The Honors program consists of a year-long
intensive research project resulting in a thesis. The core of the program is a
thesis paper, a complete draft of which is due on the first day of the second semester.
Students will spend the spring semester revising their papers and will submit the
final version by April 1. Eligible students are encouraged to apply in the spring
of their junior year, but fall applications are allowable so long as they are received
before the end of the first week of classes in September. January graduates are
on a different schedule.
- Students who have at least a 3.3 GPA in courses outside of the major and 3.5
GPA in courses within the government major are eligible for the Honors Program.
- Students must have successfully completed six courses in their major prior to
being accepted to the Honors Program.
- Under normal circumstances, these six courses will have been completed in the
Government Department at Smith College.
- Students must complete the application form and receive departmental approval
to be admitted to the Honors Program.
- On the application form, students will be asked to identify three courses taken
that are related to their specific Honors project
- Students admitted to the Honors program will register for a year-long, 8 credit
honors course (Gov 430, 4 credits in the fall and 4 credits in the spring).
- Students in Honors must successfully complete all the requirements for the major
and a total of at least 11 courses in the field of government. The year long thesis
course (Gov 430) may be counted as two courses toward the 11 courses required for
- Students in Honors are expected to participate in Collaborations by
making a public presentation of their thesis.
Following submission of the final paper, students
will take an oral examination administered by three members of the government faculty.
This exam will be based on the thesis and on the field in which it was written. The
field is defined by the student herself, who at the time of the exam will identify
three courses which she believes bear upon the topic of her thesis.
An honors applicant must submit to the government
department a thesis proposal consisting of 500-1,000 words (2-4 pages) containing
the following information:
- a description of the broader scholarly issue to be investigated;
- the specific question or hypothesis to be treated;
- an explanation of the approach to be taken and evidence of experience using this
- documentation of relevant background, preparation, special facility or skills
necessary to undertake the proposed thesis (e.g., previous course work related
to the thesis topic, quantitative skills, foreign language ability, etc.).
In order to begin the application process, the student
will need to request via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org a "Calculation
of GPA Requirements." A personalized listing of all courses and grades that
are eligible for calculation will be sent to the student's campus box to enable her
to determine the gradepoint averages (GPAs) inside and outside the major. (The government
department requirements are 3.3 outside the major and 3.5 inside the major.)
Students may register for Departmental Honors when choosing
courses in April if their applications have been approved. The spring deadline to
submit completed applications, with departmental endorsement, is the last day of
final exams. Applications to enter the Departmental Honors Program from curren second-semester
juniors will be considered only after the grades for this current semester (e.g.,
spring 2008) have been calculated into the GPAs.
First-semester seniors must submit completed applications,
with departmental endorsement, no later than the end of the first week of classes
in the fall semester.
Pi Sigma Alpha
Society in Political