Undergraduate Academic Awards and Scholarships
There are a number of annual awards and scholarships for political science majors. Interested students should contact the department office at 815-753-1011.
This honor is presented annually to one graduating senior majoring in political science who has achieved both a strong record of scholarship (e.g. high grade point average) and made outstanding contributions to the university community. The recipient is awarded a certificate of achievement at the department's commencement ceremony. A monetary award will be credited to the recipient's bursar account.
Graduating majors completing the department's honors program, which includes a high cumulative grade point average, special coursework, and a quality honors thesis in their senior year, are recognized at the department's commencement ceremony. Each recipient is given a special gold cord that identifies a student as someone graduating with department honors.
This award honors one graduating senior majoring in political science, attending NIU all four years, with the highest cumulative grade point average. The recipient is awarded a certificate of achievement at the department's commencement ceremony and a monetary amount is credited to the recipient's bursar account. In addition, the student's name is engraved on a permanent plaque that hangs in the department's main office.
The purpose of the Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society is to promote the study of political science in the United States through the encouragement and recognition of excellence in scholarship. The Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society was founded at the University of Texas in 1920 and has grown to over 440 chapters in universities and colleges across the United States. Members are selected on the following criteria: 1) They must be political science majors who achieved a grade of A or B in all of their 12 or more political science courses and 2) their overall academic record places them in the upper one-third of their collegiate class. At the department's commencement ceremony, each new member receives a certificate of membership in Pi Sigma Alpha from the national office and their names are enrolled on Pi Sigma Alpha's membership rolls. Membership in academic honor society is a worthy accomplishment. Upon request, the national office will write letters to prospective employers or graduate schools verifying membership.
Check out the award winners from this past year's commencement ceremony.
Note: There are no application or submission procedures for commencement awards.
Other Scholarships and Awards
This highly competitive program provides students with the opportunity to live, learn, and work in the heart of our nation's capital. Four students will intern on the Hill for a member of the Illinois congressional delegation. Each student will receive a scholarship to cover the cost of housing and some living expenses, along with a tuition waiver for six credit hours of political science courses.
Applicants for the congressional internship must:
Be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate, degree-seeking student in good standing at Northern Illinois University during the fall and spring semesters of the year in which they apply.
Submit a completed application form through MyScholarships.
Provide two letters of recommendation. One letter should be from a faculty member at NIU and the other from someone outside of NIU who is not a relative. The letters should address not only your academic achievements, but your character, as well.
Notice of calls for application and submission deadlines will be published on our website and through social media at the appropriate time of the academic year.
A monetary scholarship is given to a student who has made an outstanding contribution to public service through their work in a public service related internship, political campaign, government or student government.
Applicants for the John G. and Barbara C. Peters Scholarship must:
Be a junior or senior who is majoring in political science at Northern Illinois University.
Be a full-time student in good academic standing. Student must be returning in the fall for at least one more semester. Graduating seniors are not eligible.
Demonstrate merit and genuine commitment to pursue a career in public service or public administration.
Applications should be submitted through MyScholarships.
Notice of calls for application and submission deadlines will be published on our website and through social media during the spring semester. You may also contact the department for information at 815-753-1011.
The Department of Political Science recognizes, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies, such as independent studies or honors theses. Winners are recognized at the department's spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate. A monetary award will be credited to the recipient's bursar account.
No more than two papers may be submitted by a student. There is no requirement as to the length of papers submitted for the award. The number and types of award is dependent upon the papers submitted for consideration in any given year. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing.
Only papers written in the previous calendar year are considered for the award. Papers can be submitted by students or faculty and are typically due March 1.
Application and submission procedures for scholarship opportunities, along with submission deadlines, will be published on our website and through social media at the appropriate time of the academic year. You may also contact the department for information at 815-753-1011.
Graduate Scholarships and Awards
The application deadline is March 1.
- Martin David Dubin Memorial Scholarship: Awarded to a graduate student in the process of writing their doctoral thesis, regardless of emphasis. A 1000-word narrative outlining the research is required, as well as a letter-of-support from a faculty member.
- Frisch Travel Scholarship: Awarded to a graduate student for travel expenses related to presenting a paper at a conference. A brief narrative of thesis - including a timeline to completion - as well as a letter-of-support from a faculty member (typically thesis chair).
- Gerald S. Maryanov Fellowship: Awarded to a graduate student who reflects commitment to the totality of the political science discipline; shows capacity for creative and analytical reasoning; and exhibits the character of scholar epitomized by Jay Maryanov in maturity, honesty and fair-mindedness.
- Russell W. Smith Memorial Endowment in Political Science: $1,000 to full-time M.A. or Ph.D. student to help cover costs of travel to SE Asia to complete research.
- Thomas C. Wiegele Memorial Fund: New Ph.D. admit to Political Science, preference is given to biological and environmental politics.
- Daniel Wit Service Award: This scholarship is for a student earning the Master of Public Administration degree at Northern Illinois University, who demonstrates academic excellence and student achievement.