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Honors Program

See also: Honors Program Info Sheet and Application

classThe Department's Honors program, leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree is designed to emphasize the ideals of a superior liberal education and to give students a more rigorous and intensive preparation in Political Science. Admission is selective. The Honors concentration is normally a one to two-year program. The honors concentration consists of thirty-four (34) hours in political science numbered 200 and above, including completion of POLS 201, POLS 487, POLS 488, and POLS 499. These 34 hours must include four courses numbered at the 200-level, which must be completed with a minimum cumulative average of 3.0. To graduate with honors in political science, the student must have a minimum GPA of 3.3 in political science, and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25.

The Honors Program encourages fruitful contacts between individual students and faculty members, and student involvement in planning and developing the program. As a senior, each student takes POLS 487  and POLS 488 , investigates a topic of his or her choice, and presents the results in an Honors Thesis. This project develops with the assistance and supervision of the Honors Director or another member of the Political Science faculty.

Click here to see current 2014-2015 honors students and their projects!

Program Requirements (effective fall 2014)

To receive Honors in Political Science students must:

  1. Apply for and be admitted to the program by the Director of Undergraduate Studies; students are encouraged to apply for the program during the Fall Semester (by mid-October) of their Junior Year.
  2. Maintain a minimum 3.3 GPA in Political Science and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all university coursework;
  3. Complete 34 hours of credit in Political Science courses numbered 200 or above, as detailed below.
  4. Complete POLS 201, POLS 487 and POLS 488. 487 and 488 are taken during fall and spring, respectively, of the senior year. POLS 201 should be completed prior to enrolling in POLS 487, but can be taken at the same time as 487.

Political science 101 or 107, and 102 are prerequisites to the major. The major consists of 31 hours of courses numbered 200 or above. At least 19 hours of courses numbered 300 or above must be completed.

Select four courses – (must include POLS 201):

  • POLS 200 - Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • POLS 201 - Research Methods
  • POLS 240 - Introduction to Public Administration and Public Policy
  • POLS 249 - Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLS 265 - Introduction to International Relations

Select five upper-level courses:

  • any 300-400 level political science courses


  • POLS 480 - Capstone
  • POLS 487 and 488

Honors Courses

classPOLS 107 Honors: United States Government and Politics (3)
Analysis and exploration of the American political system for students with superior ability. 3.25 GPA required for current students; 29 ACT composite or 1250 SAT composite required for incoming students. This course is highly recommended, but not required, for students considering applying for the departmental Honors Program.

POLS 487 Senior Honors Seminar (3) and 488 Senior Thesis (3)
Required of honors majors; admission with consent of department. To meet the requirements of the 487 Senior Seminar, students must: (A) Faithfully attend and participate in seminar meetings; (B) Submit a thesis prospectus to the instructor of Political Science 487 by midterm; (C) Choose a thesis director; (D) Submit a draft of the first chapter of the thesis to their thesis director at the end of the semester. To meet the requirements of Political Science 488 Senior Thesis Seminar students must: (A) submit a complete draft of the thesis to the instructor of Political Science 488, as well as the thesis director, no later than four weeks before the end of the semester; and (B) Submit the final thesis manuscript for evaluation by both the 488 instructor and thesis director at the end of the semester.

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