Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012...3:47 pm

The NPTS Honors Thesis

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The NPTS Honors Thesis is a highly selective program through which students will be challenged to design and conduct an independent research project of professional scope and quality with the guidance of a thesis advisor. Only a limited number of students will be selected to participate in the Honors Thesis program each academic year.

Application and Selection

Applications for the honors thesis program will be accepted in the spring semester of each academic year. Students in their second or subsequent semesters in the NPTS MA program who are currently maintaining a GPA of 3.7 or higher may apply to be admitted into the Honors Thesis program. Application forms are available from the GSIPM front desk and are due to the GSIPM Dean’s Office by March 30. Applications require a proposal for the thesis, academic transcript, sample of research writing, and endorsement from a member of the faculty or research staff. In endorsing a student for the honors thesis, a faculty or staff member agrees to serve as the student’s thesis advisor if the student is selected for the program.

Students will be selected for the honors thesis on the basis of GPA, demonstrated proficiency in research and analytical writing, and any other relevant criteria as determined by a selection committee composed of NPTS faculty. Students selected for the program will be notified and will receive approval to enroll in IPOL 8662 NPTS Honors Thesis in the subsequent Fall semester. IPOL 8662 will count as a seminar toward fulfilling the requirements of the NPTS MA degree.

Thesis Preparation and Review

Throughout the Fall semester, thesis advisors will provide students enrolled in IPOL 8662 with individualized supervision of their thesis projects. Thesis advisors will set a schedule for research and writing of the thesis and will meet with students as needed to review progress and provide comments and advice.


Students will be required to present and defend their Honors Theses before the MIIS community in a public symposium. During the symposium, students will receive comments from discussants chosen from faculty and research staff at MIIS and other institutions, nonproliferation and counterterrorism practitioners, and/or distinguished alumni. Students will be expected to respond to questions and comments in a professional manner and to incorporate their comments in the final version of their theses as appropriate.

Finalization and Grading

Students will submit final versions of their honors theses to their thesis advisors after the symposium. Thesis advisors will grade final submissions and determine whether or not they meet the standards of quality necessary for designation as an honors thesis.


Please contact NPTS Program Chair Dr. Fred Wehling.

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