Public Policy majors who have at least a 3.3 overall grade point and a 3.5 in the core public policy courses are eligible to apply to the Department’s honors program in the spring of their junior year. The Honors Thesis Program offers an opportunity for motivated students to move beyond traditional coursework and apply critical thinking skills to an academic public policy thesis. This program is organized as an original, independent research project under the direction of a faculty adviser.
Students begin the program by taking PLCY 691H Honors in Public Policy in the fall semester of senior year. Please note that a recommendation from an adviser and the completion of at least four core Public Policy courses, including PLCY 460 and PLCY 581, are required for entry into PLCY 691H. During this course, students will work under the direction of their thesis advisers to complete their research proposals, obtain Institutional Review Board Approval (IRB), and complete the first two chapters of their proposed thesis. If the research proposal is approved by the IRB and the first two chapters are approved by the thesis adviser, students continue their thesis research the following semester in PLCY 692H. The honors thesis provides a total of six credit hours toward the major.
Students who complete an honors thesis and maintain all other eligibility criteria may be recommended by their thesis advisor and the Undergraduate Affairs Committee for graduation with “Honors” or “Highest Honors” in Public Policy.
Students interested in pursuing the honors thesis should read the Public Policy Honors Handbook thoroughly. This handbook contains syllabi for both PLCY 691H and PLCY 692H, thesis deadlines, and the required application for enrollment in 691H. Applications from rising seniors are due April 1.