The Political Science Department is proud of our major scholarship and award winners. The department has the most winners of any department on campus.

Instructions for applying and a list of scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students are below.

How to Apply

Submit the Political Science Scholarship Application with the items below. Letters of recommendation are provided separately by faculty on another form.


  • Completed application form
  • Transcript(s)
  • Scholarship Resume (details below)
  • Academics and experience statement (details below)
  • One letter of recommendation, preferably from a faculty member in political science

Optional for the McKelvie Scholarship:

  • Two letters of recommendation, with at least one from a college or university faculty member and the second from someone who can attest to your commitment to a career in government.
  • A narrative titled “Government Service” describing briefly your career preparation for government service and where in government and in what capacity you intend to serve; 400-800 words, including your name and NU ID in the header.

Scholarship Application

Due April 30

After you submit the completed application and relevant items, you will be considered for any departmental scholarships for which you are eligible.

Your application will not be considered if all required items are not included.


Dona-Gene Barton

Required Items

What you need to complete the application process.

Scholarship Resume

  • Titled "Scholarship resume"
  • Your name and NU ID
  • Academic achievements, honors and awards
  • Internships and other activities related to political science
  • Departmental, college, campus or community service
  • Employment experiences
  • Experiential learning (education abroad, internships, significant research experiences) while at Nebraska

Academics and Experience Statement

The Scholarship Committee is looking for students to comment on what they have learned as a political science student and how they are making the most of the undergraduate years, not on their grades.

  • One page, 400-800 words
  • Your name and NU ID in the header
  • Titled "Academics and Experience Statement"
  • Part I (labelled): Describe the ways your course work has helped you advance or develop your future plans.
  • Part II (labelled): How is what you are doing outside the classroom (employment/service/activities) contributing to your education or future plans/goals?


Edna Jo Van Neste McGinley Memorial Scholarship

  • UNL undergraduate political science major
  • freshman or sophomore standing
  • financial need (preference given)

One scholarship of $1,000 awarded each year.

Gen. Lauris Norstad Scholarship in Political and Military Science

  • UNL undergraduate with junior standing or above; or a UNL graduate student
  • ROTC member, leaded to a reserve commission
  • political science, international affairs, history or economics major

Two scholarships of $1,000 are available.

Haeyoon Kim UNL Political Science Scholarship

  • UNL undergraduate student majoring in political science
  • strong interest in Asia-focused international relations studies, aligning with future career goals
  • minimum GPA of 3.0

One scholarship of $1,000 is awarded each year.

Howard V. Fisher and Melissa L. Marsh Student Support Fund

  • UNL undergraduate political science major

One scholarship of $1,000 is awarded each year.

John Jay Douglass Scholarship

  • UNL undergraduate political science major
  • sophomore standing or above
  • demonstrated academic merit

Two scholarships of $1,000 are awarded each year.

Libby Swanson Jacobs Scholarship

  • UNL undergraduate political science major
  • junior standing or above
  • outstanding academic record, 3.5 GPA or greater
  • extraordinary involvement in campus and/or community organizations and activities
  • financial need (must have applied for financial aid)

One scholarship of at least $4,000 awarded each year.

Mary Jean Ho Memorial International Relations Fund

  • UNL undergraduate or graduate student
  • preference given to students in International Relations with a research focus on Sino/American relations and/or Chinese politics
  • can also be used to support faculty research in this area

McKelvie Scholarships

Promoting and strengthening public service leadership in the public sector, including local, state, and federal government employment or careers.

  • are a Midwest undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a career in government
  • have superior scholarship and academic standing
  • have evidence of commitment to a public service career, reflected in past, current, and/or anticipated future government employments and/or an internship with a public/government agency
  • will be a full time student (twelve credit hours Fall and Spring) following receipt of the award

Ten to fifteen scholarships ranging up to $2,000 are awarded each year.



All assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis. Once funded, Ph.D. students who remain in good standing can anticipate continued support for 5 years. Graduate assistantships include tuition waivers and subsidized student health insurance.

Funded students serve as Graduate Teaching Assistants or Graduate Research Assistants, which involves working with and assisting faculty in teaching or research. Students serve as teaching assistants and either direct recitation sessions associated with large lecture sections taught by faculty (POLS 100, 160, 250, 286) or teach their own course. The latter includes the basic courses in American politics, international relations, political psychology, comparative politics, and political theory. Senior graduate students may teach some upper-level undergraduate courses.


A number of university and departmental fellowships are available on a competitive basis. Students may be nominated for fellowships from the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) and the College of Arts and Sciences by the Graduate Program Chair and Graduate Committee, receive departmental fellowships at the time of admission, and/or be provided with the opportunity to apply for competitive fellowships at the departmental level. Some fellowships provide full funding plus tuition, whereas others are meant to supplement departmental stipends. Visit the OGS website for more information.

Clare and Marguerite MacPhee Fellowship Fund

This fund is available in special circumstances to supplement graduate assistant stipends.

Elizabeth Stone Senning Memorial Scholarship Fund

This fund is available on a highly selective basis to Ph.D. students at the dissertation stage for dissertation research in the fields of public administration, public policy or state government. Recipients will devote the year in which the scholarship is awarded exclusively to dissertation research and are ineligible for an assistantship and other funding.

John P. Senning Scholarship Fund

This fund supplements graduate assistantships. No application necessary.

Walter Kiechel Memorial Social Science Fund

This fund supports graduate student travel to present research findings at professional meetings, travel associated with research activities or professional development, and tuition in special programs related to one's program of study offered at other colleges and universities. Recipients must be currently enrolled graduate students in the UNL Department of Political Science.