The honors thesis offers students a valuable introduction to conducting advanced research. Besides the intrinsic rewards that come from conducting research under the supervision of a professor in the department, many graduate programs require the submission of such research as part of their application process.
Students with a 3.5 GPA by the start of their senior year may opt to write the senior honors thesis, which is generally 60 pages in length and must be written under the direction of a faculty member. Students must receive special permission from the department undergraduate coordinator to register for the two-semester Senior Honors Thesis class (POL 496A in the fall and 496B in the spring) to receive credit for their work on the thesis.
Students may consult with a potential faculty supervisor at the end of their junior year to develop a thesis topic. A proposal should be submitted to the faculty member and undergraduate director prior to the add/drop period of course registration in the fall semester of the senior year to receive permission to register for POL 496A. Research and writing takes place through the fall and spring with guidance from the faculty supervisor. The student submits a final draft of the thesis no later than mid-April, and presents his/her research before a small group of faculty members at the end of the semester at the honors research colloquium.
Interested students should contact Dr. Jonathan Askonas (or the current undergraduate director), for more information.