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Scholarships & Awards

Below is a list of the scholarships and awards administered by the Department of Political Science. Applications are available now in the Undergraduate Advising Office in 1482 Social Sciences. The application deadline for the 2017-2018 school year is February 17, 2017. 

A. I. Johnson Scholarship (Available to all undergraduates in all colleges)
This scholarship was created to honor Alfred I. Johnson who was a Regent of the University and Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives. The selected students commit to completing 400 hours in an off-campus public service internship. This scholarship provides students with a demonstrated interest in public affairs a stipend for their internships. Scholarship amounts may vary from year to year. Applicants must show evidence of a strong interest in public affairs, with an intention to pursue a career or avocational activities in public affairs, including any kind of community volunteer activity, organizing to affect public policy, service on government advisory committees, and service in elective offices. Students are not expected to have an internship confirmed at the time of application but they must obtain a public service internship to receive the scholarship. Financial need will be taken into consideration.

Cephas Allin Scholarships (political science majors only)
The purpose of this scholarship is to financially support political science majors in their academic studies. Financial need will be taken into consideration although all political science majors, regardless of financial need, are encouraged and eligible to apply. Students should demonstrate strong academic records and a commitment to timely completion of their political science majors and their degrees.

Charles Backstrom Undergraduate Scholarship in Political Science (political science majors only)
The Professor Charles Backstrom Undergraduate Scholarship in Political Science is named for Emeritus Professor Charles Backstrom who taught American government courses, particularly state and local politics, at the U of M. Professor Backstrom is also credited with starting the Department of Political Science’s internship program. It is with respect and affection that one of Charles Backstrom's former students, Dr. Leonard Robins, decided to create this scholarship which will assist students with tuition, fees, and the purchase of books and materials.

Asher M. Christensen Scholarship Fund (political science majors only)
This scholarship is named for Professor Asher Christensen (1904-1961), who graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota in 1924. He continued his education at the graduate level at the University of Minnesota, the University of Chicago and the Universidad de Madrid in Spain. He taught American government courses and Latin American politics and governments. This scholarship fund was created by the family and friends of Professor Christensen.

Judge Earl and Mrs. Cecill Larson Scholarships (political science majors only)
The Judge Earl and Mrs. Cecill Larson Scholarships are awarded to honors students and other outstanding students to support their research and academic interests. Judge Larson was a Minnesota native and a graduate of the U of M Law School. During his career he was active in the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union and the Minnesota Human Rights Commission. The purpose of the scholarship is to permit students to devote more time to their academic pursuits and to support their research interests.

William Schaper Memorial Fund (political science majors only)
This scholarship is named for Professor William Schaper who was an instructor at the University of Minnesota in 1900. He taught courses in American and comparative government, constitutional law, elements of jurisprudence, theory of the state and even an introductory course in political science for engineers.

Jonathan Smaby and Michelle Roberts Scholarship (political science majors only)
The Jonathan Smaby and Michelle Roberts Scholarship is available thanks to the generosity of Jonathan who graduated in 1985 from the University of Minnesota with a BA in political science. Jonathan received his law degree from the University of Michigan and practices law in Texas. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial support for gifted undergraduates so they may dedicate themselves to their studies and attain the best possible liberal arts education. Recipients must enroll for 15 credits each semester to retain their scholarship eligibility.

Wolfsberg Family Scholarships (political science majors only)
The purpose of this scholarship is to financially support political science majors in their academic studies. Financial need will be taken into consideration although all political science majors, regardless of financial need, are encouraged and eligible to apply. Students should demonstrate strong academic records and a commitment to timely completion of their political science majors and their degrees.

Awards

       
William Jennings Bryan Prize
The William Jennings Bryan Prize is a cash award given to the student who writes the best undergraduate paper in Political Science in an academic year. Professors nominate outstanding papers which are submitted by students in their classes, subject to the student's approval. The Undergraduate Work Committee evaluates the papers nominated for the prize and awards the prize each spring semester. 

Other Scholarship Resources

Continuing Student Scholarships
Students should also consider applying for other College of Liberal Arts scholarships such as the Continuing Student Scholarship Program. Applications are due in early spring semester.

National Scholarship Competitions
The University Honors Program Office also coordinates the application process for many prestigious national scholarship competitions. More information can be found on the Honors Program Scholarship website. Application deadlines vary. Check with the Honors Program Office for deadlines on specific scholarships. 

Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
Some scholarships are based upon financial need so all students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFSA) to maximize their eligibility for all grants, scholarships, work study, and need-based, low-interest student loans). FAFSAs may be filed after January 1 for the upcoming school year.