Majors, minors + certificates

Departmental HonorsDepartment of Political Science

Students on Summer 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021 requirements.


The Department of Political Science makes a special effort to give outstanding students opportunities appropriate to their abilities and interests. In addition to a number of topics courses and small seminars, the department offers a formal program leading to a B.A. with honors.

Admission to the program usually occurs at the end of the sophomore year. Students are eligible to apply if they have completed at least 9 credit hours in political science, including at least one 300-level course, with a minimum grade point average of 3.500 in political science and a minimum overall GPA of 3.300 in university courses. Students must complete an application and meet with the director of honors in the Department of Political Science to discuss the student's proposed program.

Honors requirements

  1. One (1) of the following options:
    • Traditional Honors Thesis option. For this option, students will complete honors coursework during what is normally their senior year, resulting in the completion of an Honors Thesis under the direction of an honors committee. There are two tracks to complete this option:
      • Honors Colloquium track. Students in this track enroll in four (4) credit hours of POLS-Y 499, including a 3-credit honors thesis seminar in fall semester and 1 credit in spring semester, usually in their senior year. Honors thesis students may fulfill their POLS-Y 490 senior seminar requirement via the 3-credit fall semester POLS-Y 499. Up to eight (8) additional hours of POLS Y-499 may be taken during the student's senior year by agreement between the student and his or her honors thesis adviser, for the purpose of individual consultation regarding the honors thesis research. During the course of the year, students will research and write an Honors Thesis. The thesis must earn a grade of B+ or higher to receive Departmental Honors.
      • Graduate Seminar track. Students in this track enroll in a graduate seminar in political science. The research paper for the seminar serves as the basis for the honors thesis and the instructor of the graduate seminar becomes the chairperson of the student's honors committee. Students then work with their honors committee to complete an Honors Thesis. The thesis must earn a grade of B+ or higher to receive Departmental Honors. This track is used very infrequently.
    • Indiana Political Analysis Workshop (IPAW) option. For this option, students complete the Indiana Political Analysis Workshop, giving them the opportunity to learn quantitative and qualitative analysis and programming techniques and to gain experience in applying these techniques to real-world policy and political analyses. To complete this track, students must be accepted to the Indiana Political Analysis Workshop, which has a separate application requirements and process. Up to 25 students will be admitted per year. To earn Departmental Honors under the IPAW option, students must complete the following:
      1. Seminar in Political Analytics. One (1) course:
        • (approved topic: "Senior Seminar in Political Science (Approved topic: Political Analytics")
      2. Graduate course in Political Science. One (1) course:
        • Any graduate course at the 500–699 level, excluding POLS-Y 576 and POLS-Y 579
      3. Analytic Methods. Both of the following:
        1. Quantitative Political Analysis. One (1) course:
        2. Advanced Analytic Methods. One (1) course:
          • POLS-Y 576
          • POLS-Y 579
      4. Honors Thesis. Present an acceptable honors thesis that earns a grade of B+ or higher and enroll in "Honors Colloquium" section of POLY-S 499 for three (3) credits in the fall semester and one (1) credit in the spring semester of the student's senior year. The thesis should be a product of the Political Science graduate course taken (but not POLS-Y 576 or POLS-Y 579).
  2. GPA and Hours Requirements.
    1. Students must have a College GPA of 3.300 or higher to qualify for admission to a Departmental Honors program and to receive Departmental Honors. Units may set a higher College GPA.
    2. Units establish additional criteria, including admissions procedures, academic performance standards, and whether there are required courses, papers, or projects.
    3. Students who wish to earn honors in two different units must complete a distinct body of work for each honors notation.