The following are guidelines for theses written for honors in political science or international relations. 

(NB: These deadlines are not negotiable.)

  1. The student must register for POLS 399H: Capstone or POLS 390H: Independent Study to begin work on a thesis project.
  2. The student must submit a  Committee Selection Form to the department no later than September 15. The thesis committee will comprise one faculty member who will serve as committee chair and another faculty member who will serve as a second reader. For joint projects, the second reader may come from another department. Under normal circumstances, no faculty members will chair more than two thesis committees in a single year.
  3. The student must submit a draft Thesis Prospectus to both members of his or her committee no later than the end of fall semester classes. The prospectus will comprise a research question, a literature review, a proposed methodology, and (when appropriate) some preliminary data collection.
  4. The student must submit a revised Thesis Prospectus to both members of his or her committee no later than February 1. The revised prospectus should incorporate comments and suggestions from both members of the committee.
  5. The student must submit a preliminary draft of the honors thesis to the chair of his or her committee no later than the beginning of Spring Break.
  6. The student must submit a complete, revised draft of the honors thesis to both members of his or her committee no later than April 5. The thesis should be at least 6000 words in length, not counting any accompanying notes and references. It should incorporate comments and suggestions from the chair of the committee and must be suitable for oral defense.
  7. The student must defend the thesis before both members of his or her committee no later than April 15.
  8. The student must submit a final copy of the thesis to the chair of his or her committee for formal approval no later than April 20. The final copy should incorporate comments and suggestions from both members of the committee. The chair of the committee and second reader together will determine whether the thesis meets acceptable standards for graduation with honors. Acceptable work will be defined as a grade of B+ or better, or its equivalent.
  9. The chair of the committee will inform the departmental Honors Liaison upon final approval (or disapproval) of the thesis prior to the Honors Convocation. A bound copy of the honors thesis will be placed in the political science department library.