Honors Program

The Honors Program in Political Science challenges you to explore politics in three ways:  first, by taking and excelling in advanced coursework; second, by engaging in original 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, creativity, and the ability to exercise independent judgment.

Application Guidelines

The minimum overall grade point average of 3.3 is required for students applying for the Honors Program.  To qualify, a student must also have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 across all courses that will count for the PO major.

Prospective students may download the application to the honors program here (.pdf) or here (.doc). Students should complete the application in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor, Serrie Hamilton, and their faculty advisor. Students 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 recommendation form, evaluating the student’s potential success in the project. After the form is signed by the faculty advisor, the faculty member should submit it to the Department’s Undergraduate Advisor. Once all of the application forms have been submitted along with the appropriate signatures, the complete application will be considered for admittance to the program.

The deadline to submit applications for the Honors Program is May 15.

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


To graduate with Honors in the major, students must complete a thesis, which will be presented and defended to a committee of three faculty members. 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 thesis will be archived at OpenBU. Previous theses are available here: http://open.bu.edu/handle/2144/3770


The student must satisfactorily complete PO 502 (minimum grade of B) and enroll in two semesters of Honors Directed Study (PO 493 and PO 494, 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, political 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.

Current HP Students

Program rules, guidelines, and community resources can be found at the Advanced Programs Blackboard Learn site.