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Indiana University Bloomington

Woodburn Hall facilities

Honors Program

The Honors Program in Political Science provides qualified students with the opportunity to undertake original research and writing under the direction of a faculty sponsor. It is intended for students who are excited about doing independent research, who want to gain more skills and confidence doing extended research and in-depth writing, and who are committed to working on a topic that can sustain them for an extended period of time.

Formal admission to the Departmental Honors program may occur as early as the end of the sophomore year, but typically students don't start the process until junior year.  Students are eligible to apply if they have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in political science and 3.3 in overall university courses and have taken at least 9 hours in political science, including at least one 300-level course.

Most students considering work on the Honors degree speak with an academic advisor to discuss their plan and begin to complete the application form. Then they would contact a faculty member to serve as their Honors sponsor.   You will need to file an application form with the advisor’s and faculty sponsor's signatures with the Undergraduate Office.  After filing the form, you will start preparing a written research proposal.  A copy of that proposal, the application form, and a list of the faculty sponsors who will serve as your Honors committee must be kept on file in the Undergraduate office and updated as necessary. You will receive authorization to enroll in the appropriate course credits through your academic advisor when the forms are complete.  The Undergraduate Office (Woodburn 210) must have all accurate and up-to-date information to process the Honors Degree - this is your responsibility, not the responsibility of your faculty sponsors.

To attain the political science degree with honors, students ordinarily complete: [New 2017/18 structure]

  • OPTIONAL: 1-3 credit hours of readings X490on a subject related to their Honors project (usually during their junior year)* File a separate X490 approval form with the undergraduate office.
  • 4 hours of the Honors colloquium (3 cr. Y499 in fall and 1 cr. in spring) during their senior year. The fall Y499 colloquium counts as Intensive Writing for the College of Arts & Sciences and will substitute for the Y490 Senior Seminar requirements for the major.
  • Additional 3-8 thesis credit hours of Y499 for researching and writing the thesis in the senior year.* Discuss allocating these hours with your faculty sponsor.
  • Students are expected to present an acceptable Honors thesis and defend it orally before the Honors committee. Please file a copy of the thesis with the POLS Undergraduate Office.
  • * An approved graduate seminar may be substituted for either X490 or part of Y499.

Honors students must meet all the requirements for the major, as well as for the College degree. Do not expect requirements to be waived.