Research Intensive Bachelor’s Certification (RIBC)

The Research Intensive Bachelor’s Certificate (RIBC) Program in Political Science is a small-group educational experience for students who wish to gain high-caliber research skills and practical experience working in an academic research environment. Students must complete 12 hours of research-oriented classes and internships to earn the Research Intensive Program Certificate.

The program is limited to 25 students each year with competitive admission. The program begins each fall. We encourage students to begin the program in their Sophomore or Junior year. Students admitted to the certificate program progress as a group through a sequence of intensive research methods classes and complete the program with a research internship supervised by faculty at the Department of Political Science, where students will work one-on-one with faculty and doctoral students on current research projects. Research projects are available in American politics, comparative politics, public policy, and international relations.


Fall I: POS3713 – Political Research and Analysis, Research Intensive

Spring I: POS3930 – Applied Research Design, Research Intensive 

Summer I or Fall II: POS4941 – Research Internship

Summer I or Fall II: 3 Hours Electives from the following list:
-POS4715 Politics and the Theory of Games
-POS3930 Experimental Research Methods
-POS4941 Research Internship (additional hours beyond those required)
-Assorted Graduate Level Seminars (see department for approval)
-Directed Individual Study (see department for approval) 
-Other courses approved by the director of the RIBC program towards the certificate

Note that the Research Intensive Bachelor’s Certificate Program courses count towards fulfilling the requirements of the major in Political Science and the major in Interdisciplinary Social Science. POS 3713-I can be taken as a designated Honors course.

Students who complete the research intensive courses may become eligible to take graduate level work prior to completing their Bachelor’s degree. However, admission into a graduate level course must be approved by the professor teaching the course and the Director of the Research Intensive Bachelor’s program. Graduate level course hours may be used towards fulfilling the hours for an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree, but not both.

The program is especially helpful to students planning to complete honors in the major and for those planning to pursue a graduate degree in political science, law, or international affairs. Students who successfully complete the program requirements will receive a letter of completion detailing the skills and experience gained from the program as well as a letter of recommendation suitable for applications to graduate programs. Once the requirements for the certificate are met, the certification appears on the student’s official transcript.


We will begin reviewing applications each year on February 15 for admission to the program in the following fall.

Admission to the program is competitive and is based on a review of a statement of interest, SAT or ACT scores, GPA, and fulfillment of coursework of one of the four following prerequisite courses or their equivalent (POS1041, POS2002, INR2002, PUP3002).  AP credit may be accepted, but requires departmental approval.

Enrollment is limited to 25 students, and decisions will be made on a rolling basis until all available slots are filled. You may pick up an application from Elisa Kuchvalek in Bellamy 533 or click here for the application. Applications are due to the department by March 15th. If slots are still available after the initial application period, we will review applications as they come in until the program is full.

RIBC Important Links
RIBC Application

Program Administrators

Dr. Robert Jackson 
Director, Research Intensive Bachelor’s Certificate Program in Political Science 

Dr. Amanda Driscoll 
Director of Undergraduate Studies in Political Science 

Elisa Kuchvalek, M.S.Ed.
Academic Coordinator, Political Science