The Department of Political Science sees the Senior Integrated Project (SIP) as a vital part of its curriculum and the members of the Department take seriously their obligation to effectively mentor rigorous and innovative student projects. For our majors, a SIP done in our Department should serve as the capstone to their exploration of political topics. For students from other departments choosing to do a SIP in political science, the SIP should provide a substantial insight into some aspect of politics.
There is no set definition of what a political science SIP should look like. In the past, political science SIPs have ranged from abstract, theoretical research projects on political thought to analyses of internships with governmental agencies in Washington and Brussels. What the Department encourages in all of its SIP proposals is an effort to deepen one’s understanding of the political world.
Most political science SIPs in the past have involved substantial written work. However, there is no set page requirement for either a one-unit or two-unit SIP. Students should confer with their advisor about the appropriate length of their own SIP.
All political science SIPs should focus on some aspect of political phenomena or thought. While we encourage interdisciplinary approaches, and welcome perspectives from other fields, SIPs that focus too directly on topics in psychology, economics, history, philosophy, or other social sciences should probably be done in those departments. If a SIP topic straddles political science and another field, a student should consider doing an interdisciplinary SIP with one credit in political science, and one in the related field.
In general, political science SIPs have involved sustained research and/or an internship. "Pure" research SIPs have included archival and library research, interviews, and surveys. Those that involved internships have either focused on the history and function of the group or agency, or looked at an issue relevant to that group or agency.