Undergraduate Academic Awards and Scholarships
There are a number of annual awards and scholarships for political science majors. Interested students should contact the undergraduate studies secretary at 815-753-1011.
This honor is presented annually to the graduating senior majoring in political science who has achieved both a strong record of scholarship (e.g. high grade point average) and made outstanding contributions to the university community. The recipient is awarded a certificate of achievement at the department's commencement ceremony. A monetary award will be credited to the recipient's bursar account.
Graduating political science majors completing the department's honors program, which includes a high cumulative grade point average and special coursework, and a quality honors thesis in the senior year, are recognized at the department's commencement ceremony. Each recipient is given a special gold cord that identifies a student as someone graduating with department honors.
The Wilkinson award honors the graduating senior majoring in political science with the highest cumulative grade point average. The recipient is awarded a certificate of achievement at the department's commencement ceremony and a monetary amount is credited to the recipient's bursar account. In addition, the student's name is engraved on a permanent plaque that hangs in the department's main office.
The purpose of the Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society is to promote the study of political science in the United States through the encouragement and recognition of excellence in scholarship. The Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society was founded at the University of Texas in 1920 and has grown to over 440 chapters in universities and colleges across the United States. The new members of NIU's own chapter, called Epsilon Zeta chapter, are selected on the following criteria: 1) They must be political science majors who achieved a grade of A or B in all of their 12 or more political science courses and 2) their overall academic record places them in the upper one-third of their collegiate class. At the department's commencement ceremony, each new member receives a certificate of membership in Pi Sigma Alpha from the national office and their names are enrolled on Pi Sigma Alpha's membership rolls. Membership in academic honor society is a worthy accomplishment. Upon request, the national office will write letters to prospective employers or graduate schools verifying membership.
Graduating political science majors with cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 to 3.49 on a scale of zero to 4.0 are recognized as "Political Science Scholars" at the department's commencement ceremony. Each recipient is awarded a special certificate of achievement.
Graduating political science majors with cumulative grade point averages of 3.5 and above on a scale of zero to 4.0 are recognized as "Political Science Students of Distinction" at the department's commencement ceremony. Each recipient is awarded a special certificate of achievement.
Check out the award winners from this past year's commencement ceremony.
Note: There are no application or submission procedures for commencement awards.
Other Scholarships and Awards
This highly competitive program provides students with the opportunity to live, learn, and work in the heart of our nation's capital. Four students will intern on the Hill for a member of the Illinois congressional delegation. Each student will receive a scholarship to cover the cost of housing and some living expenses, along with a tuition waiver for six credit hours of political science courses.
Applicants for the congressional internship must:
Be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate, degree-seeking student in good standing at Northern Illinois University during the fall and spring semesters of the year in which they apply.
Submit a completed application form which may be obtained from the undergraduate studies secretary in Zulauf Hall 415.
Provide two letters of recommendation. One letter should be from a faculty member at NIU and the other from someone outside of NIU who is not a relative. The letters should address not only your academic achievements, but your character, as well. Letters should be sent under separate cover to:Congressional Internship
c/o Department of Political Science
Undergraduate Studies Secretary
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Notice of calls for application and submission deadlines will be published on our website and through social media at the appropriate time of the academic year. You may also contact the department for information at 815-753-1011.
$1,000.00 scholarship given to a student who has made an outstanding contribution to public service through their work in a public service related internship, political campaign, government or student government.
Applicants for the John G. and Barbara C. Peters Scholarship must:
Be a junior or senior who is majoring in political science or public administration at Northern Illinois University.
Be a full-time student in good academic standing. Student must be returning in the fall for at least one more semester. Graduating seniors are not eligible.
Demonstrate merit and genuine commitment to pursue a career in public service or public administration.
Application materials should be submitted to:Peters Scholarship
c/o the Department of Political Science
415 Zulauf Hall
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Notice of calls for application and submission deadlines will be published on our website and through social media during the spring semester. You may also contact the department for information at 815-753-1011.
The Department of Political Science recognizes, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies, such as independent studies or honors theses. Winners are expected to attend the department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate. The amount of $100.00 is credited to the recipient's bursar account.
No more than two papers may be submitted by a student. There is no requirement as to the length of papers submitted for the award. Often the department awards prizes for both an outstanding short paper and an outstanding long paper. The number and types of award is dependent upon the papers submitted for consideration in any given year. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing.
Only papers written in the previous calendar year are considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.
Papers can be submitted by students or faculty and must be supplied in triplicate to the undergraduate secretary. All copies must have two cover pages – one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Papers are not to be stapled or bound. Instead, please use paper clips.
Papers are generally due in March and notice of call for papers and submission deadlines will be published on our website and through social media at the appropriate time of the academic year. You may also contact the department for information at 815-753-1011.
Application and submission procedures for scholarship opportunities, along with submission deadlines, will be published on our website and through social media at the appropriate time of the academic year. You may also contact the department for information at 815-753-1011.