Department Honors Thesis
The political science department offers an honors thesis program for those students who have done distinguished work in their political science classes. This program should be of particular interest to students who are considering graduate studies in political science or related fields.
Application to the political science honors program IS BY INVITATION ONLY. Specific requirements related to GPA and coursework determine qualification to the program. Students admitted to the honors thesis program will take two thesis supervision courses in their senior year and write a substantial thesis under the guidance of a POLS faculty. Only one of these courses can count toward the POLS major. Students, however, are strongly encouraged to complete the 10 POLS courses required for the major, and use the thesis credit as an additional POLS credit. This makes it more likely that students will take at least one course on the topic of their thesis, a requirement of the program. In order to help prepare candidates to submit their thesis prospectus, the department requires attendance to a research design workshop during the applicant’s junior year. At the conclusion of their senior year, students present and defend their thesis in an open forum.
- Instructions to apply (PDF)
- Example of a strong Thesis Prospectus (PDF)
- Sample Honors Thesis Introductory Chapter (PDF)
Washington Semester Program
Many political science majors spend a semester working, studying, and conducting research in Washington, D.C., although this program is open to majors in other disciplines as well. Each student obtains an internship in a government office or in organizations dealing with politics, communications, business, education, law, social service, health, and other public policy issues. Besides the internship, students participate in a weekly public-policy seminar and write a thesis under the guidance of College faculty.
Learn more about the Washington Semester Program.
Charles Carroll Program
Yochai Benkler, the Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, gives a keynote address on "The Idea of the Commons and the Future of Capitalism." The conference was sponsored in part by the Charles Carroll Program.
The Charles Carroll program, named after the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, enriches the department’s curriculum through its focus on the major themes of the American political tradition and the tradition of political philosophy — themes intimately connected to the College’s broader commitment to the liberal arts and the Jesuit educational mission.
The program brings distinguished guest lecturers on these subjects from a variety of perspectives each year; funds a sophomore seminar, to which admission is competitive; supports two postdoctoral students, who enrich our course offerings; and also provides students with opportunities for paid summer research internships.
Learn more about the Charles Carroll Program.
Political Science Honor Society
The political science department sponsors a chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honorary society. Admission (in either the junior or senior year) is based on the student’s grades.