The International Relations Program reserves its honors for students who successfully complete a senior thesis. There are many compelling reasons to write an honors thesis and a few for not doing so. Done for the right reasons, a senior thesis can be an extremely rewarding experience, a fitting culmination to the IR major. Writing a thesis means making an original contribution to knowledge and developing the discipline and skills to undertake and complete a sustained research project. "Honors quality" is a subjective determination, but there are some necessary conditions for an honors thesis. It should have an original and significant research question. It should draw on primary as well as secondary sources. The argument and evidence should be presented in clear and coherent prose.
All IR majors are urged to read carefully the relevant section of the Handbook for Students. It outlines not only expectations for the content of a thesis but the schedule for writing it as well. Students interested in writing a thesis should consult with their academic advisor early in the second semester of their junior year.