Political Science

Honors Program

Alfredo Oliveira '14

Read the story of Alfredo Oliveira, an honors graduate who switched his business major to political science after being inspired in a class.

Earning the Political Science Honors designation

A political science honors graduate's transcript will note the honor. It's an elite designation that few achieve, and it impresses employers. It also allows a student to work in-depth with a faculty leader on a topic of interest.


  • Those with junior status
  • Those accepted in the major
  • Those with a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major and a GPA of 3.25 or higher in the university. 


  • You must successfully complete and defend a substantial research paper before an honors designation committee of three faculty, one of which you will ask to chair the committee.
  • Work is equivalent to an honors thesis.
  • Investigates and analyzes a significant issue in your chosen field of political science.
  • Issue must be approved by your committee chair, who is responsible for directing it. 
  • Uses a variety of primary and secondary sources and includes a discussion of relevant literature in the paper or bibliography.
  • Conforms to an accepted method of citation accepted by your chair.
  • A good guideline is about 25-40 pages long, typed and double-spaced. 
  • S/U grade awarded in POL 499.


  • Apply at least two semesters before graduation.
  • Typically completed in the two semesters of senior year with research done first semester and writing and presentation done in the second semester.
  • Meet with the department chair, who will determine eligibility and admit you into the program.


University Honors

Find more information about the university's Honors Program and awards in the University Catalog.