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Academics: Honors

Honors thesis requirements for political science and international relations

The following are guidelines for theses written for honors in political science or international relations.
(NB: These deadlines are not negotiable.)

  1. Students must register for POLS 399H: Capstone or POLS 390H: Independent Study to begin work on their project.
  2. Students must select two political science faculty members, one to serve as the chair and one to serve as the reader of their committee. Faculty members will not be asked to supervise more than two (2) honors theses per year. Students must submit a Committee Selection Form to the department no later than September 15.
  3. Students must submit a Thesis Prospectus (comprising a research question, a literature review, a proposed methodology, and some preliminary data collection) to their committee no later than December 15.
  4. Students must schedule a status review meeting with their committee no later than March 7.
  5. A complete, final draft of an honors thesis must be submitted to both faculty readers no later than April 1 in preparation for a formal oral defense to members of the political science department. An honors thesis will normally be expected to be at least 6000 words in length, not counting any accompanying notes and bibliography.
  6. A formal oral defense of the honors thesis to members of the political science department must take place no later than April 15.
  7. A final copy of the honors thesis—incorporating suggestions or criticisms from both faculty readers—must be submitted to both readers for formal approval no later than April 20.
  8. A bound copy of the honors thesis will be placed in the political science department library.
  9. The faculty supervisor will inform the Honors Program director upon final approval—or final disapproval—of any thesis submitted. The faculty supervisor and second reader will together determine whether the thesis meets acceptable standards for graduation “with honors.” Acceptable work will be defined as a grade of B+ or better, or its equivalent.