Section 1

Political Science Honors Program

The Program

The Political Science Honors Program is designed to provide a rigorous and enriched experience for excellent students. It includes extracurricular, career, and networking opportunities for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, an honors seminar in the junior year, and culminates in the senior year with the senior thesis (students take the senior honors seminar in the fall and independent study with their faculty advisor in the spring).


To be eligible to be admitted to the program, students must have completed at least nine hours of on-campus PS courses, three of them at the 300-level or higher with a PS GPA of 3.5 or higher. Students are encouraged to submit their applications in the semester in which they will meet these requirements, with admissions decisions made after semester grades are submitted. Applications are available at the links at the bottom of this page. The application packet consists of an application form, a resume, a transcript, and a writing sample from a political science or other social science course.


Political science honors students must take PS 230 (or another approved research methods course), a junior honors seminar (PS 494), the senior honors thesis seminar (PS 495), and thesis credits (PS 496). To remain in the program, students must maintain a PS GPA of 3.25 and pass a progress review in spring of their junior year. Successfully completing the program allows students to graduate with distinction in political science and to be eligible for Latin honors.

  1. 1. Freshman Year

    • Complete introductory political science course(s)

    • Complete PS 230, 231, or other approved PS research methods course

    • Get to know faculty members!

  2. 2. Sophomore Year

    • Complete advanced-level PS course

    • Continue a rigorous plan of study in PS and beyond

    • Apply to the PS honors program

    • Participate in honors program events with students and faculty

  3. 3. Junior Year

    • Complete PS 494

    • Take advanced-level PS courses in areas of interest

    • Maintain campus PS GPA of 3.25+

    • Pass spring semester progress review

  4. 4. Senior Year

    • Fall: Complete PS 495

    • Spring: Complete PS 496

    • Maintain campus PS GPA of 3.25+

    • Present research at Undergraduate Research Symposium and Department Honors Poster Presentation

    • Complete and deposit honors thesis

  5. 5. Graduation and Beyond

    • Distinction or high distinction

    • Eligible for Latin honors

    Honors students pursue a number of different paths after graduation--law school, graduate school, service programs such as Teach for America, careers in policy, government, and non-profits, and work in the private sector.

    Honors program application

    Honors thesis information