Government majors in all tracks with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better and a major GPA of 3.4 or better are eligible to apply for Honors in Government.
In the first semester of the senior year, honors applicants must register for GVT 555 – Senior Thesis with a full-time faculty advisor. Under the supervision and guidance of their advisor, students will complete an intensive research process and write a substantial research paper. Students will then defend their papers in front of the Departmental Honors Committee, which will decide whether or not to confer Honors in Government on the student.
Why write a Senior Thesis? Besides the chance to achieve departmental honors, this project allows students to experience what advanced academic research is really like, prepping them for graduate school.
Guidelines for Honors in Government
- The application for honors in Government must be submitted along with three copies of the senior thesis and a most recent transcript to the Honors Committee no later than November or February.
- Applicant must be a Government major with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.4 in the major.
- Applicant must have completed a minimum of 2 substantive upper level courses in the Government Department at Suffolk Univeristy prior to registering for GVT 555.
- Applicant must write a senior thesis.
- A proposal for the senior thesis must be submitted to the Government Department faculty member the applicant wishes to act as thesis advisor.
- The thesis advisor must sign the application form.
- Upon completion of the senior thesis course the student will receive a grade for the course. Completion of this course does not guarantee honors.
- The Honors Committee will review the applicant’s senior thesis and notify the applicant of the date and time for the applicant’s oral presentation.
- It is the applicant’s responsibility to arrange a schedule of meetings with the thesis advisor and attend the meetings in a timely fashion. Frequent meetings, possibly every other week, should create a good working relationship with the thesis advisor and also the potential for a well-developed thesis.
- Although the nature and topic of the senior thesis will be settled between the applicant and the thesis advisor, the senior thesis is expected to be a serious effort involving reading, research and originality. It could take the form of an observation to be proved or a comprehensive, in-depth analysis. The length of the senior thesis by itself does not assure approval for honors but 40-50 pages may be an acceptable guideline.
- The Honors Committee will notify the applicant of its decision.
- An alternative process does exist for obtaining honors in Government which permits an applicant who has not written a senior thesis to submit any four papers written in at least three Government courses for the committee’s consideration. However, this process will have little chance for success in all but the most special cases.
- If you are a double major applicant and prefer to write one thesis incorporating both disciplines for honors in both departments it is essential that you meet with the Chair of the Honors Committee in both departments before starting your thesis to become aware of special rules of each department.