All Princeton undergraduates are required to complete substantial independent research as part of their studies. In Politics, this takes the form of two different junior independent work requirements, one each in the fall and spring semesters, and a year-long senior thesis. Each project requires the student to design a plan of academic research and complete a piece of writing that is of substantial scholarly quality. Seniors are also required to submit a professional poster about the senior thesis.

The fall research prospectus is completed as part of a practicum led by a faculty member, in which students receive group instruction and individual advising.