Watson Institute at Brown University
International Relations


The honors seminar has been, without a doubt, the most intellectually stimulating experience I have had at Brown. I have learned about the conventions of scholarly research, improved my writing, and learned a host of new academic skills -- from how to conduct a Literature Review to how to craft a research design.

The course helped developed writing skills and taught the fundamentals of proposal writing. It illuminated the different facets of thesis writing but focused on advancing the legitimacy of the writer by improving the quality of students' writing. It was an incredible experience.

This is a class that covers material that I think every undergraduate should learn at some point. In many respects, I wish I had learnt much of this material earlier in my time at Brown.

[Knowledge and skills developed in this course include] Critical thinking, writing with concision, research methods. This class has been the single most challenging but also most rewarding class I have taken at Brown.

While it is difficult, it is very rewarding and I know the work I produce, for this class and in my future endeavors, will benefit from the things I learned in this class.

[The Honors Program] has been the most challenging but most rewarding experience of my time at Brown, [an experience] that takes all accumulated knowledge and skills to a next level

I think I learned more during the last year than during all my undergraduate years combined.
~ Katarina Živec '19

Writing a thesis is by far the most demanding, time-consuming, and often frustrating process that I have gone through at Brown. At the same time it is profoundly inspiring and rewarding. It adds an entirely new level of depth to your academic experience. If there is any topic or issue you care deeply about, don't miss this chance. 

Although I'm not working in international relations, but instead on how to use technology to transform education (on the Google in Education team), the experience of writing a thesis has helped me in a completely different job area.   I'm still so thankful that I wrote a thesis, and for all your guidance along the way.

What drove me to write a thesis, amongst other things, is my belief that I may be up to something original, and my drive to do really good work, to write really well, and hopefully contribute to something larger than myself.

I’ve been working in DC for a couple months now as a junior research assistant. I just wanted to let you know I’m still using everything I learned in thesis class!

I feel well-prepared at the graduate level…the thesis process was an important part of my growth and education.

I’ve already had a few job interviews in which I’ve had to talk about my thesis at length. It makes such a big difference!

Interviewing in the legal field has been virtually dominated by discussion of my thesis. It’s great to go into an interview knowing that you have this area of expertise to engage someone in and to be able to approach it with a concrete, tangible accomplishment.

In my new consulting job, I identify major problems businesses are facing in a specific practice area and then strategize how to solve these problems. The thing I have found most exciting so far is how relevant and pertinent the thesis research and writing process has been for me. Honestly, almost every day I think about some experience I had with my thesis to help me figure out how I should approach the issue at hand.

Looking back, even through the tough moments, I cannot say how happy I am to have gone through this [thesis] process. I think that every student at Brown must have such an experience!

 Now, at the end of my Brown career, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that my thesis was the single most important, most influential, and most valuable aspect of my four years here.  It was also hands-down the hardest, but I think that just contributed to the overall significance.

Writing a thesis has made me feel much more connected to the IR concentration and to academic life at Brown.