Political Science Honors
Students majoring in Political Science are invited to complete honors during their senior year. The following requirements must be fulfilled to receive honors at Commencement:
1. A 3.75 grade point average in political science and an overall 3.5 grade point average at the end of the second semester of the junior year or a reasonable expectation of a 3.75 GPA in political science by the end of the first semester of the senior year.
2. Honors candidates will enroll in an Independent Study (PSC 970) in either semester of their senior year. Under the direction of a faculty advisor, the applicant will develop a senior thesis using empirical and/or theoretical research methods.
3. In consultation with faculty advisor, candidates will select at least 2 additional faculty committee members. The candidate is expected to have his/her proposal approved by his/her committee no later than the end of the Fall semester prior to thesis completion. The candidate will meet frequently throughout the semester with his/her Thesis Advisor and share the “Work in Progress” with the entire committee, no later than March 20th. At this time, the candidate will discuss the status of his/her thesis with each committee member. A second draft of the thesis should be received by the committee no later than 2 weeks prior to the defense (mid-April). If no further changes are required, this draft will serve as the final version. If not, the final version of the thesis must be given to the committee within 48 hours of the defense.
4. The candidate will defend the thesis before the faculty advisor and selected faculty, who will determine whether to award honors, before the completion of the spring semester. In some cases, additional, minor edits may be required before awarding of honors. The thesis advisor will manage completion of these edits.
5. In the event that the candidate does not receive honors, a grade will be received for the Independent Study.
6. A copy of the successful thesis will be kept by the Department as an example for future students.
Recent honors theses titles:
- The Effect of Gerrymandering on Political Polarization in the U.S. House of Representatives During the 2012-2013 Fiscal Cliff Crisis
- The Relationship Between the Media and Political Participation Among Young Adults
- Minor League, Major Impact? Examining the Relationship Between Minor League Baseball and Civic Engagement
- War and the Rationality of Service
- Female Candidates’ Approaches to Gender Stereotyping in Campaign Television Advertisements
- Changing Media Coverage of Female Athletes Since Title IX
- Land Management and Sprawl
- Government Funding for Sports Franchises and Stadiums
- Justice and the War in Iraq