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Honors Thesis

Students who have participated in the Honors Program frequently view it as the most challenging, exciting and rewarding intellectual experience of their college years. There are many rewards to pursuing an honors thesis: the chance to work closely with a faculty advisor, craft an original research project, engage in sustained intellectual study of a topic, sharpen research and writing skills, and form a research community with other honors theses writers.

Admission to the political science honors program is competitive. Honors students work closely with a faculty advisor to complete a research project of their own design. Honors students craft a research plan, analyze relevant research materials, and write a 60-100 page senior thesis based on this research.

If you are considering pursuing honors, you should meet with a Political Science faculty member in the fall of your junior year, or sooner.

Details on the application process will be explained in an open meeting generally held in February for students who plan to pursue honors the following academic year. 

Requirements to apply for the Political Science Honors Program

  1. GPA of at least 3.5 in political science and overall.
  2. At least seven political science courses completed before enrolling in Honors Program, usually in the Fall quarter of senior year.
  3. Complete the following major requirements before enrolling in the Honors program: a research seminar (PS 395) and a research methods class (PS 210, 211, 310, 311, 312 or 315).
  4. Craft a 2-3 page research topic proposal, usually with input from a political science faculty member.
  5. Recommendation form completed by a political science faculty member. Please send the faculty member your application, including 2-3 page project proposal asking them to complete the online recommendation. It is also advised that you meet with them in person if possible.
  6. Honors applicants are strongly encouraged (though not required) to apply for a Undergraduate Research Grant (URG),  WCAS Grants for Undergraduate Research, and/or Ginsberg Research Grant to support their research, particularly for the summer leading into their research.
Applications and additional material are due no later than Monday, April 1, 2019


  1. Online Application Form.
  2. Unofficial transcript (submitted via online application).
  3. 2-3 page project proposal (submitted via online application).
  4. Recommendation form completed by a political science faculty member. Please forward the faculty member your application, including 2-3 page project proposal asking them to complete the online recommendation (the online application form gives you the option to send a copy of the application to yourself). It is also advised that you meet with the faculty member in person if possible.

Requirements to earn honors in Political Science

  1. Admissions to the honors program.
  2. Satisfactorily complete the 2-quarter Senior Thesis Tutorial (PoliSci 398) in the fall and winter quarters. The 398 courses do NOT count toward the completion of the political science major.
  3. Maintain a 3.5 GPA in political science and generally through graduation.
  4. Complete all requirements for the political science major.
  5. Submit an honors thesis that meets departmental requirements, including the individual review by two anonymous political science faculty members.

For more information about how to prepare a successful application visit the FAQ section and writing tips for honors theses.

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