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Honors Program

In the spring semester of their junior year, eligible students may apply for the departmental honors program. To be eligible, students should have completed all but 6 hours of the AXLE requirements, and have a minimum overall GPA of 3.6. Students should also have a minimum GPA of 3.6 in all the political science courses they have taken. Those who meet these criteria can apply to write a thesis for departmental honors during their senior year. 

To apply, two forms must be submitted:

  1. The PSCI Honors Program Approval form listing two seminars already completed that are related to the thesis, the three committee members, and their signatures. 
  2. The PSCI Honors Proposal form proposing the research to be conducted and a rough timeline.

Students must demonstrate preparation to write a thesis, have a concrete plan for the year-long thesis project, have sought out a faculty advisor who has agreed to oversee the thesis in two Senior Honor Research classes (PSCI 4998 and 4999 to be taken in the fall and spring, respectively), and have petitioned two additional faculty members to serve on the defense committee with the advisor. 

The forms should be submitted by email to the DUS by April 15 of the spring semester of junior year. 

Honors in political science will be awarded if, in additional to the requirements set by the College of Arts and Science, the following requirements are met:

  1. The political science major is completed.
  2. A 3.6 GPA is maintained in all political science courses, and a 3.6 GPA is also maintained in the two thesis writing classes, 4998 and 4999.
  3. An honors thesis is completed over the two semesters of senior year in classes PSCI 4998 and 4999 under the supervision of a faculty advisor.
  4. An oral defense of the finished honors thesis is successfully completed in the second semester of senior year.

The student and committee will arrange a date for the oral defense administered by the three-person committee, to be completed by April 15th of senior year. The committee will determine whether the student succeeded in earning honors, and whether the designation is honors or high honors. This designation will appear in the Commencement program and on the diploma. 

For additional information, contact the DUS, Professor Jennifer Larson, by email