The Program

The honors program runs through all three quarters of the senior (4th) year, with successful applicants enrolling in POLS 197 A, 197 B, and 197C.  Students conduct research in a largely unstructured environment, meeting weekly with other honors students and with their faculty advisors. Success requires the ability to manage time well and to work toward long-term goals in a self-motivated way. The culmination of the Honors program is a written thesis document and an end of the year colloquium wherein each student presents his or her work publically to political science faculty, peers, and invited guests.  Students completing the Departmental Honors Program will graduate with Distinction in the Major.



Eligibility for the program requires:

  • A minimum 3.3 cumulative UCSB GPA, and a 3.6 GPA, or better, in the Political Science major. 

  • Completion of all but one of the required lower division Political Science courses (excluding POLS 15); and at least two upper division Political Science courses by the end of the summer preceeding participation in the program.

  • Completion of POLS 15 with a grade no lower than a B, no later than the spring quarter of the junior (3rd) year.  [Students intending to write a project in Political Theory are exempt from this threshold requirement.]

  • Approval of a research proposal and an aggreement to serve by a ladder rank faculty member of the Political Scinece Department, or an affiliate faculty member of the Department, as your advisor, by the end of the second week of the Fall quarter of your senior year.

***Transfer Students will be eligible for the program based upon a UCSB GPA of 3.6 in the major (after two quarters of residence at UCSB) and the completion of two upper division courses by the end of the summer preceeding the start of the program in the Fall.  They must have completed the equivalent of POLS 15 at another institution with a grade of B, or higher, or so do at UCSB before beginning the program in the Fall.  [Students intending to write a project in Political Theory are exempt from this threshold requirement.]


If you think you should have received an invitation to the program but did not, or have other questions about the department's honors program, please contact either Professor Kathleen Bruhn (Director of the Honors Program) or Dr. Alison Keleher (Undergraduate Program Coordinator).



Students who are extended an invitation to the program need to apply by September 1, using the application available here.

 Acceptance decisions will be made by September 15.  Those who are accepted into the program will be issued an add code for POLS 197 A in Fall 2018 (in which students must enroll).         


 How Your Units Can Be Allocated

Up to eight units of Honor's Program credit may be applied to a student's core concentration by petition.  Further, four of these eight units may be applied to another (non-core) area by petition.  See the attached petition form for additional information:  /sites/secure.lsit.ucsb.edu.poli.d7-3/files/sitefiles/Honors%20Petition%20042717_0.pdf


Honors Lounge

Honors students, and members of Pi Sigma Alpha (the Political Science National Honors Society) have access to the Lancaster Room, or Honors Lounge, during regular Department operating hours (9am-5pm, Monday through Friday).  For information on access to the Lancaster Room, students should check in with the Peer Advising Office (Ellison Hall #3838).