Political Science majors take advantage of the opportunity to explore fundamental questions and contribute to a scholarly conversation.

As undergraduates in the College of Arts and Letters, students have the funding and support to make it their research projects happen. Students conduct original research, assist faculty members with their research, plan and execute year-long senior thesis projects, and present their research at conferences. 

Research Apprenticeships

Students learn how political science is done by assisting faculty members with their research.  The Research Apprenticeship course will 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, Political Science majors will receive an e-mail with a list of faculty needing research assistants, descriptions of the projects and application instructions. Interested students apply directly to the faculty member.  Students meet regularly with the professor and work 4 hours per week.

Past projects have researched the impact of women voters, coastal resilience as it relates to climate change, the Voting Rights Act and political education in authoritarian regimes.

Independent Research

No matter what you are interested in studying, you have many opportunities to conduct original research as an undergraduate in the College of Arts and Letters—and the funding and support to make it happen.

You can apply for funding for your project from a variety of Notre Dame centers, institutes, and programs, including the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program in the College's Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts. Every year, Arts and Letters students receive more than $250,000 in UROP grants alone.

And it's never to early to begin exploring your ideas. The University's Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement has the resources to help you get started on your research — from choosing a topic, to connecting with a faculty adviser, to securing funding.

Senior Thesis

Work one-on-one with a faculty adviser on an original research or creative endeavor that showcases your intellectual growth and serves as the culmination of your undergraduate career.

This is your opportunity to explore fundamental questions, create a work of art, and contribute to a scholarly conversation in your chosen field of study.

Seniors who have 3.55 cumulative grade point average and want to conduct original research are encouraged to write a senior thesis.


Political Science majors present research, expand their networks, and become more knowledgeable about the discipline through attendance at a variety of conferences, including: