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Honors Program

The political science honors program recognizes the most distinguished majors, who complete an advanced course of study, culminating in an honor's thesis. In order to be eligible, students must have completed 22 units of course work overall and at least six units in political science (including Social Science Inquiry) by end of junior year, with an overall and political science grade point average of 3.7 or above, and must be recommended by at least one full-time member of the Department of Political Science. Accepted honors students complete four units of designated honors coursework, including 11 units of political science courses. Honors course work may include honors seminars, standard elective courses with special work above and beyond the norm, or honors independent study courses, though at least two units must be from honors independent study (PLSC 491 and PLSC 492) devoted to proposing, researching, and writing an honors thesis in the senior year. A prospectus for the honors thesis topic must be approved before the end of the second semester junior year, at which time the candidate must identify a thesis advisor and a second reader. The thesis will fulfill the senior capstone requirement for the major; honors students are exempt from taking PLSC 400. Honors students must successfully defend their thesis before a committee of at least two readers, including the thesis advisor, and present their research at the School of Arts & Sciences Student Symposium in April of the senior year.