Students are strongly urged to submit rough drafts of their junior papers to their independent work advisors. Comments received on a first draft may be crucial to the project's success. Advisors are under no obligation to give detailed comments on preliminary versions of a Research Prospectus or Junior Paper if they are submitted after these departmental deadlines. Advisors may choose to read drafts after these deadlines, and faculty are encouraged to set their own preferred deadlines for preliminary work.

The rough draft deadlines set by the Department are:
-for the Fall Research Prospectus, the last day of reading period 
-for the Spring Junior Paper, is the Friday after Spring Break

The completed final assignments (Research Prospectus in Fall semester, Junior Paper in Spring semester) must be submitted into the Department of Politics junior independent work database by 4:00 pm on the day of the University’s stated deadlines for independent work as noted here. The Research Prospectus and Spring JP may not be submitted after the Politics deadline without the prior approval from the student’s Residential College Dean. If the student’s Residential College Dean, in conjunction with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, approves an extension with a late penalty, a late penalty of 1/3 of a letter grade for every 48 hours will be applied, beginning at 4:00 pm on the due date.

For the Class of 2024:

A passing Fall JIW grade requires the submission of all graded components (e.g., workshop, plenary, Research Prospectus). If the Research Prospectus is not completed by the Department due date, a failing Fall JIW grade will be reported to the Registrar's Office without averaging the workshop and plenary components. A student who receives an F will have the opportunity to submit a Research Prospectus with a new deadline determined by the Department in conjunction with the student's residential college dean. Once the student receives a passing grade on the Research Prospectus, a second grade (which averages all three graded components) will be submitted to the Registrar's Office. Both grades will remain on the transcript.  

Students must achieve at least a “D” on each of their two semesters of junior independent work as well as an average of a “C” or above across the two. If the average of the two is below “C” or one of the two receives an “F”, a second Junior Paper is required (with a grade that brings the average of the Fall JIW and the Summer JP grades to at least a "C" or better). This is a prerequisite for beginning the senior year. For purposes of this requirement, the grades before the application of any late penalties are used.

For the Classes of 2025 (and beyond):

Students will receive one POL 981 grade at the end of spring term that is a weighted average of fall (30%) and spring (70%) JIW grades. POL 981 will carry 2.0 units. Students must achieve a grade of C or better in POL 981. If a student receives a grade below C in POL 981, another Junior Paper is required with a grade that brings the average of this additional paper and the POL 981 grade to at least a grade of C. This is a prerequisite for beginning the senior year. For purposes of this requirement, the grades before application of any penalties are used.