The Honors Program is designed to provide an opportunity for a structured, year long, in depth study of a topic chosen by the student. Under the supervision of multiple professors, Honors candidates will develop a research design, conduct a literature review, apply theories and research methods relevant to their study and author a thesis that makes an original contribution of some kind. Graduates of the IR Honors Program have found the experience invaluable in enhancing their writing, research and reasoning skills and preparing them for graduate work.
The USC Catalogue is the document of authority for all students. The program requirements listed in the USC Catalogue supersede any information which may be contained in any bulletin of any school or department. The university reserves the right to change its policies, rules, regulations, requirements for graduation, course offerings and any other contents of this catalogue at any time.
The honors program centers around the IR 494 Honors Thesis Seminar that culminates in a thesis based on original research. In the spring of the junior year, students who have earned a GPA of 3.5 in the major and an overall GPA of 3.3 submit an application, two letters of recommendation and a research proposal that identifies the thesis topic to the student affairs office. Upon admission to the program, the student identifies an appropriate faculty member to co-supervise the thesis and, in the fall of the senior year, enrolls in IR 311 to develop the formal research design and complete the literature review. Students may enroll in IR 311 in the fall of their junior year if their research interests are well specified. In the spring of the senior year, the student enrolls in IR 494. If the program is completed successfully (a B+ or better in IR 494, a major GPA of 3.5 and an overall GPA of 3.3 [A = 4.0]), the transcript will read "with Honors."
**Students must receive a B+ or better in both IR 311 and 494