The capstone of an MIT Political Science major is the senior thesis – a project where students demonstrate their ability to conduct original research and write a high-quality work on a topic of their own choosing.
Theses are sometimes based on previous work, such as class papers or field projects; many students develop their own topic in consultation with faculty and graduate assistants. Finished theses are often used in applications to graduate schools and as the basis for future research, and some students have also successfully published portions of their work.
Preparation and assistance are provided in a three-class sequence that typically begins during the junior year: 17.801 (Political Science Scope and Methods), 17.803 (Political Science Laboratory), and 17.THT (Thesis Research Design Seminar). During the spring semester of the senior year, students complete the thesis in 17.THU, under supervision of their faculty thesis advisor.
For thesis specifications visit the MIT Libraries Thesis Specifications website.