Distinction and Honors Program

Distinction in the Major

Distinction in the major is a way to show your dedication and academic achievement in the study of Political Science. Distinction is also a way for you to focus your own journey in the study of Political Science.

We in the Undergraduate Team will do our best to identify Political Science majors who have shown Distinction in the Major, however, to be certain of consideration, we encourage you to communicate your intent to graduate with distinction three weeks before the end of your last semester.


  • 3.7 GPA on all courses in the major; minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • A minimum of 20 credits of upper-level courses in the major, in residence.

Honors in the Major in Political Science

Students wishing to declare honors in the major are required to have completed at least one political science course, have a cumulative GPA of 3.3, and should fill out this form after a meeting with a major advisor in which Honors in the Major is discussed and approved.

To plan your honors experience, you can make an appointment with one of the political science advisors using the Starfish App.


  • 20 credits of honors courses in the major (6 credits of honors thesis courses, 683/684 or 681/682, are included in this total).
  • Major GPA of 3.5 or higher in all political science courses.
  • Complete one of the following: a Proseminar (601), advanced course by faculty invitation, or a research internship with a Political Science faculty member.
  • Honors thesis (two options):
    • PoliSci 683/684 (recommended), The Honors Thesis Colloquium, is a two semester class that helps you ask research questions of appropriate scope and design, provides a forum for thesis writing, and an exploration of relevant issues in political science. The Colloquium provides a space for you to learn from the instructor and from your classmates and also helps you set important deadlines and milestones for timely completion of your thesis. You will also work closely with your faculty advisor over the course of the academic year.
    • PoliSci 681/682 (For students with scheduling conflicts only). Students enrolled in the Honors Thesis, 681/682, work directly with a faculty advisor on the design, research, and writing of the thesis.