Graduate assistantships and scholarships

A limited number of graduate assistantships in the Department of Political Science are available each year to exceptionally qualified students. The number of political science assistantships will vary from year to year. This page will be updated to reflect current departmental deadlines.

Students awarded these positions are required to work 20 hours per week assisting faculty members with research, teaching, or administrative projects. Compensation normally includes a monthly stipend, health benefits, and the remission of in-state tuition. Graduate Assistants are discouraged from seeking employment outside the University while they are fulfilling their duties. Graduate Assistants are prohibited from accepting other employment within the University unless the Dean of the Graduate School gives permission to do so.

To be eligible, current graduate students should obtain a letter of recommendation from a faculty member that they have in class or worked with since being admitted to the graduate program. (The letters that were submitted with the initial application will be considered as well.) The letter should be emailed to

Prospective or new students (i.e., those who have already applied to the Graduate School but have not taken any classes) should email a third letter that focuses on academic performance to The Graduate Committee will review the two other letters of recommendation that were previously submitted to the Graduate School.

There are also periodically graduate assistantships available through other units in the university, such as the Graduate School or the Anne Braden Institute. The Office of Student Affairs has a number of graduate assistantships it supports in both fall and spring semesters, at this link: must contact those units directly to find out more about availability and qualifications for applying. The Department of Political Science is not involved with the awards of these assistantships.

Graduate students who plan to use their Master's degree to teach middle or high school social studies should consider applying for the James Madison Fellowship, which provides $12,000 a year to cover tuition, fees, books, and room/board. Fellows are required to teach at least one year and must teach American history, American government, or civics. This national award selects one student from each state (generally the deadline is in March). 

Information about scholarships and financial aid for grad students can also be found on the Graduate School website. 

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