Santa Clara University

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Political Science Honors Program

The Department of Political Science Honors Program is intended to help students prepare for post-undergraduate study and facilitate their participation in the intellectual life of the department and the student community.

Applications to the program will be made available to any political science major who is not a senior and who has completed at least two of the lower division sequence of courses (001, 002, 025, 030) with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Transfer students may be considered on the basis of comparable courses taken at other institutions. Admission to the program is granted upon satisfactory completion of a written application form, two letters of recommendation from political science faculty, and a personal interview with the Faculty Director. A maximum of fifteen students per year will be admitted.

Program Requirements

All requirements for the political science major must be fulfilled. Additionally, each honors student will:

1. Complete a Senior Thesis. The thesis is expected to be a “significant research paper,” most likely an expanded and polished version of the senior seminar paper. Specific requirements, such as page length, will be developed in consultation with a political science department faculty sponsor of the student’s choosing. The thesis must be approved by this primary faculty sponsor, as well a secondary faculty sponsor who may be, but need not be, a member of the political science department. Students should plan to take their senior seminar in the winter or spring quarter of the junior year (or fall of the senior year at the latest). The thesis will then be completed in POLI 180, a special 5-unit honors course which will be taken in the winter quarter of the senior year. (This course is graded but cannot be used to fulfill the upper-division elective required by the political science major.)

2. Complete one of the following three supplemental curriculum requirements:

a) a minor or a second major

b) Economics 1 and 2

c) Language 21 and 22

3. Submit a 2-3 page Senior Activity Report by the end of the senior year. The report will describe and document the student’s participation in and contribution to political science at Santa Clara. The activity report will contain information about classroom performance, research projects, and service to the university and community.

4. Take a highly active role in the affairs of the department, which would certainly include attendance at departmental functions (guest lectures, panel discussions, Open House, etc.). Further, honors students are expected to sponsor such events from time to time, generally enhancing the intellectual climate in the department. One student representative of the honors program has full voting status in most department decisions, including the hiring of new professors.

Applications can be downloaded here. Please return completed applications to Dr. Peter Minowitz, Program Director, A&S 225, x4139.