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Research Apprenticeship Course

The Research Apprenticeship Course, POLS 47905,  is an excellent opportunity to learn how research in political science is done and to help you make the transition from the kind of writing typically assigned in classes to original research of your own.

At the beginning of each semester, the Director of Undergraduate Studies sends an e-mail to Political Science majors with a list of  faculty needing research assistants and how to apply for them. All Political Science majors are eligible to apply.

Senior Thesis

Students with a 3.55 grade point average are strongly encouraged to consider writing a senior thesis, which makes them eligible for departmental honors at graduation.

The two-semester thesis writing course takes the place of one  Writing Seminar and is an excellent opportunity to perform independent research. At the end of the year, the department presents awards for the outstanding thesis in each subfield.

Guided by a faculty mentor, they have been successful in securing funding for their research, especially by applying for Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) grants from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts and the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement. The Department also offers Strake Grants for senior thesis research. Applications for the Strake Grant are accepted on a rolling basis.

Directed Readings

Students on the Dean's list may apply for permission to take a Directed Readings course.

Directed Readings are a good way for students to pursue their interests, especially on topics that may have a more specific focus than a regular course. This course involves research on a topic building on the student's interest and previous coursework. Students choose a faculty reader with whom to work.

A Directed Readings course must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies or Advisor and the Undergraduate Dean.

Please download the Dean's Directed Readings form to begin the approval process.