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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.

Honors applicants are encouraged 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.

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

The application deadline for the 2021-2022 Honors Program will be announced in March 2021.


Requirements to apply for the Political Science Honors Program

  1. GPA of at least 3.5 in the Political Science major and overall. To calculate your major GPA, find the average of the courses that are counting towards your Political Science major.
  2. Complete at least seven political science courses before enrolling in Honors Program, usually in the fall quarter of senior year
  3. Recommended but not required: complete a research seminar (Poli Sci 395) before enrolling in the Honors Program
  4. Recommended but not required: complete a research methods class (Poli Sci 210, 211, 310, 311, or 312) before enrolling in the Honors Program


  1. Online application form. The application window for the 2021-2022 Honors Program will open in the 2021 spring quarter.
  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 the 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 discuss your proposal with the faculty member.

Requirements to earn honors in Political Science

  1. Admissions to the honors program
  2. Satisfactorily complete the two-quarter Senior Thesis Seminar (Poli Sci 398) in the fall and winter quarters. The 398 courses do NOT count toward the completion of the political science major
  3. GPA of at least 3.5 in the Political Science major
  4. Cumulative GPA of at least 3.3
  5. Complete all requirements for the political science major
  6. 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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