Honors

The Political Science Research Honors Program leads to a Bachelor of Arts with Honors (B.A.H.) in Political Science. Students pursuing the B.A.H. are expected to complete the standard Political Science major as well as conduct research under the supervision of a faculty member, culminating in an honors thesis.

 

APPLICATION DEADLINE
Application are currently closed.

Application Process

To participate in the Research Honors Program in Political Science, students must apply and be accepted to the program during the winter quarter of their junior year. A complete application includes:

Students are expected have research experience prior to applying to the honors program. The Political Science Summer Research College (SRC) program is one way to acquire this experience. SRC is a ten-week program in which students are paid to work with faculty on their ongoing research projects. The SRC application typically opens in Winter quarter. Students may also pursue research with faculty during the academic year.

Prerequisites for Admittance

  • GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • POLISCI 1 The Science of Politics
  • POLISCI 150A Data Science for Politics (students may substitute CS 106A, Econ 102A, Stats 101, or Stats 60)
  • Research experience

Research Honors Program Requirements

To graduate with honors in Political Science, students must:

  1. Secure an honors advisor at the time of application to the research honors program. The honors advisor must be a Political Science faculty member or a courtesy faculty member (non-lecturer).
  2. Complete POLISCI 299A Research Design in the Spring quarter of junior year.
  3. Complete POLISCI 299B Honors Thesis Seminar in the Autumn quarter of senior year. 
  4. Complete POLISCI 299C in Winter quarter of senior year and POLISCI 299D in Spring quarter of senior year. Enroll in both of these with your honors thesis advisor.
  5. Earn a grade of ‘B’ or higher in in POLISCI 299A and 299B. Students unable to meet these requirements may be removed from the program. (see below for Academic Year 2020-21 Grading Policy)
  6. Submit a completed thesis, approved by the adviser, in the Spring quarter of senior year. The thesis must receive a grade of ‘B+’ or higher. The thesis grade will also serve as the grade for POLISCI 299C and 299D. (see below for Academic Year 2020-21 Grading Policy)

Up to 20 units of honors coursework may be applied toward the additional related coursework requirement for the major.

Honors Grading Basis Policy (Academic Year 2020-21 only) 

To graduate with honors in Political Science, students may elect to take honors courses (299A-D) with the following grading bases:

A) Letter Grade: Should students elect this option, a grade of B in 299A and 299B, and B+ on the thesis will be required to graduate with honors.

B) CR/NC: Should students elect this option, the instructors of 299A/299B must certify that the coursework completed is of at least B quality, and the thesis advisor must certify that the thesis is of at least B+ quality to graduate with honors.

If a student’s performance in 299A or B or on the thesis does not meet the standards for honors described above, up to 20 units of honors coursework may be applied toward the additional related coursework requirement for the major as long as the student earns at least a C (if the letter grade option is chosen) or CR (if the CR/NC option is chosen) but the student will not graduate with honors.

Award Recipients

2019

  • Firestone Medal recipient: Jacob Randolph, 2019 Research Honors student
    • Honors Thesis title: Moderating Candidates or Maintaining the Status Quo? An Evaluation of California's Top-Two Primary
  • Award for Excellence in Honors Thesis Presentation: Meredith Manda, 2019 Research Honors student
    • Honors Thesis title: "The Lesser of Two Evils:" Trustworthiness and Turnout in the 2016 Election

2018

  • Firestone Medal recipient: Elise Kostial, 2018 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: Time Heals All: Timing and Competitiveness of Primary Elections
  • Award for Excellence in Honors Thesis Presentation: Sarah Manney, 2018 Research Honors student
    • Honors Thesis title: For Fear of Fake News: The Effect of Warnings on Trust of Partisan Information

2017

  • Firestone Medal recipient: Brett Parker, 2017 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: Election or Appointment? A Quantitative Study of the Effects of Judicial Selection Method on Judicial Voting in Criminal Procedure Cases
  • Award for Distinguished Honors Thesis: James Stephens, 2017 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: The State of the Soldier: An Analysis of Veteran's Affairs Medical Centers

2016

  • Firestone Medal recipient: David Kay, 2016 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: Predicting the Animal Welfare Policy Preferences of Federal Legislators
  • Award for Distinguished Honors Thesis: Nicole Dayhoff, 2016 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: Analyzing Racial Sentencing Disparity in State Criminal Courts
  • Award for Excellence in Honors Thesis Presentation: Luke Babich, 2016 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: Mass Media on the Path to Peace:  The Role of the Press in Sino-US Rapprochement

2015

  • Firestone Medal recipient: Elsa Brown, 2015 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: Threat Types and Switching Tactics: the Effects on Domestic Audience Costs
  • Award for Distinguished Honors Thesis: Lily McElwee, 2015 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: Regime Type and FDI in Extractive Industries
  • Award for Excellence in Honors Thesis Presentation: Edward Ngai, 2015 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: Representation in Hong Kong

2014

  • Firestone Medal recipient: AJ Sugarman, 2014 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: Do Counterinsurgents Make Good Neighbors?  Insurgent Organization, Spillover Effects, and Violence in Iraq
  • Award for Distinguished Honors Thesis: Chi Ling Chan, 2015 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: Ethnic Discrimination in the Singapore Labor Market: Evidence from a Field Experiment
  • Award for Excellence in Honors Thesis Presentation: Yoseph Desta, 2014 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: A Judiciary Punt Syndrome? Analyzing the Supreme Court's Use of the Remand Procedure

2013

  • Firestone Medal recipient: Eric Dunn, 2013 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: Legislators in Suits: Analyzing how lawyers make their case to the Supreme Court
  • Award for Distinguished Honors Thesis: Patrick Kennedy, 2013 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: Destined to Disappoint? A Cross-Country Analysis of Executive Approval and Political Institutions
  • Award for Excellence in Honors Thesis Presentation: Alexandra Farhat, 2013 Research Honors Track student
    • Honors Thesis title: Redefining Constituency: How 140 Characters is Turning Representatives into Surrogates