Purpose: The “Special Projects” course is intended as an opportunity in independent study, or to participate in special projects of an educational nature, which cannot be accommodated readily in the standard, lecture-type classroom settings. Students select a topic of their own interest on which to do an in-depth study through library or computer work; or students may seek out internship possibilities among Greater Cleveland agencies dealing with public policy problems and may, with prior approval, use the internship as the basis of study. (See “Types of Projects,” below.)

Contribution to Major Requirements: POSC 395 may be taken for up to 6 hours of credit, depending upon the nature of the project. Because all majors must take 3 hours of POSC 396, only 3 hours of POSC 395 will count towards the 30 hours needed for the major. Further POSC 395 credit can, however, count towards the electives for graduation.

Prerequisites: The course is open to juniors and seniors, and requirements are the same for all enrollees, regardless of academic major. Political Science majors, however, must have completed at least 18 hours of courses in the Department. All students must obtain approval from a faculty project advisor prior to registration, and must list that faculty member’s name on the registration form.

Requirements: All POSC 395 projects must result in the submission of written work. The amount of work required will be commensurate with the number of POSC 395 credit hours for which the student is enrolled. The amount and nature of the work must be determined in advance and approved by the faculty project supervisor, as follows:

No later than the end of the second week of classes for the semester of POSC 395 enrollment, the student must submit to the Department office a POSC 395 project prospectus form, signed by the faculty project advisor. (This form may be obtained from the Department office.) The prospectus will outline the goals of the project, the research methodology to be used, and the nature of the written work to be submitted. Thus the prospectus will be part of the basis for grading. Failure to submit an approved prospectus by the designated deadline may result in the student’s name being stricken from the POSC 395 enrollment list. This form will become a permanent part of the student’s Department file.

Students are reminded that the faculty must be allowed sufficient time to read and evaluate the written work, in addition to exams and papers for other classes, before the University’s deadline for submission of grades. Therefore, the date assigned for completion of the final POSC 395 project must be noted in the appropriate space on the prospectus form by the supervising professor; and failure of the student to meet this deadline, without prior written consent of the supervising faculty member, constitutes a violation of the prospectus agreement. The professor will inform the student, at the time of prospectus approval and signature, of any grading demerits to be invoked should this violation occur.

  1. Types of Projects: Educational activities which fall within the scope of POSC 395 may vary but generally are limited to the following:
  2. Research Paper: An in-depth study of a topic in the field of Political Science, of particular interest to the student, is the primary goal of an independent study project. Such research may be oriented toward library, computer, field work, etc., but it must result in the submission of a research paper.
  3. Directed Readings: A student may propose to read and discuss with a faculty member a selection of Political Science literature not included in the syllabi of regular course offerings. The submission of written book reviews, summaries, and bibliographic commentary is required.
  4. Internships: Participation in an approved internship is an acceptable basis for a POSC 395 project. A written report, summarizing the experience gained, must be submitted by the student to the supervising faculty member. In addition, an evaluation of the student’s performance will be solicited from his/her immediate supervisor in the agency or governmental office which had sponsored the intern-ship. Both the report and the performance evaluation will be the basis for grading.