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Undergraduate Thesis

Undergraduate thesis option

Undergraduate students in the Department of Political Science have the opportunity in their fourth year to complete a thesis based on independent, original research. Completing the thesis allows students to explore a topic of interest with the help of a faculty supervisor, strengthens preparation for graduate applications and funding, and provides a capstone research experience for the undergraduate program.

If you are interested in the thesis option, you will need to do the following:

  • You must complete the courses POLS-4970 Political Science Thesis 1: Research Design, and POLS-4980 Political Science Thesis 2: Writing and Presentation in your fourth year of study.
  • To be signed in to the POLS-4970 course in the fall of your fourth year, you must have a major GPA of at least 80.0. If you are pursuing a combined major, your average in your POLS courses must be at least 80.0.
  • Take POLS-2700 Information Searching and Analysis as well. If you are not yet in fourth year and are considering the thesis, you may want to plan on taking this beforehand. You should also take the required course POLS-2750 Introduction to Research Methods before entering fourth year.
  • Consult with the department’s academic advisor and the course instructor for POLS-4970. You can only get into this course by being signed in by the course instructor. The prerequisite for POLS-4980 in the winter semester is the POLS-4970 course, and you must also be signed into this course by the course instructor. Generally speaking, if you did not earn a grade of at least 70 in POLS-4970, you will not be signed into POLS-4980.
  • Look into Political Science faculty research interests and begin thinking about who might be a good supervisor for your thesis project. A faculty supervisor is required to help with guidance on reading, research design, and writing, but nothing needs to be finalized before the POLS-4970 course begins.

In addition to capping their undergraduate program with an independent research project, students who successfully complete POLS-4970 and POLS-4980 will be able to graduate with the distinction of “with Thesis” on their honours BA degree. For more information, please contact the department’s undergraduate program chair and academic advisor.