The senior honors thesis is the culmination of your college experience, emphasizing critical thinking, writing, and independent research. Completing an honors thesis is an opportunity for you to satisfy your intellectual curiosity and develop a major research project in Political Science, develop transferable skills, work closely with a faculty mentor who has expertise in your area of inquiry, and open windows into future professions. Completion of an honors thesis is highly recommended for Political Science majors who are considering pursuing an advanced (e.g., masters, doctoral, or professional) degree.
Students who successfully complete their thesis and have it approved by their mentor, two faculty readers, and the Committee on Undergraduate Honors are eligible to graduate with honors in Political Science. The Committee on Undergraduate Honors annually awards the Kanner Prize ($500) to an outstanding Baruch honors thesis.
Here is what Olivia Sztanga, winner of the college-wide Kanner Prize for best honors thesis in 2017, had to say about writing an honors thesis:
“Writing an honors thesis has been both an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience. When I began this project, I was seeking an opportunity to develop my interests in migration-related topics within an academic environment. This project helped me fulfill that goal by giving me the opportunity to work closely with excellent faculty members who share my research interests. I can also say that this project has pushed me to improve my research, writing, and professional skills beyond any other class or activity I have taken while in college. I am so grateful to the Baruch College Committee on Undergraduate Honors and the Baruch College Political Science Department for making this program available to Baruch students. I have already and will continue to recommend that other students take advantage of this opportunity to further develop their own interests or academic skills.”
Who Can Write an Honors Thesis?
Students who choose to write an honors thesis in Political Science must meet the following qualifications and requirements:
- 3.5 GPA in Political Science and also a 3.5 cumulative GPA
- Complete a minimum of four courses in Political Science, including at least two at the 3000 level or above
- Submit an application and prospectus that has been approved by the prospective faculty mentor, the Chair of Political Science (Prof. David Jones), and the Chair of the Committee of Undergraduate Honors (Prof. David Rosenberg). The deadline for the prospectus is April 1 for a student who wishes to begin the thesis in the Fall semester, and November 1 for a student who wishes to begin the thesis in the Spring semester.
- Students do NOT have to be enrolled in the Honors Program to write an honors thesis.
What Is Required of a Political Science Honors Thesis?
- An abstract
- A table of contents
- A well-articulated thesis statement
- A research methodology statement that describes the main definitions, methods, procedures, and techniques used to defend the thesis argument
- Strong support of that thesis statement throughout the body of the paper
- Citation of sources and data using the style found in the APSA Style Manual.
Thesis writers are also expected to participate in Creative Inquiry Day, which takes place in May. Creative Inquiry Day is a yearly event at Baruch that celebrates undergraduate student research and creative projects. It offers students the opportunity to showcase their work and to receive valuable feedback from peers, faculty, and administrators. Prizes are awarded to the best research and creative projects.
For more information on writing a thesis, please explore this site, using the menu above. For general advice and support with finding an appropriate faculty mentor, you may also contact Prof. Till Weber, Honors Thesis Liaison for Political Science. For information on enrolling in POL 6001H, contact Sherina John, Political Science Secretary.