Why do Honors?

The Department of Political Science has developed an Honors Thesis Program to provide undergraduate students with research experience and skills that they will need in their future careers. The Honors in the Major Program provides students with:

  • individual attention
  • Mentoring by multiple faculty for success at FAU and after graduation
  • One-on-one work to hone research and writing expertise
  • Development of skills used in graduate school, law school, government work, and employment
  • Environment that enriching writing and presentation skills

Admission to the Honors Program

A student must be a Political Science Major and meet the following requirements for admission to the honors program:

1.   Students may apply after completing a minimum of 9 credit hours in political science. After grades are processed, applications will be reviewed and admitted applicants will be contacted. No more than 10% of our majors will ever be admitted to the program.

2.   Minimum Criteria for application are:

    1)   >3.2 cumulative grade point average.

    2)   >3.6 grade point average in political science courses.

    3)  Have at least two academic semesters left to complete the program requirements.

    4)  Submission of a statement of purpose to the Department of Political Science.

    5)  Submission to the Department of Political Science of a sponsor letter from a Political  Science faculty member stating that he or 

         she will supervise the student’s honors  research.

    6) Submit application to Dr. Nichols at nicholsa@fau.edu.

Program Standards

1.     Students must maintain a cumulative 3.2 GPA throughout the program to progress.

2.     If less than a B is earned in any political science course or the student's cumulative GPA falls below 3.2, the student will be reviewed for dismissal from the Honors program. The honors committee will review such cases and make a final decision regarding the student’s continuance.

3.     Students admitted to the Honors Program must maintain high academic and ethical standards, attend classes, and meet honors level expectations.

4.    The minimum amount of time necessary to complete the honors program is one year.


Criteria for Successful Completion

In addition to maintaining the program standards listed above, students must:

 1. Complete the following course requirements:
       1)   An undergraduate methods course with an honors compact or a graduate level methods course (must have already taken undergraduate methods to choose this option).

       2)  An upper-level undergraduate course or graduate level course relevant to thesis project.


2. Complete the capstone project.

      1)  Project will take the form of a senior thesis, i.e. an article-length (at least 25 pages doubled-spaced) investigation of a significant research question.

      2) Project must be overseen by a faculty member in the Department of Political Science through Directed Independent Study (DIS) classes. Students should enroll in a minimum of 3 DIS credit hours and a maximum of 9 DIS credit hours.

      3) Students must present their project at a department workshop, the university’s undergraduate research symposium, or a major political science conference such as the annual meeting of the Florida Political Science Association.

      4)  Students must submit their project for review and approval by the honors program committee. Thesis should be submitted at least one month prior to desired graduation date.

      5)  If a student does not maintain the necessary standards, credits earned during honors may  be applied for credit in the major.