Honors Program in Political Science

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Political Science Honors Program

The Honors Program is a program of advanced study in political science for undergraduates who wish to pursue a more challenging course of study in their junior and senior year. Students get the opportunity to design and conduct their own original research project under the supervision of a faculty adviser. Students gain in-depth knowledge and an understanding of key theoretical and empirical debates in the field of political science. Students acquire research design skills and the ability to work independently on a major research project. The honors thesis program also gives students the opportunity of working closely with faculty, similar to a graduate school experience.

Students completing this program will earn 'Honors in Political Science' at graduation.  Students who are in the University Honors Program as well as in the Political Science Honors Program will earn 'College Honors in Political Science' at graduation.

2018-19 Honors Program
The new Honors Program will start in Spring 2018.

The 2018-19 Honors program is made up of a 3 quarter sequence. Students apply to the program during Winter Quarter of their Junior year.  They take their first course together immediately in the Spring Quarter. And then complete a Thesis Design course in Fall Quarter and Thesis Writing course in Winter Quarter. This work culminates in a completed Honors Thesis at the end of Winter Quarter. The students will have the opportunity to work with the Political Science Honors Director and also individually with Department faculty.

Program Requirements for revised program

  • Pol S 487, Honors Seminar, 5 credits, Spring 2018, minimum grade of 3.3. Counts towards major requirements as field or elective course.
  • Pol S 488, Honors Thesis Seminar, 5 credits, Autumn 2018, minimum grade of 3.3. Counts towards major requirements as field or elective course.
  • Pol S 489, Honors Thesis, 5 credits, Winter 2019, minimum grade of 3.3. Does NOT count towards major requirements (will count as writing credit).

Coursework

Students accepted into the program take Pol S 487 (Honors Seminar) in spring 2018, Pol S 488 (Honors Thesis Seminar) in autumn 2018. Students earn 5 credits for each seminar, a total of 10 credits, and must earn a minimum grade of 3.3 in each course. Both seminars may count toward major requirements.

Honors Thesis

Students write an honors thesis under the supervision of a faculty member in Political Science or an approved faculty member from another program in winter 2019 (Pol S 489). Students must earn a minimum grade of 3.3 in the course. While this course does not count toward the political science major, it does count as writing credit. 

Students completing this program will earn 'Honors in Political Science' at graduation. Students who are in the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, as well as in the Political Science Honors Program, will earn 'College Honors in Political Science' at graduation.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Major in Political Science
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3
  • Minimum Political Science major GPA of 3.5
  • Five courses in political science (may have four courses completed with the fifth in progress when applying to the program)
  • Completion of 90 credits minimum (i.e. junior standing) by the start of the program in spring quarter (sophomores may apply for their junior year; juniors apply for their senior year)

To apply, please go to our online application at: https://catalyst.uw.edu/collectit/dropbox/tamars/41155.
The application deadline for the 2018-19 program is Monday, January 22nd, 2018.

Some applicants may be contacted to schedule an interview with a member of the Honors Committee. All applicants will be notified by email regarding their acceptance into the program by the end of winter quarter. If you have any questions, please contact Pol S Advising at: polsadvc@uw.edu.

2017-18 Honors Program

The 2017-18 Honors Program is a three quarter program that begins in spring and concludes the following winter quarter.  Applications are due in early winter quarter. The program begins in spring quarter.

Program Requirements

  • Pol S 398, Honors Seminar (5 credits), taken in spring (first quarter of the program), minimum grade of 3.3. Counts toward major requirements.
  • Pol S 399, Honors Thesis Seminar (5 credits), taken in autumn, minimum grade of 3.3. Counts toward major requirements.
  • One additional 5-credit 400-level seminar chosen from the department list, minimum grade of 3.3. The 400-level seminar may be taken at any time but must be completed the end of the program (a seminar already completed or in progress may count toward this requirement). Counts toward major requirements. (For a list of past seminar courses, click here.)
  • Pol S 488, Honors Senior Thesis (5 credits), taken in winter, minimum grade of 3.3. Thesis credits do not count toward the major, but they do count as writing credit.
  • Optional - Pol S 489, Honors Senior Thesis (2-5 credits), taken in spring after completion of Pol S 488. Students may enroll in Pol S 489 if they and their thesis adviser feel that more work is necessary to complete the honor thesis. Registration in Pol S 489 is optional and not required for the program.
  • Additional group meetings in winter quarter when students are taking Pol S 488. May require enrollment in Pol S 499.

    Thesis Requirement
    Students write an honors thesis under the supervision of a faculty member in Political Science or an approved faculty member from another program plus a second reader. In winter quarter they register for Pol S 488, Honors Senior Thesis (5 credits), and must earn a grade of at least 3.3. If, after consulting with their thesis adviser, students need more time to complete the thesis, they may opt to enroll in Pol S 489 (2-5 credits) in spring quarter. While these courses do not count towards the political science major, they do count for writing credit. The thesis is completed after an oral defense and a bound copy is submitted to the department. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Major in Political Science
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3
  • Minimum Political Science major GPA of 3.5
  • Five courses in political science (may have four courses completed with the fifth in progress when applying to the program)
  • Completion of 90 credits minimum (i.e. junior standing) by the start of the program in spring quarter (sophomores may apply for their junior year; juniors apply for their senior year)