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Honors Major

The Department offers an honors major for students of outstanding academic promise with a major and overall GPA of 3.5 or higher.

  • POLSCI 381 is a prerequisite for admittance to the honors major. Typically, it is offered in both the Fall and Winter terms. Students then apply for the Honors major in the Winter term of their junior year.
  • Admission decisions will be announced shortly after the end of the Winter term. Students taking POLSCI 381 before their junior year may be admitted provisionally, with final admission contingent on maintaining the required GPA through the end of junior year.   

As part of the application, students will upload:

  • Their research prospectus is written in POLSCI 381
  • A one-page statement about why the student wishes to pursue an Honors Thesis in Political Science: this statement can include why the topic matters and should be examined, why getting into the Political Science Honors program is of value to the student, and/or what the student plans to do with the knowledge gained in the topic.

Applications to the Honors Major will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Overall and major GPA,
  • Overall performance in POLSCI 381 (generally in the A range),
  • Quality of the research prospectus (written in POLSCI 381), 
  • Success at obtaining a faculty advisor.

Honors students elect POLSCI 493 and 494 (the Honors Thesis seminars) during their senior year and write a major research paper under the direction of a faculty member. They complete the research paper and defend it in an oral examination at the end of their senior year.  

The 2024-2025 Honors Cohort application is now open with a Deadline of May 8.

Other Honors

  • The Political Science Department certifies students for membership in affiliated honorary societies.   
  • Students with a 3.3 overall average and 3.5 in Political Science are eligible to join Pi Sigma Alpha (the honorary society in Political Science).

The application to join Pi Sigma Alpha will reopen in early Fall 2024.

Please contact Alice Austin, the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, at if you have any questions.