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Independent Study & Honors

Independent Study: 1-3 credits

Prereq: At least one course in the field of research and permission of a Faculty Supervisor. Students may take independent study only with full-time members of the department. As a general rule, the students should have taken a prior course with this instructor. Departmental permission will not be granted without explicit approval by the instructor. Students should have their faculty supervisor sign the Independent Study Form and submit the completed form to the Political Science Department in HW1724.

POLSC 290.01 - One credit research paper
POLSC 290.02 - Two credit research paper
POLSC 290.03 - Three credit research paper


Starting Fall 2022, Honors will ONLY be offered on a Fall / Spring time table. Students will take POLSC 491 and 493 in the Fall and 492 in the Spring.

Students applying for Honors in Political Science (seeking to enroll in Honors independent study or any course designated for departmental honors), should have:

  1. Declared a major in Political Science.
  2. A GPA in Political Science of at least 3.5, and an overall GPA of at least 3.0.
  3. Taken at least 2 courses (or 6 credits) in Political Science at Hunter College.

To complete the requirements for departmental honors in Political Science at graduation, students must have:

  1. Completed at least 21 credits (or in exceptional cases, 18) in the Political Science Department at Hunter College. In the case of transfer students, the student’s faculty supervisor must recommend an exception to this policy; however, in no case should a student who has taken fewer than 15 credits in academic coursework (excluding internships or other experiential courses) in political science at Hunter College be recommended for departmental honors.
  2. A GPA in the major of not less than 3.5, and an overall GPA of at least 3.0.
  3. Completed at least 2 credits (but not more than 6) in coursework specifically designated for honors.
  4. Supervision: Students writing honors theses will do so with a supervisor who must be a full-time Political Science faculty member.
  5. The thesis should be a major paper of approximately 25 pages in length that reflects serious engagement with a defined set of issues, problems, and questions.
  6. Students are required to enroll in three courses and successfully complete them with a grade of B+ or higher to receive honors in Political Science. POLSC 491 and POLSC 493 should be done simultanously in the first semester and POLSC 492 in the second semester:
    • More information on Courses
    • POLSC 491 (Honors Thesis Research-Inception for 2 credits); and
    • POLSC 493 (Conducting and Presenting Political Science Research for 1 credit)
    • POLSC 492 ( Honors Thesis Research- Completion for 3 credits)
  7. Students seeking to graduate with departmental honors should begin to plan the sequence of honors work at least two semesters in advance of their expected graduation date.
  8. To maximize the chances of successfully recruiting a supervisor for POLSC 491, students are advised to take upper-level courses with full-time faculty. Written assignments for such courses can serve as an ideal basis for developing a thesis proposal and demonstrating to a prospective supervisor the commitment and capacity required to produce a successful honors thesis.
  9. When approaching full-time faculty with proposals for enrollment in POLSC 491, students are required to supply their most recent transcript and a written proposal (no more than one page) outlining the research question.
  10. If the Faculty member agrees to supervise the student, a work plan will be agreed upon in accordance with the Department’s honors calendar, which will be circulated to all staff and students by the Department office and is posted on the Department website.
  11. Approval: Approval for Honors will come from the supervisor.
    1. Once students have received the approval of their supervisor, the paper can be submitted for departmental honors.
    2. Successful completion of departmental honors includes a formal presentation of the thesis to the Honors Committee.
  12. Final Submission: Final papers and Honors Approval Form must be deposited in the department office, 1724W.

Honors Independent Study

POLSC 491 - Two credit honors research paper-inception
POLSC 492- Three credit honors research paper-completion

Students may take an independent study, an honors course, and/or an internship more than once. No more than 6 credits of honors, independent study, internship or other experiential courses may be applied to the major in political science.

POLSC 493 - One credit honors research seminar

Students must take POLSC 493 the same semester they take POLSC 491. Students with extraordinary circumstances should contact the instructor of the course.