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The Public Policy and Management
Honors Program

The Honors Program in Public Policy and Management combines recognition of general academic excellence with demonstrated achievement in specific area of public policy.


The Director of the Undergraduate Public Policy and Management Program administers the Honors Program, advises students, and helps students in selecting thesis advisers. The thesis is discussed in a forum involving the adviser, the Honors Director, and other faculty members selected by the student and the adviser upon its completion in the senior year.

Selection and Evaluation

Student must have declared Public Policy and Management as a major and have completed at least 12 credits of coursework in the major. Student must have an overall grade point average not lower than 3.25, and a grade point average of 3.50 in the core subjects in public policy and management for admission to the Honors Program. Students may apply to the Honors Program during their sophomore year or during the first semester of their junior year.

Upon satisfactory completion of the honors curriculum and of courses required of all majors, students will be recommended by the Director of Public Policy and Management to graduate with honors in Public Policy and Management. Students must maintain at least the same grade point average overall and the same average in the major as were required for admission to the Honors Program to graduate with honors.


The Honors Program in Public Policy and Management is a combined major and minor program requiring a minimum of 54 credits, including the completion of an honors thesis. Coursework: students in the honors program must complete the same coursework requirements as specified for the non-honors major.

Thesis: each student must complete a 30 to 40 page honors thesis. This paper should involve original research on a topic related to public policy. It should have a clearly defined thesis statement, a review of the existing literature on the chosen topic, original evidence offered to support the thesis, consideration of alternative rival hypothesis, and a conclusion of the consequence for public policy research of these findings. The paper is to be created in conjunction with a faculty mentor approved by the Director of the Undergraduate Public Policy and Management program (and the paper may be co-authored with the chosen faculty mentor). The paper is to be submitted to the Director of the Undergraduate Public Policy and Management program.

Completion of the thesis requires enrolling in two research courses, RPAD 494 and RPAD 496, in which the student works one-on-one with a faculty advisor to conduct the required research and write the thesis. RPAD 494 may be counted towards the Area of Management and Politics, and RPAD 496 may be counted towards the Area of Quantitative Methods and Policy Analysis.

Students are encouraged to identify their thesis question and advisor before the end of their junior year.