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 or senior year. Additionally, students write an honors thesis under the supervision of a faculty member in Political Science or an approved faculty member from another program

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.

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.

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)

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.