Departmental Honors

Pi Sigma Alpha

Pi Sigma Alpha is the National Political Science Honor Society. Qualifications for membership include having taken at least ten hours of Political Science/International Relations at Wheaton College and having an overall GPA of 3.5 and a GPA of 3.6 in Political Science/International Relations courses taken. The Wheaton chapter promotes dialogue on issues related to the study and practice of politics.

Departmental Honors


Political Science and International Relations majors may apply for participation in the departmental honors program provided they fulfill the following criteria:

  • junior class standing
  • an overall GPA of 3.5 at the time of application
  • a 3.70 GPA in the major at the time of application

The Program

The purpose of the program is to provide outstanding students with the opportunity to carry out an independent research project during their senior year. The program involves 4 hours of independent study (PSCI 495) supervised by a department faculty member but accountable to an honors committee. The committee shall involve at least three members, including a thesis director, a second departmental reader, and a third faculty member from outside the department. At the conclusion of the study, the student shall present his or her findings and research to the honors committee, which will collectively assess the project and assign a grade. In order for a student to achieve "departmental honors" he or she must receive a minimum of an A- on the independent research.

Students should have department approval for an Honors Project prior to the semester in which the project is to occur.  An honors committee must be assembled by the second week of classes.  Presentation of the project must occur by Reading Day in the semester in which the honors project is conducted.

Students successfully completing the honors program will be designated as such in the graduation program and on their college transcript.