Rough Timeline for Completing an Honors Thesis

By the End of Your Junior Year

  • Take a politics seminar that requires a research paper; write on a topic that you may want to pursue as a thesis. Find a topic that's really interesting to you!
  • Take a course with a faculty member who you would like to serve as your advisor.
  • Begin thinking about (and writing down) possible thesis topics. Generate some ideas!
  • Speak to Politics faculty members about writing a thesis. Go to office hours! Share your ideas!
  • Consider taking Politics 100b: Introduction to Research Methods.
Summer before Senior Year
  • Draft a short prospectus for your thesis idea/s. This need not be perfect, just get something down on paper.
  • Contact the faculty member you would like to work with, and set up a meeting.
  • If possible, begin doing data collection (there is some research funding available to do this; speak to your advisor or the Honors Director for more information).
Senior Year
  • Meet with your prospective advisor during the first week of classes.
  • Attend the Honors Orientation Meeting.
  • Sign up for Politics 99a or 99d.
  • Attend the Honors Program seminars in the Fall semester.
  • Submit a draft of one chapter due before Thanksgiving.
  • Continue to submit written work to your advisor throughout January to March.
  • Submit a full draft of thesis in mid-March and get feedback from your advisor.
  • Submit your final draft of thesis in early April.
  • Thesis defense in mid April.
  • Celebrate!
  • File completed thesis by the end of April.
  • Graduate with honors and with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.