Writing a Senior Thesis can be a rewarding culmination to the Wellesley academic experience.

In the Political Science Department, the Honors Program involves the writing of a thesis. Each honors student works closely throughout a full academic year with the faculty member(s) best able to advise her on the topic of her thesis. Honor theses average around 70 pages in length, though this varies considerably depending on the subject matter and the methods. The deadline for juniors submitting an honors’ thesis proposal is the second Monday in April, if this date falls on a Monday holiday the due date will be the following day on Tuesday. All students will normally be expected to submit their proposals by this date. All seniors must submit their final honors’ thesis to the Registrar's Office. The thesis process and deadlines are listed on the Office of the Registrar Web page.

GPA

College legislation sets an eligibility requirement of a minimum 3.5 grade point average in work in the major above the 100-level. The Department will consider proposals from students who demonstrate preparation and excellence in Political Science courses related to their proposed thesis. These courses should normally be distributed across both the 200 and 300 levels. Students who fall slightly below the minimum GPA requirement may petition the Department for an exemption from the GPA minimum. Exemptions are granted only for strong proposals supported by a potential thesis advisor.

Proposal

Proposals include an application form; a two- to three-page prospectus with a preliminary bibliography developed in consultion with your proposed adviser(s); a statement of your academic background on your topic; a transcript (official or unofficial); and a writing sample, preferably a research paper for a political science class. The research prospectus is the key component to the proposal. For hints on writing the prospectus, see the resources below.

Resources

First and foremost, you will need a topic that seriously interests you -- enough to carry you through a year of research and writing.  You should develop an answerable research question that you can address in the time and space of a senior thesis. 

There are different ways in which to prepare for the thesis:

  1. Course background matters. You should make sure you have the course background to write on the topic. Substantively, you need to take, if not exhaust, courses in your specific research area. You may also want to consider taking the political science research methods course, 199, to learn how to construct a research design. You should note that the department will evaluate your course background when we evaluate your course proposal.
  2. Researching "how to write a thesis." As a guide to writing the proposal, we have prepared a brief overview. You might also want to consult the following texts on research design and thesis writing:
     
  • Charles Lipson, How to Write a BA Thesis: A Practical Guide from Your First Ideas to Your Finished Paper . Arco, 2003
  • Stephen Van Evera, Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science . Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997.
     

Honor Society

In February 2000 Wellesley inaugurated a chapter (Psi Alpha) of the national political science honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha.  More information about the national society, which was founded in 1920, can be found at the Pi Sigma Alpha website .

 

Class of 2015 Political Science Honor Society Members

Elidia Grace Berg
Kendall Leigh Bianchi
Catherine Elise Binder
Julie Chen
Wenyan Deng
WenLi Fei
Elizabeth Sessions Feldstein
Lavanya Ganesh
Siqi Gao
Brooke Suzanne Gier
AnnaJoy Michelle Gillis
Melodie Vivian Ha
Katharine Anne Harper
Diana Thank Nguyet Huynh
Elizabeth Yvonne Kapnick
Emily Alyse Kremer-McNeil
Brianna Deneve Krong
Meaghan Graham Leech
Sara Libby Lewenstein
Margaret Makepeace McClure
Paulina R. Perlin
Saraswati Praqdipsinh Rathod

Elena Scott-Kakures 
Jillian Nicole Seymoure
Maria Adriana Smith-Lachman
Claire Jun Tam
Chia-ning Yao
Sophie Wang Zhang
Kathleen Lee Zhu

Class of 2014 Political Science Honor Society Members

Emily Bary
Victoria Bledsoe
Campbell Curry-Ledbetter
Safaya A. Fawzi
Kristen Green
Jennifer Gu
Shyaan Zahra Hasnain
Charlotte Hulme
Justyna Jakubaszek
Katherine Joh
Kaitlyn Frances Marie Kirkaldy
Jordan E. Lee
Ana Lomtadze
Meagan Lotze
Rebecca Paine Lucas
Sarah Mahmood
Crystal Myung
Elizabeth R. Pytka
Sara Sassone
Connie Shen
Poppy Yang Tian
Anna Katrina Tupper-Bridges

Class of 2013 Political Science Honor Society Members

Calin Brown
Jessica Choi
Hye Koo
Cristina Lucas
Eun Park
Sarah Rabourn
Kim Quarantello
Dielai Yang

Class of 2012 Political Science Honor Society Members

Briana M. Calleros
Christine M. Choudri
Brianna G. Fitch
Senta M. Knuth
Lydia M. Krooss
Sarah P. Miller
Meagan M. Moody
Kelsey A. Pfleger
Michelle G. Rosin
Khahilia Y. Shaw
Rachel E. Smith
Grace N. Tien
Sarah E. Weinberg
Cat Zhang

Class of 2011 Political Science Honor Society Members

Emily Chan
Joy A. Clarke
Katie Doherty
Hillary A. Fenton
Yaffa S. Fredrick
Hyesung Kim
Taylor L. Miller
Aditi G. Patel
Jayni A. Shah
Diana R. Stroud
Sarah K. Turrin
Michaela S. Wilkes Klein

Class of 2010 Political Science Honor Society Members

Danielle Tiffany Odonna Brown
Monica Colunga Calderon
Stephanie Chang
Cynthia Chen
Erin Goyo Choi
Han Jenny Ding
Nora Johanna Keller
Nola Kosowsky
Yukti Malhotra
Betsy Lynn Raymond
Lily A. Saffer
Sowdamini Saraswati
Kathleen E. Scott
Diane C. Seol
Elizabeth Anne Shirey
June Wang
Yifei Zheng