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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 Undergraduate Research Grants (URG) through the Office of Undergraduate Research, Ginsberg Research Grants through the Department of Political Science, or to other grants to support 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 for the 2021-2022 Honors Program is April 19 at 11:59pm CT. The application can be accessed below.


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. Applications for the 2021-2022 Honors Program are due by April 19 at 11:59 pm CT.
  2. Unofficial transcript (submitted via online application).
  3. 2 - 3 page project proposal (submitted via online application). In your project proposal, try to address following information, even if it is only preliminary at this stage:
    • problem/puzzle
    • research question
    • gaps in existing literature
    • what you hope to explain
    • hypotheses/hunches
    • methods/data you might use
  4. Online recommendation form completed by a political science faculty member. Please send the faculty member your project proposal when asking them to complete the online recommendation. 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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