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

Applying to the Honors Program

Participants 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), and Government 98 (winter) and Government 99 (spring). Government 97 will count as a seminar level course and 98 as a midlevel. Government 99 is required to complete the program but will not count toward the Government major or minor. Students meet weekly with the Directors of the Honors Program at the 3B hour during the fall term. Students also meet regularly with individual thesis advisors at times convenient to both.

If you are considering applying to next year’s Honors Program, this is the ideal time to start thinking ahead about a thesis topic and advisor. It’s also important 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 above. For additional information on writing an Honors thesis, feel free to talk with the co-directors of the Honors Program, John Carey and Benjamin Valentino, or any of the Government faculty.


Honors Students and Their Advisors

Program Directors

Charlotte Blatt

  • “Why We Can’t Seem To Get It Right: US Pre-War Assessments of Conflict From Truman to Obama”
  • Advisor: William Wohlforth

Milan Chuttani

  • “Identity and Resettlement: Evaluating Ethnic Associations among Maryland's Congolese Refugees”
  • Advisor: Jeremy Ferwerda

Katherine Clayton

  • The Moderating Influence of Social Contact on Perceptions of Immigrants in France”
  • Advisor: Jeremy Ferwerda and Yusaku Horiuchi

Jase Davis

  • “Looking Up to Crowded Skies: Measuring American Opinions on International Military Drone Use”
  • Advisor: Katy Powers

Ryan Divers

  • “China, the United States, and the Impact of Competition in Foreign Aid Markets”
  • Advisor: John Carey

Kelsey Flower

  • “Preceding the Collapse: Identifying Triggers of Major Human Rights Crises”
  • Advisor: Ben Valentino

Alyssa Heinze

  • “Is gender all that matters? The impact of women leaders' intersectional identities on political performance in India”
  • Advisor: Simon Chauchard

Rachael Jones

  • "The Lessons of History: Bush, Truman, and the Use of Historical Analogies in Decisions for War"
  • Advisor: William Wohlforth

Jessica Lu

  • “Dissonance Among Democrats: Understanding Why Partisans Defect on Voter Fraud and Voter ID”
  • Advisor: Brendan Nyhan

Chiemeka Njoku

  • “Democracy and Universal Education: On the Road to Reduced Ethnic Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa”
  • Advisors: Jeremy Horowitz

Rachel Scholz-Bright

  • “Science Fact and Political Fiction: Why Climate Change is Particularly Vulnerable to Political Polarization”
  • Advisor: Brendan Nyhan