Eastern Michigan University
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The department offers several scholarships annually.  Scholarship amounts vary depending on the investment earnings for the money donated to scholarship funds.  Undergraduate scholarships in recent years have been in the range of $500 to $1,000.  The McWilliams Scholarhship pays about $3,400; the Barson Fellowship for MPA students is worth more than $10,000.

Applications for 2016-2017 scholarships, along with all supporting materials, are due in the department office by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.  Funds are available as early as July 1.

All scholarship applicants should have an EMU faculty member submit a letter of recommendation directly to the award committee on their behalf.  Required essays must be typewritten and double spaced. 

click here for application


John Barson Fellowship in Public Administration


Graduate students studying in the area of Public Administration in the Department of Political Science.

Selection Criteria

  • The student must be admitted to the Master's of Public Administration program within the Department of Political Science.The recipient must have demonstrated high scholarship and leadership skills.Recipient must demonstrate a commitment to the field of public administration through undergraduate study, volunteer work, or life experience.Scholarship applicants specializing in Management of Public Healthcare services shall be given special consideration. However, all graduate students are eligible for consideration.
  • Applicants are asked to submit a short letter of interest and to include a letter of recommendation from an EMU faculty member who is knowledgeable about their work or efforts.

2016-2017 recipient: Melissa Benson

Learn more about John Barson

 James H. Brickley Scholarship

Selection Criteria

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA and enrolled in the undergraduate Public & Nonprofit Administration program
  • Please also include a letter of intent explaining how the award will be used towards a Public Administration activity or education enrichment.

Learn more about James H. Brickley

David Hortin Scholarship in Public Law

Selection Criteria

  • Undergraduate student with a minimum GPA of 3.00.Interest in Public Law or Mock Trial
  • Applicants are asked to submit an essay of NO MORE than two typed pages describing how this scholarship will help further their public law interests and public law co-curricular activities.

2016-2017 recipient:  Anthony Gonzalez 

Learn more about David Hortin

Richard Fierens Memorial Scholarship in Public Law

Selection Criteria

  • Junior Pre-Law student Involved in Mock Trial or Political Science major
  • Applicants must demonstrate dedication to leadership and service to fellow students.

2016-2017 recipient: Jordan Giles

Learn more about Richard Fierens

Robert O. McWilliams Memorial Scholarship


Undergraduate students in any major in the Department of Political Science.

Selection Criteria

  • Overall GPA of at least 3.5.
  • Preference given to student with financial need as determined by the EMU Office of Financial Aid.

2016-2017 recipient: Annie Somerville

Learn more about Robert O. McWilliams

Fr. Bernard J. O'Connor Scholarship in Civic Engagement

Selection Criteria

  • Undergraduate student with a minimum GPA of 3.20.  Successful completion of at least 18 credit hours at EMU at the time of the award.  Open to students in all colleges and majors, with a verifiable record of excellence in civic engagement within the student's program of study, as well as in co-curricular and/or extra-curricular activities
  • Applicants are asked to submit an essay of NO MORE than three (3) typed pages describing their civic engagement projects or initiatives, through coursework, co-curricular activities, and academic/professional plans.
  • Applicants shall also include a short letter of recommendation from an EMU faculty member who is knowledgeable about their civic engagement work or efforts.

Learn more about Fr. Bernard J. O'Connor

Joe Ohren Student Internship Fund


Students completing an unpaid internship for academic credit in either the MPA program or one of the undergraduate majors in the department. Award may be used in summer, fall, or winter semesters.

Selection Criteria

  • Junior or senior status for undergraduates; at least 24 credits earned for MPA students.GPA of at least 3.5 or, for undergraduates, 3.5 in the last 30 credit hours.
  • Applicants must have a letter of recommendation from a faculty member familiar with their work. They also must submit a personal statement of no more than two double-spaced pages outlining how the internship is integrated into their post-graduation career plans.

Political Science Study Abroad Scholarship


Undergraduates in any major in the Department of Political Science. Funds may be used for any program-related expenses.

Selection Criteria

  • At least 30 credit hours at EMU with an overall GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Evidence of acceptance in a study abroad program.

2016-2017 recipient: Deborah Munganga

Symposium Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

(Please note this scholarship will not be available for the 2016-2017 academic year)


A $1,000 award to a student in any major in the department.

Selection Criteria

  • Outstanding academic record.
  • Student must be matched with a faculty mentor on a research project.
  • Submit a description of the research project (1-2 double-spaced pages).
  • Faculty mentor must write a letter of support.
  • Student will present the research the following March at the Undergraduate Symposium


The Department of Political Science is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.4344