Departmental Honors

A number of honors and awards are available to Political Science and International Relations majors.  We encourage you to speak to your professors about them! Below you'll find information about completing honors theses, induction into honors societies, and more.

Political Science Honors Society - Pi Sigma Alpha

Pi Sigma Alpha is the honorary society for Political Science majors, it is a national organization.  Admittance to Pi Sigma Alpha requires an overall GPA of at least 3.2 and a GPA in Political Science of at least 3.5, completion of at least 12 credits in Political Science and one 300-level course.  

International Relations Honors Society - Sigma Iota Rho

Sigma Iota Rho is the national honorary society for international relations students. In order to qualify for undergraduate membership, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Have completed coursework in international studies including courses in relevant subject areas of anthropology, economics, foreign languages, geography, history, political science and other related disciplines;
  • Have attained a junior standing and completed at least twenty-one (21) hours of coursework toward the International Relations major or minor, including at least two courses at the 300 level;
  • Have attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher in all courses, and a grade point average of at least 3.5 in international relations courses;
  • Must maintain full-time status of at least twelve (12) hours to be a voting member and hold an office.

Honors Thesis

Students with an overall GPA of 3.2 and a 3.5 in Political Science or International Relations, who have completed 21 credit hours of PLSC or IR requirements, with at least one 300-level course (all as of the beginning of the Fall Semester) are extended the offer of writing an Honors Thesis. 
    Once invited, interested students should develop a concept/research statement of a topic they would like to explore in-depth and begin to consult faculty members. Students should identify faculty members with expertise and/or research interests in their topic of interest. There is no guarantee that a faculty member will supervise the thesis. Students should have a research statement and preliminary bibliography by the end of the fall semester.
    The Honors thesis is a significant undertaking, requiring a substantial investment of time and effort. Students and their faculty supervisor should devise a schedule of meetings and benchmarks through the semester in order to ensure that the thesis is methodologically rigorous, intellectually challenging, and well written. Students are required to either present their thesis at a public colloquia or develop a poster for display at the annual student research symposium.
    Students who completed a thesis graduate with Honors in Political Science or International Relations.

Political Realm Journal

The Political Science and International Relations Department publishes The Political Realm in the spring.  This journal contains papers written by students in either a 200- or 300-level Political Science Course.  Political Science Professors nominate papers for inclusion in the journal (Honors theses are not eligible).  Following nomination by a faculty member, the Political Science Honors Society, Pi Sigma Alpha, selects papers for inclusion in the journal.  The number of papers published varies year-to-year.  Some years all papers nominated are published, other years some are published but not others.  Simply having your paper nominated is a significant accomplishment.  Copies of the journal are available in the department office.

Annual Awards

  Each year the department selects a student or students for special awards.  The criteria for Senior of the Year in Political Science and Senior of the Year in International Relations are demonstrated excellence in the class room as well as significant service to the department and campus community.  Student or students with exemplary performance as an intern are recognized for that accomplishment with the internship award.  Student(s) who provide outstanding service to the department and its various organizations/clubs are recognized with the Edward Janosik award.  The Goeckel-Alent award is granted to an exemplary student who majors in both International Relations and a Foreign Language.  Finally, the Ambassador Apartments award goes to an outstanding junior majoring in International Relations.  The Jesse Rodgers award is given to a junior majoring in Political Science with an outstanding academic record. The department faculty decide who should receive each of these awards.  Most of these awards are funded by Geneseo Political Science and International Relations alumni.

Additionally, the department grants a number of awards to support students' internship and study-abroad experiences.