The Honors Program in Political Science has two separate components, Junior Honors and Senior Honors. To graduate with departmental honors, a major must complete Senior Honors. Junior Honors is not required for admission to Senior Honors or for graduation with departmental honors, but it is strongly advised to juniors (and occasionally, sophomores) as means by which the student can learn about honors level academic work and by which the student can demonstrate an ability to complete honors quality work.
The Junior Honors Seminar (PSCI 396) is reserved for junior political science majors interested in entering the senior Honors Program. In 2004-5, the seminar will explore controversial questions about the appropriate study or theory of politics and the practice of it by statesmen. What are the purposes, methods, and limits of political science? What is statesmanship or successful leadership? How are political science and practical statesmanship related to ethical norms and insights? What kind of political education is appropriate for citizens? Readings will include selections from James Ceaser's Liberal Democracy and Political Science and biographies of or works and speeches by Elizabeth I, Ataturk, Washington, Lincoln, and Churchill.
The Senior Honors Program in political science is designed to recognize and encourage exceptional scholarship in the discipline and to allow able students to do more independent work in the subject than is otherwise permitted. Senior honors candidates are admitted into the program based on an oral examination conducted by faculty members, normally at the end of the junior year. Political science majors who are considering senior honors are encouraged (but not required) to enroll in PSCI 396 (Junior Honors) during their junior year. The senior honors candidate works with two members of the department to prepare a major essay on a topic of his or her choice, which is then defended before an outside examiner in May.