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Thesis Information

About the Thesis Course - SOC 491: Independent Senior Research Project

SOC 491 is an elective (optional)  Professional Table II course for Sociology students.  The thesis can be a fulfilling research experience but demands self-direction and independence. The department recommends that students complete a thesis only if the following conditions are met:

  • you have identified a topic of interest
  • you have a minimum B- average (CGPA of 2.67) and a minimum grade of B- in SOC 490
  • a full-time faculty member is willing and able to supervise you (only full-time faculty members are able to supervise SOC 491 projects); and
  • you are in your final year at Ryerson

Permission to take the thesis course must be granted by the Chair of Sociology (Please contact the Undergraduate Program Director or Program Administrator for more information).

What is a thesis?

A thesis is an extended paper reflecting a detailed research process. It should pursue a topic of sociological importance. The range of acceptable research topics and approaches is broad, from theoretical to empirical papers that involve primary research. In some cases, the thesis may take the form of an analysis of secondary data or a critical review of the literature in a field. Sociology student theses from past years are available to view in the Sociology Program Administrator's office. 

If research involving human subjects is planned, ethics approval from the Department is required in advance of starting to conduct the research. Students should read the Guidelines and Applications for Ethics Review of Research Involving Human Subjects at:

The thesis paper should be between 30 to 35 double-spaced pages in length. It must be prepared under the guidance of a faculty supervisor from the Sociology Department at Ryerson University. The final thesis paper will be evaluated by the supervisor. Completion of a thesis may include an oral presentation at a special forum in which all final year thesis students present their work.

For more information about the thesis option, please contact the Undergraduate Program Director or Program Administrator.  

Students must apply to do a thesis 
Students must apply to do a final year thesis. The thesis will typically be completed in the winter term of your final year in the Sociology program.  The application process will take place in the fall term immediately preceding the term in which the thesis is to be written (normally October). To start the application process, you must complete the application form below and then contact the selected faculty supervisor to determine whether they are available to work with you.