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.

2022 Honors Program

Watch the informational session recording here.

Deadline to apply to the 2022 honors Program is May 24, 2021.

Program Directors:

  • Lucas Swaine
  • Benjamin Valentino

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: Government 97 (fall), Government 98 (winter), and Government 99 (spring). Government 97 counts as a seminar level course and Government 98 counts as a midlevel. Government 99 is required to complete the program, but it does not count toward the Government major or minor. Students meet weekly with the Directors of the Honors Program at the L hour during the fall term. Students also meet regularly with individual thesis advisors at times convenient to both.

If you are considering applying to the Honors Program, we strongly recommend speaking with potential faculty advisors about your ideas no later than the winter quarter of your junior year. It is important also to remember that a seminar must be completed before enrolling in the Honors Program. If you have an interest in pursuing the Honors Program, please review the informational materials and the application requirements. 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.

Prerequisites and Application Process (Deadline: May 24, 2021)

  • Determine that you have successfully completed six Government courses, 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 May 24, 2021.
  • 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.

2020 Honors Program

Program Directors

  • Lisa Baldez
  • Benjamin Valentino

Honor Students and their Advisors

  • Grace Anderson, "Building Better Partnerships: Understanding Interest Alignment in U.S. Security Assistance" Advisor: Prof. Friedman
  • Peter Charalambous, "Walking on Eggshells: The State of Campus Discourse"  Advisor: Prof. Muirhead
  • Sarah Drescher, "Reconnecting the Pluribus with the Unum: The Case for Pluralist Patriotism" Advisor: Prof. Swaine
  • Ted Gehring, "When China Cracks Down: Legitimacy Considerations in the Decision to Suppress Protesters" Advisor: Prof. Powers
  • Katarina Nesic, "Russian Sanctions: The Underexplored Weapon of Russia's Economic Statecraft" Advisor: Prof Wohlforth
  • Josie Pearce, "Voter Knowledge in the United States: Facing the Problems and Innovating Solutions" Advisor: Prof. Swaine
  • Sunpreet Singh, "Immigrant integration and the role of factors in the sending community: A case study of Punjabi Sikhs in Queens, NY" Advisor: Prof. Ferwerda
  • Andrew Sosanya, "Prohibitions and Predictions: The Future of Autonomous Weapons" Advisor: Prof. Wohlforth
  • Jennifer West, "A Woman's Worth: Examining the Impact of Reconstruction Programs on Women's Quality of Life Outcomes in Afghanistan" Advisor: Prof. Baldez