Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session


This seminar is for students who plan to write a senior thesis in Political Science, and is required of all MIT Political Science majors. Seminar participants will develop their research topics, review relevant research and scholarship, frame their research questions and arguments, choose an appropriate methodology for analysis, draft the introductory and methodology sections of their theses, and write a complete prospectus of the project.


  • Class Attendance: As the class is largely based on student interaction, class attendance is mandatory. The course requires several oral presentations and students are expected to be present to usefully criticize other students.
  • Short Written Assignments
  • Prospectus: The main goal of the course is to produce a thesis prospectus. At the end of the semester, the prospectus goes through three stages.
    • A draft prospectus
    • Oral presentation of the prospectus before an audience that may include several faculty and the undergraduate advisor
    • Final draft


The final grade will be determined after consultation with thesis advisor and is heavily weighted by the quality of the final draft of the prospectus.

Course Info