Honors Program

The Government Department Honors Program provides qualified undergraduates with an opportunity to complete independent research under the supervision of members of the Department.

2025 Honors Program

Honors Program Informational Session 

The Co-Directors of the Honors Program, Profs. Lucas Swaine and Benjamin Valentino will host an informational session for students interested in applying to the 2025 Honors Program. In this meeting, they will explain the program, its requirements, and expectations, as well as answer questions that prospective students have.

Did you miss the meeting? You can watch a recording of this years informational session here

Applications for the 2025 Honors Program are currently closed.

Applying to the Honors Program

Participants in the Honors Program define and analyze a specific issue or hypothesis in the field of political science and write a thesis. The Program is completed within the framework of a three-course sequence during the senior year: GOVT 97 (fall), GOVT 98 (winter), and GOVT 99 (spring)

GOVT 97 is a seminar-level course; GOVT 98 is mid-level. GOVT 99 is required to complete the Honors Program, but it does not count toward the Government major or minor

Students meet weekly with the Directors of the Honors Program during the 3B hour of the fall term. Students also meet regularly with individual thesis advisors at times convenient to both.

For additional information on writing an Honors thesis, please feel free to talk with the co-directors of the Honors Program, Lucas Swaine and Benjamin Valentino, or any of the Government faculty members. We strongly recommend speaking with potential faculty advisors about your ideas no later than the winter quarter of your junior year.

If interested in pursuing the Honors Program, please review the informational materials and the application requirements below. 

Prerequisites and Application Process

  • Determine that you have successfully completed six courses from your Major or Modified Major, including at least one introductory course, at least two upper-level courses, and at least one advanced seminar before the end of your junior year. 
  • Determine that you meet the minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 for all Dartmouth courses, and 3.5 in the Government major.
  • Determine that you have successfully completed the Government Major's statistics prerequisite (Gov 10 or its equivalent) by the end of your junior year.
  • Obtain a faculty advisor (check the Government Department webpage for information on faculty interests).
  • Fill out an application form, and write a thesis proposal and upload here. Both need to be submitted to the Government Department by Friday, May 17, 2024, 4:00 pm.
  • If you will be away on an FSP or an LSA during spring term, you are encouraged to complete your application by the end of winter term. Extensions will not be granted on account of FSP or LSA participation.

 Additional Information

Sample Honors Proposal

​Proposal Guidelines 2024-2025