The goal of the Political Science Honors Program is to provide small class experiences for our top majors. These classes will provide for more vigorous discussion, the opportunity to interact with other highly motivated students, and an intense commitment to developing writing skills. The program promotes a greater "esprit de corps" among political science majors and the faculty, providing an opportunity for students to discuss current political events and get to know the faculty on a more personal basis.

Each semester the department will designate one course at the 2000 level as the semester's honors course. These courses will be open only to those students who are members of the departmental honors program. They will fulfill requirements for the major in the same manner as regular courses and have the same prerequisites.

Sophomore majors who have completed at least one course in political science with a grade of A or A-, and who have an overall GPA of 3.75 or above, are eligible for the program. Invitations are sent out by the director of the Honors Program. If you have fulfilled the qualifications, but have inadvertently not received a letter of invitation, please contact the director, professor Alex Zakaras,

Graduating with honors in political science will require the student to complete successfully two honors courses in addition to the senior honors seminar (POLS 4800) in their senior year. Admission into the senior honors seminar is guaranteed to a student who has maintained at least a 3.5 overall grade point average (and work of similar quality in political science courses). The transcript of students who successfully complete the honors program in political science will be marked "honors graduate in political science."



Pi Sigma Alpha

Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science Honor Society, was founded in 1920, and there are now over 460 chapters established at universities and colleges across the United States. The Chi Nu chapter was established here at UVM in 1999, because of our desire to create ways to recognize and honor the achievements of our most outstanding senior students.
The criteria for admission to the UVM chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha:

  • You have completed at least 20 hours (7 courses) in political science, while maintaining, minimally, a 3.4 average in these courses
  • You have maintained, minimally, a 3.4 grade average for all courses and
  • You rank within the top 20% of all senior political science majors.

An installation ceremony and reception for new members is ordinarily held each spring, on the Friday of graduation weekend. Invitations to Pi Sigma Alpha are sent out in April. If you have any questions, please contact Chapter President, Professor Alex Zakaris.