Political Science Honors Program

Our Honors Program in Political Science challenges you to explore politics in three ways:  first, by taking and excelling in coursework; second, by engaging in in-depth research in order to produce a thesis; and third, by experiencing the practical world of politics and government.  It is the most stimulating intellectual enterprise in which an undergraduate can engage, demanding dedication and the ability to exercise independent judgment.


To graduate with Honors in the major, students must complete a thesis, which will be presented and defended to a committee of the faculty. The committee will consider both the thesis and the result of the oral examination to determine whether the student will receive distinction in the concentration.


The student must satisfactorily (minimum grade of B) complete PO 502 or another acceptable research methods course and enroll in two semesters of Honors Directed Study (CAS PO 401 and CAS PO 402, respectively) as part of the program.  A grade of B+ or better in each semester of Honors Directed Study is required to receive honors.

Co-Curricular Activities

Finally, students in the Honors Program will be expected to attend and participate in co-curricular activities sponsored and endorsed by the Political Science Department such as special symposia, guest lectures, PO internships, and round table discussions.  The minimum requirements for these activities should be discussed with the Director of Advanced Programs during the application process and expected activities should be outlined in the application.  Students will keep a brief journal that outlines their experience and the Program Director will review the journal before the student presents their thesis to their committee.

Application Guidelines

The minimum overall grade point average of 3.5 is required for students applying for the Honors Program.  To qualify, a student must also have a cumulative GPA of 3.6 across all courses that will count for the PO major.

Please complete the attached application for Honors Program, in consultation with Director of Advanced Programs and the faculty project advisor. You must choose a faculty advisor who is an appointed full-time faculty member in PO. The materials to be included in your application are listed on the second page of the application.

The faculty advisor must complete the reference sheet, evaluating the student’s potential success in the project. After the application is signed by the student and by the faculty advisor, the form must be submitted to the department to be approved by the Director of Advanced Programs and the Department Chair. Once all of the necessary signatures and approvals have been met, the complete application should be signed by the PO Departmental Advisor.

Deadlines to submit applications for Honors Program are as follows:

Fall: May 15

Spring: November 15

Each applicant will be notified of acceptance or rejection by email, and the appropriate course will be added to the student’s schedule by the PO Departmental Advisor.

Current HP Students

Program rules, guidelines, and community resources can be found at the HP Blackboard site.