Students who demonstrate exceptional academic performance and scholarly achievement in the International and Public Affairs concentration have the opportunity to be recommended for graduation with honors.

To Be Considered for Honors, Students Must:

  1. Complete by the end of the 6th semester junior year: the Gateway course, the Track Foundational Course, the Junior Seminar, the two-course methodology requirement (or language study option and one methodology course), and at least three track electives.

    We strongly recommend that honors students complete a methods course that will teach them skills that they will use in their thesis, and that they take at least one elective related to their proposed thesis topic before senior year..
  1. Have two-thirds “quality grades” in the concentration. A “quality grade” is defined as a grade of “A” or a grade of “S” accompanied either by a designation of “with distinction” or by a course performance report (CPR) indicating performance at the “A” standard.
  1. Complete the application form, including: the signature of the primary thesis advisor (first reader), the signature of the second reader, and an essay describing the research question, significance, research design, preliminary hypothesis, and research preparation, along with a preliminary bibliography. 

In 2024, honors applications will be due on Friday, April 26th by 5 p.m.

Application forms will be reviewed by the faculty committee and students will be notified of their status by mid-May. Only students with approved thesis applications will be admitted to the senior thesis seminar in the fall.


Thesis Funding

Honors concentrators in IAPA can apply for summer thesis funding. Deadlines are March 31st and June 1st for summer funding.


To Receive Honors, Students Must:

  1. Complete the senior thesis seminar in the fall of senior year and complete the independent study class with their primary thesis advisor (first reader) in the spring of senior year.
  2. Submit an honors quality thesis by the deadline, as judged by the student’s thesis committee – the primary thesis advisor and the second reader. Both readers must submit a written evaluation of the thesis. In the event of a lack of consensus, a member of the Faculty Committee will also evaluate the thesis.
  3. Complete an oral presentation on the thesis at the annual IAPA thesis conference in the spring of senior year.


