Government and International Affairs


This program is designed for students who wish to accept academic challenges that go well beyond those required for graduation. It is an opportunity for students- especially those preparing for graduate school- to honor their critical thinking skills, achieve a fuller appreciation of political life, and familiarize themselves with a body of scholarly literature. Since the challenge is significant, it is appropriate for those who undertake it to be honored. Recognition of honors will appear in the commencement booklet and on students’ transcripts.

Students in the honors track are required to take 39 credits in Government, and must complete both Government 390 (Research Seminar) and Government 391 (Honors Seminar) with an A average. During the Research Seminar, students will design a thesis project, conduct research, and construct a comprehensive outline. During the Honor Seminar, students will write the thesis and present their results in a public defense before the Government faculty.

A full description and application form are available. (PDF file)

Students in the honors program have diverse interests, as shown by the following list of honors projects, either recently completed or in progress:

"The Perfect Enemy: Katrina Sheds Light on Poverty in America"

"Guilty until Proven Innocent: DNA Technology Reveals the Systematic Flaws in the Criminal Justice System"

"A Threat to Justice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere: The Slave Trade of the 21st Century"

"Immigration: A National Crisis"

"Has the Prospect of Military Humanitarian Intervention by the United States Come to an End? An In-Depth Look at the Answer in Light of the Darfur Conflict"

“The Court Unveiled”

“Ordinary Virtues”

“(Mis)Shaping Africa: The United States and the Berlin Conference of 1884.”

“A Look at Griswold v. Connecticut and America”

“The Faith of the Left: The Clinton Model of Religious Rhetoric for Democratic Candidates”

“Answering the Silent Screams: The Abuse of Liberty in an Unaccountable Society”

"Dancing with the Dragon: A U.S. Policy Proposal Towards Taiwan."

"Video Lottery and Tribal Gaming in South Dakota."

For more information, please contact Dr. Joel Johnson (