS Program will develop a significant piece of social science research on a topic related to his/her particular thematic track, resulting in a substantial capstone project. The mechanism for such research projects is either the honors or capstone program of a department within the division or a 3-credit research-oriented independent study (HSS 350) that is supervised by the HSS director.

 6.   Senior Research Colloquium (HSS 390, 3 Credits)

All students doing a capstone project also will enroll in HSS 390 Senior Research Colloquium. In the colloquium students will present their work to faculty and student colleagues from across the Division of Social Sciences.

Faculty Mentors and Advisors:

A significant part of HSS program is faculty mentorship and advisement.  The program director’s duties involve meeting regularly with students.  Students are also encouraged to work with a faculty advisor who will oversee their senior capstone projects. 



 Office Information


Honors in the Social Sciences Program

Director: Prof. Thomas Ort

Office: P-H 352K, (718) 997-5363

E-mail: Thomas.Ort@QC.CUNY.EDU

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