Political Science Scholars

The Department of Political Science has established the Political Science Scholar Program to recognize the achievements and potential of a small number of our best students (approximately 20 per year).

  • About the program

    The program provides each scholar with opportunities to enhance their undergraduate education including:

    • Assignment to a faculty mentor who can provide expert advice on courses and the discipline of political science. Faculty mentors can help students match coursework with long-term goals, discuss opportunities for post-graduate studies in political science and law, and flag possible job opportunities available to talented undergraduate students.
    • Access by competitive application to funding support for enhancement activities, including research support, travel to professional conferences, and other research-related activities.
    • Opportunities to serve as an Undergraduate Learning Assistant (ULA) in political science classes.
    • Opportunities to meet in small group settings with distinguished alums of the department and university and participate in activities sponsored by the Governor Jim Blanchard Public Service Forum.
    • Opportunities to meet legislators, lobbyists, and policy professionals in the State Capital for career and professional advice.
    • Eligibility to compete for attractive internships, in Lansing, Detroit, and Washington, D.C., identified by internship coordinators and alumni supporters.
    • Access in informal settings to visiting scholars who come to MSU by invitation of the Department and other institutions related to the Department.
    • Guaranteed admission to study abroad programs offered by the Department.
  • Undergraduate Learning Assistantships
    PLS Scholars have priority in serving as Undergraduate Learning Assistants (ULAs) in our department course offerings. Students accepted to serve as ULAs enroll in 3 credits of PLS 490, a course that meets the experiential learning requirement. (Students who have already completed this requirement can work with their advisor to determine additional ways of using the credits.) To apply, students should complete an application form and statement and ask a PLS faculty member to submit a nomination form on their behalf. Applications are typically due May 15 for fall semester and November 1 for spring semester.

  • How to apply

    We encourage students currently in their sophomore year to apply, although students at other stages will also be considered.  Students who are interested in becoming a Political Science Scholar should submit a PLS Scholars Application by March 15. Students must also have a PLS faculty member submit a PLS Scholars Faculty Nomination form on their behalf.

    If you have questions about the PLS Scholars program or the application process, please contact Krista Zeig.

  • Meet the current scholars!





Political Science Scholars enjoy a brunch before graduation with their parents and faculty. Photography by Jackie Belden Hawthorne, College of Social Science.