The Department of Political Science grants several scholarships each year to our best students and announces the winners of its awards and scholarships at the honors luncheon in April of each year.
No application is required for the Hurttgam prize, Shilling Junior and Senior awards, Gilmer scholarship and Ritchie prize.
All other scholarships require an application that consists of an essay by the applicant and the names of three faculty references. Applications are downloadable from this page. Completed applications and names of faculty references for most of the awards must be submitted by the last week of February. The deadline for the Klein awards is March 14.
This scholarship was established in memory of Tim Hurttgam, a WMU political science major and campus activist from 2003 to 2007. Tim lost his life to cancer before having an opportunity to realize his goals and aspirations. He tried to make the world a better place by supporting a sustainable environment, peace and harmony throughout the world, equal rights, and a living wage. The Political Science faculty will identify the award recipient who best exemplifies these ideals each year. Nominations or suggestions may be directed to the department chair. No application necessary.
An annual award established by Donald Gilmer to recognize students who are pursuing careers in public service. The political science faculty will identify a student each year for the award who has participated in the Lansing Capitol Intern program. Contact Professor David Houghton for details about the Capitol Intern Program. No application necessary.
These awards were established by Mrs. Zoa D. Shilling in memory of her husband, D.C. Shilling, the first chair of the Department of Political Science. They are presented to outstanding junior and senior political science majors for excellence in scholarship and academic performance. No application necessary.
Each academic year, a prize in political theory is awarded to an undergraduate or a graduate student who has written an excellent paper in the field. The prize was established to honor William A. Ritchie, who taught political theory and philosophy in the Department of Political Science from the 1960s until 2001. The political theory faculty in the department selects the recipient of the prize. No application necessary.
An annual award available to a political science student who will be studying abroad. Students must have earned at least 60 but not more than 105 credit hours toward an undergraduate degree in political science, be a U.S. citizen and, preferably, a resident of Michigan who have demonstrated academic excellence. Students must submit an application in the academic year before they plan to study abroad
Established by the League of Women Voters of the Kalamazoo area in memory of Arden J. Elsasser, who gave faithful service to this organization and contributed significantly to the Kalamazoo community, this award is given annually to both a graduate and an undergraduate student. Graduate students may be nominated by faculty or self-nominated.
An annual award for a Political Science major beginning his or her senior year who has demonstrated superior academic performance at WMU and compiled a record of community service. The award was established in the memory of Mark Denenfeld, one of our best and most dynamic undergraduate majors.
Undergraduate students (and in certain circumstances, graduate students) may apply for the George Klein Scholarship for Study Abroad in Central and East European Studies. The late Dr. Klein was a long-time member of the faculty of the Department of Political Science and devoted his career to the study of the region. Preference will be given to students planning to enroll in a WMU Study Abroad program in the Czech Republic.
Deadline for spring semester: Oct. 14
Deadline for summer and fall semesters: March 14
This prize was established in 2006 to honor Dr. Peter Renstrom, who taught in the department from 1969 to 2006. He was an expert on constitutional law and U.S. elections, and taught courses on the American judicial process, criminal justice, civil liberties and civil rights and American politics. He was honored by the College of Arts and Sciences in 2002 for his role in preparing students in the department's public law program for professional roles in government and the law. This prize is given to a senior intending to attend law school upon graduation. Read about Peter Renstrom.
This scholarship was established by WMU President Haenicke at the time of their retirement from the Departments of Sociology and Political Science, respectively, to honor the contributions the Robins had made to the University. The award is given annually to a senior majoring in political science on the basis of academic scholarship, disciplinary and professional accomplishment, assessed potential and commitment to the field of political science. Applicants must state their intention to pursue a graduate degree in political science.
Established by Congressman Howard Wolpe who endowed a fund to support the study of politics, this annual award is given to a political science senior, U.S. citizen and preferably a resident of Michigan. Students must have demonstrated overall academic excellence at Western, especially in political science.
This award for academic excellence in the field of international and comparative politics has been established by the Kalamazoo Chapter of the United Nations Association. The scholarship is awarded to an exceptional undergraduate majoring in International and Comparative Politics. The award is made on the basis of the students' academic scholarship, disciplinary and professional accomplishment. Other factors that may be taken into consideration include participation in extracurricular activities (particularly those with an international focus), and participation in a study abroad program. Preference is given to students with junior status.
An annual award given to a graduate or undergraduate student engaging in the study of Africa or selected African nations. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and political science majors who have demonstrated academic excellence. Students must submit an application in the academic year before they plan travel to Africa.