Honors Program

Honors Majors

  1. Political Science Honors majors must meet all current distributional requirements for majors, including the political theory requirement, preferably with the Honors versions of Ancient or Modern Political Theory.
  2. They must have a minimum of ten credits inside the Political Science Department.
  3. Six of these credits will be met with three (3) two-unit Honors preparations which will help prepare honors majors for outside examinations, both written and oral. These two-unit preparations will normally be either a two-credit Honors seminar or a "course-plus" option.
    • Of these three (3) two-unit preparations, no more than two may be in a single field in the Department, and no more than one may be a course-plus option.
    • The "course-plus" option will normally consist of two one-unit courses that have been designated to count as an honors preparation, or in some cases a one-unit course and a one-unit seminar that have been so designated. It is up to the student to arrange a course-plus option with a specific faculty member and to have this approved by the Chair.
  4. To fulfill the Senior Honors Study requirement, students will revise a paper written for one of their Department seminars. This paper will be submitted to the appropriate external examiner as part of the honors evaluation process.
  5. To be accepted into the Honors Program students should normally have at least an average of 3.5 inside and 3.2 outside the department, and should have given evidence to the departmental faculty of their ability to work independently and constructively in a seminar setting. Seminars will normally be limited to eight students and admission priority will go to honors majors, first seniors and then juniors, including special majors.

Honors Minors

  1. Honors minors in political science will be required to have at least five credits in political science.  Among these credits there must be one introductory course (POLS 002, 003 or 004; a first year seminar does not count),  one course in political theory, and one course in one other subfield (not the same subfield as the introductory course or theory).  At least one course in all three subfields (American, theory, and international/comparative) must be completed at Swarthmore. The political theory requirement can only be met by enrolling in one of the following:
    • Ancient Political Theory (Pols 11)
    • Modern Political Theory (Pols 12)
    • Ancient Political Theory (Pols 100)
    • Modern Political Theory (Pols 101)
  2. Minors will also be required to take one (1) of the two-unit Honors preparations offered by the Department which will be their fourth and fifth credits in the department.

Special Majors in Honors

All special honors majors must have a designated faculty advisor and consult with the chair to receive approval for the proposed program. Within that approved program, six credits must be taken in the department, including one introductory course (POLS 002, POLS 003, POLS 004; a first year seminar does not count), and the distribution requirements must be met by courses taken at Swarthmore (see Distribution of  Courses within the Department section) plus one honors seminar in the department.  The political theory requirement for special honors majors can only be met by completing one of the following:  POLS 011, POLS 012, POLS 100 or POLS 101.  At least one course in all three subfields (American, theory, and international/comparative) must be completed at Swarthmore.

Honors Exams

The honors exams will normally consist of a three hour written exam in each of the student’s seminars, and an oral exam in each seminar, conducted by an external Honors examiner.