The department announces the winners of its awards and scholarships at the honors luncheon in April or each year. With the exception of the D.C. and Zoa D. Shilling Awards and the William Ritchie Prize in Political Theory, an application is required for all awards and scholarships (no student can win one of these scholarships without having completed the application process). The application includes an essay by the applicant and the names of three faculty references. Applications are dowloadable from this page. All application forms can be filled in, then printed. Completed applications and names of faculty references for all graduate student awards must be submitted by Friday before spring break.
A scholarship 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. The award is given annually and is normally about $400. Application is open to undergraduate or graduate students in political science at Western. Graduate students may be nominated by faculty or self-nominated.
This award, intended for graduate students of Political Science, was established in memory of John R. Borsos by his family. An excellent student of Political Science, John R. Borsos received the M.A. degree posthumously. The award, which is made annually, will normally be about $2,000, depending on the earnings received from the Endowment. Students who will be enrolled in the Political Science graduate program in the fall semester are eligible. Application is made through nomination by faculty or by self-nomination.
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. Application is open to majors in Political Science; preference will be given to students planning to enroll in a WMU Study Abroad program in the Czech Republic.
Deadline for spring semester: October 14
Deadline for summer and fall semesters: March 14
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 from the 1960s until 2001. The political theory faculty in the department selects the recipient of the prize.
An annual award available to a senior majoring in political science. Students must have demonstrated overall academic excellence at Western, especially in political science. The award is normally $1,000 and was established by Congressman Howard Wolpe who endowed a fund to support the study of politics.
An annual award given to a student engaging in the study of Africa or selected African nations. Applicants must be undergraduate political science majors or political science graduate students who have demonstrated academic excellence. The award will be up to $1,000 and was established by Congressman Howard Wolpe who endowed a fund to support African study. Students must submit an application in the academic year before they plan travel to Africa.