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Academics / Undergraduate Program / Honors, Awards & Funding Opportunities

Honors, Awards & Funding Opportunities

 

Undergraduate Honors & Awards

The Department of Political Science is pleased to be able to offer a variety of scholarships and awards to support our undergraduate students.  We provide information about these opportunities below.  We also strongly encourage students to make themselves aware of opportunities provided by both the College of Arts and Sciences (here), the University (here), and the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards (here).  If you have interest in donating to any of these funds, please see here or click on “Make a Gift” above.

Departmental Honors

To graduate with departmental honors in Political Science, a student must obtain at least a 3.5 GPA in the major and at least a 3.25 overall GPA. Additionally, students must complete a capstone thesis and submit it to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Normally, students compose this thesis as the core requirement for PS 490, the Honors in Political Science course offered each fall semester; however, students unable to take PS 490 sometimes may enroll in a section of PS 395 by special arrangement and complete an honors thesis through that course.

Pi Sigma Alpha

Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science Undergraduate Honorary Fraternity, is always on the lookout for students interested in becoming members of its nationally-recognized organization. The Delta chapter was the third chapter instituted by Pi Sigma Alpha and has a long and time-honored tradition at the University of Kentucky going back to the early 1920's.

For more information regarding how to join, please click here.

Robert and Anne Trunzo Scholarship in Political Science and Pre-Law

The Trunzo Scholarship supports a variety of programs for our students, including internships in politics, government, law or public policy; education abroad; and legislative travel grants.  This scholarship is administered by the College of Arts and Sciences. For more information and to apply, please click here.

Rebecca Westerfield Fund for Student Development

This scholarship supports up to two annual scholarship(s) for undergraduate Political Science major(s) who are (1) first-generation college student(s), (2) have demonstrated financial need, and (3) have demonstrated potential for academic success.  For more information and to apply, please see here (or click the backup link here).

Crum Outstanding Undergraduate Paper Award

This award recognizes outstanding papers written by undergraduate students majoring in Political Science at UK.  The paper must be the original or revised version of a paper submitted for a course, seminar, or independent study that addresses any political science topic.  In addition to substance, criteria for evaluation are clarity and style of expository prose, analytical sophistication, conceptual innovativeness, logical structure of argumentation, and use of available evidence.

The monetary award will be presented at the Political Science Department's annual dinner in the spring.  The department generally awards $250 to the winner and $100 each to two runners-up.  The Undergraduate Program Committee of the department will determine the winner(s) of this award.  

To apply for this award, an electronic copy of the paper must be submitted to psawards@uky.edu by April 10.  Please write “Crum Outstanding Undergraduate Paper Award” in the subject line.

David A. and Michelle Schwarte Scholarship in Political Science

This scholarship recognizes excellent students who are majoring in Political Science at UK.  To be eligible for this award, students must be Political Science majors with a minimum of a 3.5 GPA, be sophomores or higher, and take a minimum of three hours of writing courses per year.  The writing requirement will be determined by the committee who determines the award, and is usually fulfilled with at least one 400-level course in Political Science or any other course that requires intensive writing as a grading requirement.  

The monetary award will be presented at the Political Science Department's annual dinner in the spring.  The department generally awards at least one scholarship in the amount of $2,400, which will be entered into the student’s account through the Student Financial Aid office for the following annual year (half in the fall, half in the spring).  Additionally, students must agree to the terms in the Scholarship Agreement (available here).  The Undergraduate Program Committee of the department will determine the winner(s) of this award.  

To apply for this award, an electronic copy of the application form (available here or backup here) must be submitted to psawards@uky.edu by April 10.  Please write “Schwarte Scholarship” in the subject line.

Political Science Alumni Outstanding Senior Award

Each spring, the Political Science Department gives the Political Science Alumni Outstanding Senior Award to a Political Science major graduating that academic year.  In addition, two finalists are selected by the awards committee from among the short list of semi-finalists interviewed for the recognition.  The winners are graduating seniors who best exemplify the qualities associated with Political Science alumni.  In particular, the awards committee typically takes into account original research, academic excellence, political and governmental engagement, leadership, and service.

Nominees must be seniors (at least 90 credit hours completed), have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, and they must exhibit good moral character and service to the University or to the larger community. They must have graduated or plan to graduate no later than August of the application year.

Students who nominate themselves should submit a resume, and also might wish to submit an optional statement that provides:

  • Basic biographical and educational data
  • Career goals and plans for the future
  • Activity in student organizations; offices held; service to the University of Kentucky or the university community
  • Academic, service or other honors won as an undergraduate
  • Activities or service in the community (Lexington or your hometown) during the period while an undergraduate
  • Employment while an undergraduate
  • Other achievements or activities of interest while an undergraduate

The monetary award will be presented at the Political Science Department's annual dinner in the spring.  The department generally awards $250 to the winner and $100 each to two runners-up.  The Undergraduate Program Committee of the department will determine the winner(s) of this award.  

To apply for this award, materials should be sent to psawards@uky.edu by April 10.  Please write “PS Outstanding Senior” in the subject line.

