Students at Western Michigan University can add a distinguishing mark to their undergraduate record by graduating with honors. Completing honors communicates to graduate programs and future employers that a student not only has an excellent overall academic record, but is also capable of sustaining a demanding research project to conclusion. A student's official transcript will indicate if a student graduates with department honors.To graduate with honors in the Department of Political Science a student must:
The best way to approach the honors thesis is to take your writing-intensive course (4940, 4500, 4050, 4210) well in advance of graduation and use one of the major writing assignments from that course as the basis for a thesis. You will register for PSCI 4900 Honors Thesis in your final term.
The department honors program is not the same as the program offered through the Lee Honors College. It is possible to complete department honors without being affiliated with the Lee Honors College. Many students complete both programs using their single thesis to meet both department honors and honors college requirements.
There is no formal admission process for department honors. A student must simply meet the requirements stated above. It is recommended that a student interested in honors discuss this with a department faculty member and the honors advisor.
An honors student, after consultation with a department faculty member, defines the thesis project. A three-person committee participates in the thesis project with the student, a principal advisor and two readers. It is suggested that once the thesis topic has been determined, the three-member committee should meet with the student to make sure that everyone is clear about the project and how it is to be done. The principal advisor will be a member of the political science faculty; the other committee members need not be. Once the principal advisor is satisfied that a thesis project is close enough to conclusion, the full committee will conduct a thesis defense (oral examination on the thesis). Generally, one final revision of the thesis following the defense will bring the project to conclusion.
A thesis may be done on any topic acceptable to the thesis committee.
Turn the application into the Department of Political Science, 3308 Friedmann Hall.
Due date: The first semester of your senior year.