Below is a rough timeline for completion of an honors thesis.

Junior Year (Spring Semester)

  • Brainstorm / Contact potential faculty advisor
    Start thinking about potential ideas for a thesis topic, identifying courses that might be useful for your given topic, and most importantly begin identifying a faculty member who will agree to supervise your thesis. 
  • Application Due (First week of April)
    Applications for all Juniors interested in writing a thesis during their senior year are due. You must submit and be accepted into the program in order to write a thesis.
  • Skills training
    Attend a training session where you will be given information about choosing research questions, structuring a thesis and conducting political research.
  • Develop a summer break agenda
    You should speak with your advisor and come up with a game plan for the summer. This can involve merely honing in on a research question, doing preliminary reading, or even starting research.

Senior Year (Fall Semester)

  • Meet with your advisor (first week of classes).
    You should be narrowing in on a research question with your advisor, if you have not already done so. Discuss your progress during the summer. Continue thinking about how you are going to break up your thesis and tackle its component parts.

  • Attend the Honors Orientation Meeting (mid-September).
    We will meet as a group and discuss our ideas and the plan for the year. Bring your signed thesis agreements and research plans to this meeting.

  • First chapter draft (mid-October)
    You should turn in a draft chapter to your advisor.

  • Second chapter draft (before Winter Break)
    You should turn in a draft of a second chapter to your advisor.

  • Develop a winter break agenda (week after Thanksgiving)
    You should speak with your advisor and come up with a game plan for the winter break. What can you get done? What is your game plan for the spring semester?

    Senior Year (Spring Semester)

  • Third chapter draft (end of January)
    Turn in a draft of the third chapter to your advisor.

  • Progress Report (early February)
    The Politics honors director will check in with your thesis advisor to find out how you are doing.

  • Drop Deadline (February 28)
    Last day to drop the thesis.

  • First Thesis Draft Due (March 24)
    You should turn in a 1st draft of the entire thesis to your advisor. This is a great opportunity for feedback. At this time, you should also discuss with your advisor who might serve on your defense committee. Once you have a list of names, reach out to those professors.
  • Feedback on Draft (April 7)
    Your advisor should return your draft with comments and suggestions for improvement. At this time, you should have members for your defense committee lined up.
  • Final Thesis Draft (April 17)
    Turn in your revised final draft!! You'll deliver a copy of your thesis to each member of your committee. Then, celebrate!
  • Thesis Defense (First week of May)
    The Politics Department will schedule your oral defense for sometime during this week.