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CDDRL Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Honors Program

CDDRL Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Honors Program

CDDRL Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Honors Program

CDDRL Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Honors Program

Accepting Applications

January 04, 2016 - February 12, 2016

*** An informational session will be held at noon on Monday, January 25th. To register, please visit our events page HERE.***

The CDDRL Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Honors Program aims to provide an opportunity for eligible seniors focusing on democracy, economic development, and rule of law subjects in any university department to earn honors in democracy, development, and rule of law (DDRL). CDDRL seeks a diverse group of undergraduate majors for the program from any department or interdisciplinary program interested in writing their senior theses on a subject touching upon DDRL with a global impact. Students will work to complete their thesis under the guidance and consultation of CDDRL faculty, but may have a primary thesis advisor from their own department. Upon fulfilling individual department course requirements and completing the honors program, the student will graduate in his/her major with a certificate of honors in Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law. 


Components of the program

Summary of Units

1)  Students apply to the program in the winter quarter of their junior year. Students will be notified of acceptance to the program before spring break. 

2)  Students accepted into the program will take a 3-unit CDDRL research seminar in the spring quarter of their junior year. This course will be taught by CDDRL affiliated faculty on a rotating basis. The goal of the seminar is to expose students to different approaches to research, help them to refine their theses topics, and produce a prospectus that asks a clear question, demonstrates familiarity with some of the existing approaches to the question, and then proposes a research design to begin answering the question.

3)  Students will be encouraged to do fieldwork or other forms of original research over the summer prior to their senior year. Some of them may also undertake internships in CDDRL programs like our Summer Fellows Program on Democracy and Development (for development practitioners from around the world and held at CDDRL every summer); our Programs on Liberation Technology, Human Rights, Democracy in Taiwan, and Arab Reform and Democracy; or other international internships offered through the Haas Center for Public Service.

4)  CDDRL will hold a CDDRL Honors College every September before fall quarter classes begin. The Honors College will take place in Washington, DC, in order to expose the students directly to the broader development policy community and is fully funded by CDDRL. The 2016-2017 Honors College is tentatively scheduled for September 18 - 24, 2016.

Throughout the course of the academic year, honors students have the opportunity to engage with top policy makers and government officials who visit Stanford. This year, four CDDRL honors students were given the opportunity to speak with U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice on climate change in a small-group meeting at the Bechtel Center. 

5)  Students will be required to take IR/PS 114D, Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, in the fall quarter of their senior years (if they have not taken it previously). This is a 5-unit course.

6)   In the fall and winter quarters of their senior year, the students will be required to participate in the CDDRL honors research workshop with the faculty leader of the program. They may claim 1 to 3 units each quarter for this component of our program. Students will briefly present their thesis research to date and then respond to questions from the group regarding the project and areas where it might be improved. We have found this to be an effective way to encourage students to stick to a deadline, and to stimulate them to reconsider aspects of their project once they present it in front of a small audience and receive feedback.

7)  The students will complete their thesis projects no later than the first week of May of their senior year (if they wish to be considered for an award). They will submit their theses for honors to the faculty committee at CDDRL and their respective advisors. They will present their finished work to the CDDRL community at that time.

8)  Upon graduation, students will graduate from their respective departments and receive honors in Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. CDDRL will also offer an annual prize to the author of the best thesis in the CDDRL program.  


Our Students



To apply

The application deadline for the 2016-17 academic year is Friday, February 12, 2016. Please be prepared to upload documents as listed on this checklist




Fellowship Coordinator

Encina Hall
Stanford, CA 94305

(650) 724-7197 (voice)
(650) 724-2996 (fax)

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