University of Minnesota
Department of Political Science

Department of Political Science


A number of scholarships and awards are given to undergraduate students each year. The Charles Backstrom, Asher Christensen, Judge Earl and Mrs. Cecill Larson, William Schaper, Michelle Roberts and Jonathan Smaby, Cephas Allin and Wolfsberg Scholarships are restricted to political science majors only. The A. I. Johnson Scholarship, the John E. Turner Award, and the William Jennings Bryan Prize are available to all undergraduates.

The 2014-15 scholarship application deadline was February 28, 2014.

C. Charles Jackson Congressional Scholarships

The C. Charles Jackson Congressional Scholarships are available to students who participate in congressional internships in Washington, D.C. during the summer session OR fall semester. Only internshps with elected members of the U.S. House or U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C. will be considered for this grant. Students are not expected to hve an internship confirmed at the time of application but they must obtain a congressional internship to receive the grant. Financial need will be taken into consideration.

A. I. Johnson Scholarship


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. In 2013-2014, two students received scholarships of $13,000 although 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. Recipients of this scholarship are asked to write thank you notes to the Johnson family.

Department of Political Science Scholarships(Charles Backstrom, Asher Christensen, Judge Earl & Mrs. Cecill Larson, William Schaper, Jonathan Smaby/Michelle Roberts)


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. 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. Recipients of this scholarship are asked to write thank you notes to Mrs. Barbara Backstrom. Recipients must be full-time students each semester (13 credits).

These scholarships are available for fall semester 2014 and spring semester 2015. Award amounts and the number of selected recipients vary from year to year.

The Professor Charles Backstrom Undergraduate Scholarship in Political Science was created by Dr. Len Robins in honor of his former teacher and friend, Emeritus Professor Charles Backstrom. Professor Backstrom taught American government courses at the University from 1959 to 1997. He initiated the department's internship program which has expanded to provide hundreds of undergraduates the opportunity to intern for members of the congress, state legislators, political campaigns, and various government agencies.

The Asher M. Christensen Scholarship Fund 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. Recipients must be full-time students each semester (13 credits).

The Judge Earl and Mrs. Cecill Larson Scholarships are awarded to honors students and other outstanding students to support their research and academic interests. The purpose of the scholarship is to permit students to devote more time to their academic pursuits and to support their research interests. Scholarship recipients are asked to write thank you notes to Mrs. Cecill Larson. Recipients must be full-time students each semester (13 credits).

The William Schaper Memorial Fund 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. The recipients are expected to complete a research or special project for credit. The project can be of the student's own design based on his/her research interests. Other projects will also be considered such as an internships, fieldwork, or a project that promotes citizenship in the community. Recipients must be full-time students each semester (13 credits).

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 B.A. in political science and his wife, Michelle. Jonathan and Michelle received their law degrees from the University of Michigan and practice 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. Selected recipients will be asked to write a thank you letter to the donors and provide some details about their research interests, future academic and personal goals. Recipients must enroll for 15 credits each semester to retain their scholarship eligiblility.


Undergraduate Scholarships in Political Science (Cephas Allin and Wolfsberg)

The Undergraduate Scholarship in Political Science is available to political science majors only. The purpose of these scholarships is to financially support political science majors in their academic studies. Financial need will be taken into consideration although all political science majors are strongly encouraged and eligible to apply. These scholarships are available for May term/summer 2014, fall semester 2014, and spring semester 2015. Students should demonstrate strong academic records and a commitment to timely completion of their political science majors and their degrees. Applicants will be chosen based upon their academic records and their essays. Recipients are not required to complete a specific project or to register for specific courses but we do assume that all recipients will enroll each term in some political science courses and stay on track to complete the major.


The John E. Turner Award is given to the CLA Honors student with the best undergraduate Honors project completed in the previous academic year. The award honors Regents' Professor Emeritus John E. Turner (a former Political Science professor) for his commitment to students and excellence. While this is not a monetary prize, the recognition can be quite valuable, particularly for students who intend to pursue (or who have already embarked upon) graduate or professional studies. One student is nominated by each department and academic program, and projects are generally assessed on the basis of their originality, creativity, and importance. Nomination deadlines are in late March.

Portrait: William Jennings Bryan.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. The William Jennings Bryan Prize winner receives a check for $500.

