The POSC Honors Program

(Submissions for 2014-2015 are CLOSED)

The Political Science department offers two Honors programs for POSC Majors: a Freshmen-Sophomore program, and a Junior-Senior program. Both Honors Programs offer outstanding students an opportunity to pursue scholarly research in political science. The programs help students sharpen their critical-thinking and research skills while engaging in an intellectual study of a specific topic.  Students in the Honors Program in Political Science have described this experience as a defining part of their college careers.

Freshman-Sophomore Honors

For freshman and sophomores, the department offers POSC 190a and b: Politics and Society.  During the initial semester, POSC 190a emphasizes:

  • discussion
  • independent research
  • oral and written reports

The following semester, POSC 190b, continues the first semester's work with greater emphasis on research. The program is open only to Freshmen and Sophomore POSC majors of high academic standing. Students are selected after careful screening based on their academic record and a personal interview. Classes are limited to approximately 10-15 students.

Junior-Senior Honors

Junior and senior POSC majors who are admitted to the program work closely with the course instructor, Professor Dennis Chong (Department Chair), to develop and complete a research project. Successful completion of the Honors Program leads to a B.A. degree with Honors in Political Science—a distinction that will be designated on the student’s transcript. The best Honors theses will be considered for publication in the department’s Undergraduate Political Science Journal.

Admitted students enroll in a two-semester honors thesis seminar, POSC 391: Honors I Undergraduate Seminar (Fall Semester) and POSC 392: Honors II Undergraduate Thesis (Spring Semester). During the Fall semester, students participate in weekly meetings to discuss the elements of social science research and to develop their research proposals. During the Spring semester, students research and write their honors papers, which they present to the class at the end of the semester.

Admission to the program is based on a competitive application process. Junior and senior Honors students must have a minimum college and departmental GPA of 3.5. Classes are limited to approximately 10 students.

For more information please contact Paul Kovich or Fanny Cisneros in the Academic Advising Office.



  • Department of Political Science