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Political Science
Honors Program

The Honors Program is designed to provide serious students of politics with the opportunity for a special educational experience in small seminars where they can develop their writing, speaking, and analytical skills. The Department of Political Science is pleased to be able to make these opportunities available to our strongest students.

Requirements for the Honors Program in Political Science

Achieving honors in Political Science requires students to complete the normal 36 credit-hour major requirements, and offers members of the program opportunities connected with their courses not available to other students. In addition to the regular requirements, honors students need to:

  • Have an overall cumulative grade point average of 3.50, and a 3.70 in political science courses; and completion of 12 credits in political science (including, normally, R POS 101, 102, and 103) before beginning the program.
  • Take the course  Great Ideas in Political Science (POS 496Z) which will fulfill the general education and the political science upper level writing requirement as well. This seminar will be taught each fall and will be restricted to honors students. We strongly encourage students to enroll in this course in the fall of their junior years.
  • Students in the Honors Program must take two 3 credit POS 300 level courses for one additional credit each (which is acquired by registering for either the 1 credit POS 300 or 300s in conjunction with any 3 credit POS 300 level course). In addition to attending classes and doing the same assignments as the other students in the course, the additional fourth credit is earned through a tutorial with the faculty member teaching the course that includes extra reading and writing assignments.

Students in the Honors Program will have the option of capping their studies with either a) 4-credit honors thesis (POS 499Z) written under the supervision of a faculty member of the student's choosing or b) a 4-credit version of an existing 400-level course in which the honors student will undertake writing the thesis within the context of the course (a 1 credit POS 400 level in conjunction with any 3 credit POS 400-level course) or  in the course POS 495Z (Research and Writing in Washington) for those doing the Semester in Washington program.
Majors may discuss admission with the Political Science director of the Honors Program (Professor Peter Breiner) at any time during their first or second year or at the beginning of their third year. Transfer students should apply upon their admission to the University.