Other Scholarship Resources

Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid
Scholarships and grants are the most desirable type of aid because the funds do not need to be repaid. In addition to state and federal grants, many scholarship programs have been established through the generosity of individuals, friends, and alumni of the University, as well as academic, professional, fraternal and business organizations and foundations to give recognition and support to University students.

Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship
The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship was established in 1987 to provide college graduates with the opportunity to gain a Washington perspective on key issues of peace and security. Twice yearly, the Fellowship's Board of Directors selects a group of outstanding individuals to spend six to nine months in Washington . Supported by a monthly stipend, the Fellows serve as full-time project assistants at the participating organization of their choice. To date, 102 fellowships have been awarded.

The Junior Fellows Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Each year the Endowment offers 8-10 one-year fellowships to uniquely qualified graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past academic year. They are selected from a pool of nominees from close to 300 colleges. Carnegie Junior Fellows work as research assistants to the Endowment's senior associates.

Deutscher Akademischer Austrausch Dienst (German Academic Exchange Service)
We're here to help you on your journey to study or research in Germany . The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a publicly-funded independent organization of higher education institutions in Germany .

Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program
The fellowship program is funded by the United States Department of State and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The Department of State seeks a Foreign Service that represents America in world affairs with citizens who reflect the diversity and excellence of our society. The program seeks to recruit talented students in academic programs relevant to international affairs, political and economic analysis, administration, management, and science policy. The goal is to attract outstanding students from all ethnic, racial and social backgrounds, who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State. The Program develops a source of trained men and women from academic disciplines representing the skill needs of the Department, who are dedicated to representing America 's interests abroad.

University Scholarship Recipients
Check out a list of all the past scholarship recipients.

Political Science National Scholarship Recipients

Rhodes Scholarship
  • Diana Fu (B.A. 2006)
  • David Simon (B.A. 2003)
Harry S. Truman Scholarship
  • Joseph Walla (B.A. 2006)
  • David Simon (B.A. 2003)
  • Jessica Kimpell (B.A. 2001)
  • Kjersten Nelson (B.A. 2001)
  • Rachel Paulose (B.A. 1993)
  • Judy Grew (B.A. 1986)
  • David Linder (B.A. 1984)
  • Steve Ansolebehere (B.A. 1982)
  • James St. George (B.A. 1979)
David L. Boren Scholarship
  • Matthew Connell (B.A. 2002)
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange
  • Michael Fenton (B.A. 2005)
DAAD Study Scholarships
  • Adam Kephart (2012)
  • Michael Fenton (B.A. 2005)
Emigre Memorial German Internship Program
  • Andrew Timm (B.A. 2012)
Fulbright Grant
  • Amy Conner (B.A. 2012)
  • Elizabeth Troolin (B.A. 2012)
  • Caroline Abadeer (B.A. 2011)
  • Thomas Snyder (B.A. 2009)
  • Thomas Flynn (B.A. 2008)
  • Alia El Bakri (B.A. 2008)
  • Laura Hammond (B.A. 2004)
Gilman Scholarships
  • Kafia Ahmed (B.A. 2011)
  • Ashley Grimm (B.A. 2011)
  • Hannah Johnson (B.A. 2011)
  • Molly Mollenkamp (B.A. 2011)
  • Patrick Grumley (B.A. 2010)
  • Rustin Rhone (B.A. 2010)
  • Chou Moua (B.A. 2008)
  • Mayky LeePalao (B.A. 2007)
Glamour Magazine, Top Ten College Women
  • Jennifer Carrier (B.A. 2001)
Luce Scholarship
  • Joseph Walla (B.A. 2006)
Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarships
  • Leah Rogotzke (B.A. 2012)
  • Samuel Kramer (B.A. 2007)
Udall Native American Congressional Internships
  • Hannah Lussier (B.A. 2009)
  • Marissa Kramer (B.A. 2013)


Related Links

University of Minnesota Undergraduate Scholarship Search

Contact Info

Undergraduate Adviser
Rose Miskowiec
1482 SocSci

Internship Director

Paul Soper
1480 SocSci

Director of Undergrad Studies

Wendy Rahn
1309 SocSci

Director of Undergrad Studies

Lisa Hilbink
Assoc. Professor
1337 SocSci