Research Opportunities

Distinguished Undergraduate Research Program (DURP)

We accept applications for our department's Distinguished Undergraduate Research Program (DURP) in November for Spring registration and in March for Fall registration. Through this program, we seek to provide an opportunity for our majors to connect more closely with ongoing faculty research projects. The program is designed to expose selected students to the processes through which faculty conduct research, deepen the research, organizational, and communication skills that will be useful to students for further training in political science or for other careers, and facilitate a mentor-mentee relationship that will enhance students' undergraduate experience.

Students selected to be research interns will receive two course credits for a semester-long research internship by registering for POL 3994. In exchange for the course credits, students should expect to dedicate 4-6 hours a week on average to DURP-related project tasks with their faculty member. Some of these tasks may include doing content analysis of newspapers or other texts, data entry, research existing literature on a topic, prepare visualizations such as maps or charts, or, depending on skills, statistical data analysis. At the end of the semester, research interns will produce some kind of product- e.g., a written report, a poster presentation, a website based on their research experience.

The number of research internships available in each semester will be limited and will vary from semester to semester depending on faculty research projects. To be considered eligible for a research internship watch the PoliSci Pulse newsletter for an announcement that the application has gone live. The application consists of a short statement of interest, a transcript, a list of courses taken in the major (a minimum of 2 courses at the 3xxx-level or higher is required) and the grades earned in these courses, and a few other minor questions. This application will go live in mid-October for the Spring DURP and late February for the DURP the following Fall.

Due to the limited number of research internships, the selection process will be competitive. Successful DURP applicants have typically earned at least a 3.2 Political Science major GPA or better. We hope you will consider applying for this special opportunity.

Undergraduate Research / Conference Travel Awards

Do you have an opportunity to attend or present your work at a professional political science research conference? The application for the Political Science Undergraduate Research/Conference Travel Awards can be found by scrolling down on our Scholarship Page. The awards are available for undergraduate political science majors who are traveling for a research conference or for official University of Minnesota political science faculty research.

If you have a unique opportunity that does not fit within these parameters, be sure to email our undergraduate advising office ( to describe your particular opportunity. The Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies will be able to assess if the opportunity can be approved. 

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

We also encourage undergraduate students to apply for the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). This program, sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research, supports research projects dedicated to fulfilling the U of M’s commitment to research and expanding the store of human knowledge and expression. Students who successfully apply will receive a $1,500 stipend to support their research and will also have an opportunity to present their research at various university symposia.  

Students who earn a UROP will be mentored by one of nearly 3000 diverse faculty members and will meet other students who share a passion for discovery about the human condition. The UROP will help you delve deeply into a personal topic of interest and importance under the direct supervision of a faculty member in the department. 

If you are interested in pursuing a program with UROP, please consult our undergraduate advisor in the Undergraduate Advising Office or visit the Office of Undergraduate Research for more information.