Frequently Asked Questions About the CISAC Honors Program

About the Program

About Internships

About Applying

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About the Program

How does the program support the writing of my thesis?

One of the features of the CISAC Honors Program is the 3-5 credit course, IIS 199. The course meets weekly to discuss various components of thesis-writing, and allows for multiple opportunities for feedback from instructors and peers. Guest speakers will also provide insights to assist you with your thesis development.

What is Honors College?

Honors College is a two-week program that takes place in Washington, D.C., and on the Stanford campus in September before the start of the fall quarter of senior year. Students will have the opportunity to discuss their thesis ideas with policymakers, members of the media, and think tank representatives, and to learn more about international security policy from a variety of sources.

I am an athlete or have residential responsibilities that would require me to miss part (or all) of Honors College. Is that a problem?

Yes. All students are required to attend the entirety of Honors College. Please be sure to discuss any potential conflicts with Marisa MacAskill prior to applying.

Can I take the two required courses, POLISCI 114S and MS&E 193, during my senior year?

Yes, although you are highly encouraged to complete or be enrolled in at least one of these courses prior to applying.

Can I study abroad or elsewhere in the U.S. while in the Honors Program?

No. You must be on campus for the fall, winter, and spring quarters of your senior year.

I am not yet a junior, but I would like to be kept informed of Honors Program-related matters. What should I do?

To be notified of program updates and to receive application reminders, please email Marisa MacAskill and request to be added to our Prospective Honors Program email list.


About Internships

I haven’t completed an internship yet. What should I do?

Students may complete the internship any time during college up through the summer between junior and senior years, including Stanford-in-Washington. If you need assistance finding or arranging an internship, please contact Marisa MacAskill. We also encourage you to subscribe to the FSI Student Programs Weekly Newsletter, which often lists potential internship opportunities.

How do I know if my internship will qualify?

Email Marisa MacAskill for confirmation. Internships are typically with a governmental office, international organization, or non-governmental organization directly involved in international security policy.

Does CISAC provide funding for internships?

We may be able to provide a small amount of financial support for expenses related to your internship. Please contact Marisa MacAskill for instructions and an application.

Does doing independent research with a faculty member or participating in Summer Research College count as an internship?



About Applying

Are non-Stanford students eligible to apply? 

No. You must be a current Stanford junior, applying for the program for your senior year.

Is the program open to all majors?

Yes. The CISAC Honors Program is interdisciplinary and welcomes applicants from all majors. However, please be certain that you will be able to complete all of the requirements of your major while participating.

Are there any citizenship requirements?


I am considering applying, but I would like more information to determine if the program is right for me. Who should I speak to?

For general information, please contact Marisa MacAskill, student programs manager. For questions related to thesis-writing and research, please contact Dr. Martha Crenshaw, Honors Program Co-Director. We also encourage you to speak to your academic advisor. Additionally, there is an information session in late January each year, which provides an opportunity for you to ask questions to faculty members, the teaching assistant, current students, and alumni.

Can I apply if I plan to co-term?

Yes, but we highly recommend that you have a conversation with your advisor regarding your ability to balance your 4th year workload.

Can I be in the program for a year other than my senior year (such as junior year)?


Can the same person sign my consultation form and write my letter of recommendation?


How do I apply?

Please apply here for application components and instructions.

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