Mary Belle and Amry Vandenbosch Award in Constitutional Rights and Civil Liberties

This award honors Professor Amry Vandenbosch, who chaired the Political Science department from 1935 to 1958, retired from active service in 1965, and passed away in 1990.  This award is presented to undergraduate student(s) who submit an essay, video project, or other scholarly work that best exhibits the importance of constitutional rights and liberties in a democratic society.  Entries will be judged by the Undergraduate Program Committee.  In addition to substance, the criteria for judgment include clarity and style of expository prose, analytical sophistication, conceptual innovativeness, logical structure of argumentation, and use of available evidence.

The monetary award will be presented at the Political Science Department's annual dinner in the spring.  The department generally awards $350 to the winner and $200 each to two runners-up.  The Undergraduate Program Committee of the department will determine the winner(s) of this award.  

Students wishing to be considered for this award must submit an electronic copy to psawards@uky.edu by April 10.  Please write “Vandenbosch, constitutional rights” in the subject line.

F. Chris Gorman Pre-Law Scholarship

Established by alum and former Kentucky Attorney General, Chris Gorman, this scholarship supports pre-law students in the Political Science Department.  Students must be undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences and have a demonstrated interest in pursuing a legal career.  Student must be either a Political Science major or be admitted to the UK BLUE program, and there is a preference for students from Kentucky. 

The scholarship will be presented at the Political Science Department’s annual dinner in the spring.  The department generally awards at least $1000 to one or more scholarship winners.  Unless the student requests otherwise, the full award amount will be entered into the student’s account through the Student Financial Aid office for the following fall term.  The Undergraduate Program Committee of the department will determine the winner(s) of this award.

To apply for this award, an electronic copy of the form here (or the backup link here) must be submitted to psawards@uky.edu by April 10.  Please write “Gorman Scholarship” in the subject line.

Malcolm E. Jewell Scholarship in Political Science

Named in honor of Malcolm E. Jewell, who was a professor of Political Science for 36 years from 1958 to 1994, this scholarship is awarded to one or more undergraduate students who are pursing a bachelor's in Political Science.  Students must be Political Science majors, have demonstrated financial need, and have demonstrated academic merit.  While all students have an opportunity to compete for this scholarship, there is a preference for individuals whose academic plan takes advantage of the department’s internship program and who contribute to the department’s goal of promoting diversity and inclusivity.

The scholarship will be presented at the Political Science Department’s annual dinner in the spring.  The department generally awards a total of $250 to one or more scholarship winners.  Unless the student requests otherwise, the full award amount will be entered into the student’s account through the Student Financial Aid Office for the following fall term.  The Undergraduate Program Committee of the department will determine the winner(s) of this award. 

To apply for this award, an electronic copy of the form here (or the backup link here) must be submitted to psawards@uky.edu by April 10.  Please write “Jewell Scholarship” in the subject line.

Support for Internships and Financial Need

The Political Science Department is strongly committed to assuring that all students can take advantage of opportunities regardless of financial need.  Generous donations from alumni, faculty, and friends of the department allow us to provide support for students who wish to engage in our internship opportunities.  We also have funds to support students who are financially disadvantaged and have specific need for support.  We have neither specific deadlines nor criteria for allocating these funds.  Students who find themselves in need of financial support to stay in school or take advantage of opportunities like internships should complete the information in the form here and email the document to the interim department chair, Dr. Emily Bacchus, at eabeau2@uky.edu

Mary Alice Pratt Peace Studies Scholarship

Named in honor of Mary Alice Pratt, a tireless worker for peace and justice, this scholarship is awarded to one or more undergraduate students who are enrolling in the Peace Studies Capstone Seminar (PCE 410). The scholarship will help defray the cost of tuition for students who have demonstrated excellence in the Peace Studies Program. Each award will be at least $500. The Director of Peace Studies and at least one member of the Peace Studies Advisory Committee will determine the winner(s) of the award.

To apply for this award, an electronic copy of the form here  (or the backup link here) must be submitted to the Director of Peace Studies, Dr. Jesse C. Johnson, at j.johnson@uky.edu upon enrollment in PCE 410.  Please write, “Pratt Scholarship” in the subject line.

The Ted Angus Award 

The Ted Angus Award supports the educational success of First-Generation college students majoring in Political Science. Any PS major who is also a first generation college student is eligible for this award.  

Office of Inclusive Excellence Scholarships

The Finish Line Fund 

The College of Arts & Sciences’ Finish Line scholarship is awarded to students with unmet financial needs and who have demonstrated potential to successfully complete a degree program within the College. This may include maintaining a certain GPA, meeting academic milestones, or other criteria that show they are on track to graduate. The goal of this scholarship is to help students with a financial hurdle cross “the finish line” to graduation. 

First Generation Trailblazers Fund 

The College of Arts & Sciences is proud of the First Generation Trailblazers in our college. This scholarship is for students who are the first member of their immediate family to attend college. 

Workforce Ready Wildcats Fund 

The College of Arts & Sciences established the Workforce Ready Wildcats Fund to provide support for career preparation for undergraduate students in the College, including (but not limited to) support for internships, career services, professional development opportunities, mentorship activities, and hands-on learning experiences.