2023 Thesis Conference

View the Conference Program


Thesis Titles 2021-2024

Year Last First Working Title
2024 Bernold Lizzy Working on Working Conditions in Congress
2024 Brinson Emory Building a Better Foundation: State Takeovers, State Pre-K, and Communities in Conflict
2024 Danker Logan Zoning for Climate Change: How and When Climate Interest Groups Engage in Zoning Reforms
2024 Forys William The Long Road to a State-sanctioned Supervised Consumption Site in Rhode Island
2024 Jo Alice COVID-19 Pandemic Archives: Diversity in Archives of Crisis During the First Digital Pandemic
2024 Lehman Alexandra Imagined Bodies in Imagined Communities: (Re) Producing the Nation in Bosnia and Herzegovnia
2024 Minkoff Ethan The Crossroads of Defense: Analyzing Contention Surrounding Domestic Social Issues in the Defense Authorization Processes of 1994 and 2024
2024 Pierce Siri Choosing Change: The Effects of Intradistrict Choice Amid Diversification in Portland Public Schools
2024 Stronski Isa Peace Education: The Potential of Schooling to Promote Societal Healing and Reconstruction After Genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda
2024 Ulgen Ayca Foreign Interventions in the Age of Computational Propaganda: Diminishing the Effects of Foreign Authoritarian States' Computational Public Opinion Intervention Efforts on an Interface Level
2024 Amesur Akshay The Dose for Development: The Role of Political Economy and Academic Infrastructure in Pharmaceutical Innovation
2024 Azazoglu Eva Beyond Borders and Beliefs: The Influence of Institutionalized Religion on National Identity Formation Among Ethnic Minorities
2024 Mahat Priyanka Policy Epistemologies at the Margins: Street Vending, Urban Informality, and State Power
2024 Schwerdtfeger Annie Effective Service Providers: Rebel Groups in Complex Emergencies
2024 Shammash Gabrielle Reassessing the Measurement of Cash Transfer Effectiveness: "The Lifecycle Freamework"
2024 Sheppe Spencer Language Policy, National Identity, and Unity: A Multi-Level Analysis
2024 Singh Salonee Reassessing Detainee Repatriation: Negotiations Between the U.S. and Third-Party Countries Over the Detainees of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
2024 Trendell Elliott Private Violence in International Conflict: State Decision-Making Under an Accountability Dilemma
2024 Yee-Wadsworth Sofia Shifting Powers in a Changing World: A Critical Framework for Examining Competition Between a Hegemon and a Rising Power
2023 Aguilar Dellisanti Valerie Dismantling Gender Inequality in the Household and the Market: Microfinance and Women’s Unpaid Labor Dilemma—A Credit-Unpaid Labor Model Through Household Technological Adoption in Peru
2023 Anuszewski Maguire The Impact of Telehealth on Rural Health Care - Comparatively Analyzing Care Pre and Post COVID-19 with a F ocus on Maine.
2023 Auriemo Bianca District of Development: A Relational Ethnography of the Washington DC International Development Ecosystem
2023 Bandler Johanna Politics of Health Care Reform in Vermont
2023 Brown Erik True to Their Roots or a New Shade of Green? The Evolution of the
German Green Party’s Position Toward NATO (1980–1999)
2023 Carbajal Abigail The Impact of Armed Conflict on Women’s Migration Decisions: An Analysis of the Guatemalan Civil War and Sendero Luminoso
2023 Giordano Simon Pilot Agencies and the Origins of Late Industrial Development: A Comparative Case Study of Developmental State Institutions
2023 Goldenberg Caitlin (Katie) "Responsibility to Protect" & its Effects on Forced Displacement: Humanitarian in Principle or Practice?
2023 Hahn Adeline Different Paths: The Politics of Medicaid Expansion in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota
2023 Haji Ariana Ad Astra! Cooperation Between Hegemonic Powers: A Contextual Framework for Understanding Collaboration between the United States and Russia on the International Space Station
2023 Kells Olwyn The Strategic Logic of Lawfare in State-to-State Coercion
2023 Lee Annette The Impact of Immigration on Democratic Consolidation: Political Culture, Trust, and the Case of South Korea
2023 Maselli Gerilyn Unintended Audiences of Intra-Alliance Signaling
2023 McMahon Leo “Freedom Is not Won with Flowers”: An Operational Analysis of the American Occupations of Cuba (1906-1909), Haiti (1915-1934), and Nicaragua (1927-1933)
2023 Murphy Meagan Success of Peripheral Diplomacy? Cambodia’s Small State Alignment with China Since 2000
2023 Mutta Yohan The Rich Man’s Road: The Indelible Mark of the Nairobi Expressway & the Modern Kenyan State's Approach to Development
2023 Nelli Catherine Between Empire and Post-Colonial Nation-Building: A Case Study of French India’s Decolonization in Chandernagore and Pondicherry (1947-1954).
2023 Shapiro Ameila Technical Sophistication and the Decision to Use Cyber Attacks: The Cases of China and Russia
2023 Spencer-Blume Amienne Disembodying Bodies: Reconceptualizing Gait Recognition Technology as Hegemonic Artifact
2023 Tukpah Nailah Prioritizing Black Girl’s Educational Experiences: Policy Recommendations to Eliminate Black Girl’s School to Prison Pipeline
2023 Wilke Tucker Facilitation, Distribution, and Execution of Debt-based Climate Finance in Global South Cities
2023 Yepes Isabella The Correlation Between Democracy Assistance, Counterterrorism, and the Quality of Democracy: Evaluating Changes in the Effects of U.S. Aid to Colombia (2000-2011)
2023 Youngwood Benjamin Breaking Down Gerrymandering: Conceptions of Fairness in Municipal Level Redistricting
2022 Beckwith Isabelle The Effects of the Rhode Island Hospital Merger on Access to Care for Vulnerable Populations
2022 Bendicksen Liam Paternalism, Neglect, and Promise at the Margins of Federal Policy: Mapping the Elusive Right to Health Care in the United States
2022 Hodges Claire Domestic Violence and Police Avoidance: Evaluating barriers to reporting and alternatives to policing intimate partner violence
2022 Loh Jian Cong One Belt, One Road, One Community? Implications of Chinese Development Finance for ASEAN Regionalism
2022 MacKenzie Lachlan Great Power Competition and Russia’s New Nuclear Weapons
2022 McKeever Eamon Ethics and Efficacy: A Study of the Efficacy of Future Technologies in Conflict as a Result of Human Perceptions of Ethical Ramifications
2022 Moore Dylan Attitudes towards Women as Predictors of Human Trafficking
2022 Moraveg Leonardo The lack of Democratic Consolidation in Mexico: Detriments of the “Myth of Mestizaje”
2022 Susini Anna Institutional Change and Democratic Deepening: Examining the 2019-20 Chilean Protests' Call for Constitutional Replacement
2022 Teng Yue Yue (Emily) Creative Commons Zero: A legal analysis of open access initiatives and digital repatriation in museums -- OR -- A decentralized museum: cultural heritage, copyright law in the digital realm
2022 Lowden Finnian Unlikely Partners: Corporate Philanthropy and the Environmental Movement
2021 Kim Elaina Provocations as Engagement: Korea’s Foreign Policy Strategy in 2017
2021 Kumleben Emma Constructing Arenas of Great Power Competition: Policymaking Narratives and the Globalization of US-China Competition
2021 Reice Alexandra What is the Capacity for Institutional Learning? An Analysis of the IMF in South Africa and the Ivory Coast
2021 Banfield Grace Recasting the Iron Triangle Fails to Serve our Nation’s Veterans: Partial Privatization of the VHA under the Veterans Choice and VA MISSION Acts
2021 Belleza Isabelle Desegregating Suburban School Districts: Understanding Challenges and Evaluating Practices for Effective Policy Implementation
2021 Bennett Katherine A Nation of Growth and Decline: Charter Schools and the Broken Promise for Efficiency and Equity in American Public Education
2021 Kasthuri Viknesh Defensive Medicine: An Elusive Beast
2021 Kim Audrey Holding States Accountable: The Politics of Open Records Laws at the Subnational Level
2021 Shapiro Audrey Innovation in Practice: A Program Evaluation of Young Entrepreneurs of Providence (YEP!)
2021 Skahill Emily The Price of Liberty: Implications of Digital Contact Tracing for Privacy, Public Health, and the Economy
2021 Vakil Mandana The Invisibility Problem: A Study of the Implementation of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act using Two State Case Studies
2021 Winton Lucia Private Wealth for Public Good? A Critical Examination of The Role of Philanthropic Foundations in American Democracy