Research Opportunities

Independent Research Project

Are you interested in working with a political science faculty member on an independent research project?

PS 401- Research and PS 405- Reading are self-directed, individualized study courses designed to allow students the opportunity to explore an area of interest outside of the courses offered through the department. Students are responsible for finding a faculty advisor, arranging the details of their required work, and meeting all deadlines established in the approved PS 401/405 contract. After the contract is submitted and approved, the student will be authorized to register.

Please note: Students should submit the contract at least 48 business hours prior to the registration deadline. PS 401/405 credits count toward upper-division and total credit requirements; not political theory, career paths, or 400 level course requirements. Additionally, although PS 401/405 may be taken on a pass/no pass basis, no more than four (4) pass/no pass credits overall may be counted toward the political science major.

To register, students must:

  • Identity a faculty advisor who is an expert in the field you plan to study. Any political science faculty instructor may be a PS 401/405 advisor. This includes adjunct instructors, visiting instructors, and all tenure-related faculty.
  • Meet with your faculty advisor during office hours to develop a plan of study that relates to your overall academic program and to develop formal requirements such as readings, number and length of required paper(s), timelines, and basis for final grade.
  • Submit the PS 401/405 contract online at least one (1) week before the registration period closes. Your PS 401/405 contract will be sent to the faculty advisor for approval.
  • The undergraduate coordinator will send an email with registration instructions. Generally, this email will be sent within five (5) business days.
  • You are responsible for registering for the correct number of credits and grading option, and for completing the formal requirements as outlined on the approved PS 401/405 contract.
  • The faculty advisor will be assigned as your instructor of record and will input your grade at the end of the term. Any questions about assignments or timelines should be sent directly to your faculty advisor.