Junior Fall Term: Start thinking of a topic and speaking to potential advisors about how to refine it into an interesting social science question or puzzle. Also think carefully about what methodology or statistics courses it may be good to take in your Junior year as preparation for research.
The Department runs several “Thesis Writer Orientation” sessions (typically two in the Fall term and one in the Spring). If you are planning on writing a thesis, it is mandatory that you attend one of these. See the Undergraduate Office Google calendar (on the Undegraduate Program home page) for information about the date and time of the next orientation.
Mid-February of Junior Year: The first (and major) round of thesis-research grant applications are due via the CARAT system.
Junior Spring: If your research will involve human subjects (even if you are just planning on interviewing people), you will need to complete the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (CUHS, also known as the Institutional Review Board or IRB) ethics training. IRB will hold training workshops throughout the Spring term, or you may complete the online training (see the Guide to Writing a Senior Thesis for more details). Once you have completed the training, you will need to submit a Decision Form via the Undergraduate Research Training Portal (URTP) to have IRB review your project and make a determination if further scrutiny is necessary. Do not put this off, as you can’t begin your research before receiving the go-ahead from IRB!
Mid-May, Junior Spring: Signed advising contract due to the Undergraduate Program Office.
Summer before Senior Year: Ideally, will be spent doing research or conducting fieldwork for your thesis.
Senior Fall Term: First meeting of Gov 99: Senior Thesis Writers’ Workshop takes place (all thesis writers are required to take Gov 99; exceptions are only made if you are a joint concentrator who is Gov allied and your primary concentration has an equivalent course for thesis writers). Please note that while Gov 99 is graded SAT/UNSAT, the course is taken seriously by the Department and you will not be allowed to complete the thesis is you do not satisfactorily meet all the Gov 99 requirements.
October, Senior Fall: Research statement/progress report due to Department (you will write this as one of the assignments completed for Gov 99)
December, Senior Fall: 30+ pages of written work for the thesis to be submitted to your primary advisor (this, and the successfully completion of previous Gov 99 assignments, is what your Gov 99 grade is based on).
March, Senior Spring (the Wednesday before Spring Break): Thesis to be physically handed in to the Undergraduate Program Office no later than 5 pm (an electronic file upload is also required).