Political Science Department


William Jennings Bryan Award is granted each year to the student who has completed the best term paper submitted in a political science course or the best thesis.  Papers or theses are nominated by the individual faculty members who have worked with individual students on papers or theses. Deadline for nomination is May 15.

Leon Epstein Prize is granted to alternates between the undergraduate or graduate student whose written work makes an outstanding contribution to the study of American or British politics. (Undergraduate in odd years, graduate student in even years). Application deadline is May 15.


Elaine C. Davis Prize is an annual award of varying amount (approximately $1,000.00). It is awarded by the UW-Madison Political Science Department to a senior political science major in recognition of outstanding academic achievement and leadership in campus and/or community affairs. The awardee must have a record of demonstrating intellectual ability and curiosity, good citizenship, and an appreciation of the world outside themself.

Philip J. Schemel Award is awarded to a non-resident student with financial need. The application must include evidence of financial need.  The financial aid award statement or an explanation of financial need is acceptable evidence.  Preference is for a student from New York or Connecticut, but all non-resident students will be considered. If a qualifying non-resident student can NOT be found, then the award will go to a student from Wisconsin.

Judith Hicks Stiehm Award is to provide support to an undergraduate studing studying political science (not necessarily a major), to be used for tuition or to provide funding for an opportunity that will enhance learning (e.g., internship, travel, or research); preference to Wisconsin resident; award based on significant financial need; awardee must have at least a C+ average. The application must include evidence of financial need. Including your financial aid award statement is helpful, but only an explanation of financial need is necessary.  If you wish to use the award for funding research or some other opportunity, you must provide a brief (no more than one page) description of your project/opportunity with your application. If you are working with a faculty sponsor or university program, please include that information as well.

Stanoch Family Scholarship is established by UW political science alumnus John Stanoch. The scholarship will support a student with financial need, preferably from Minnesota. The scholarship amount is $500.

Steve Brenton Health Policy Scholar Award provides support to an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science in honor of alumnus Stephen Brenton (BA 76). Eligible candidates must be a declared Wisconsin resident, Political Science major with sophomore or higher status, with at least a 3.0 GPA. Preference will be given to students interested in health policy. Applicants will be encouraged in their application letter to discuss any coursework, internships, employment, or research they have done related to health care policy. Applicants will also write a short essay (1000-3000 words) responding to a question/topic on a health care policy issue.

Stanoch Student Research Support Program provides a stipend for an undergraduate student and a graduate student to engage in research during the summer. The summer is a critical period for students to make significant progress on their research or engage in parts of their research extended travel for example that might not be possible during the academic year due to other commitments. Stanoch Undergraduate Research Scholar: One undergraduate student per year would receive a stipend to work with a faculty mentor on a faculty research project. The Scholar would learn what research is and how it is conducted within political science by working with a faculty member on that professor s research project. The student will develop research skills and learn the research process through significant hands-on participation in that process. The Scholar will be expected to work half time on the research project (about 20 hours per week across ten weeks). The Scholar will be required to send a summary of the research completed to the Stanoch Family. The Scholar will be encouraged to participate in the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium or a similar. Students who are political science majors and are in the summer following their freshman; sophomore; or junior years are eligible. A written one-page letter explaining why the student is seeking this opportunity and describing the project they will be working on and a short description of the student s expected research tasks is required for consideration. The Scholar will be selected not on the basis of the content of the professor s research project; but on the student s potential to be significantly engaged in that project.

Thomas L.W. Johnson Scholarshiop Fun is $500 in the memory Thomas L.W. Johnson. This scholarship is need based and is for an out-of-state, political science major with sophomore standing or higher. Thomas L.W. Johnson served as Department Commander of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Grand Army of the Republic. This organization was committed to remembering and honoring Union and all U.S. veterans; preserving and studying our country’s history; patriotism and patriotic education.

How to apply for these scholarships:

1. Students must be declared political science majors in order to apply.

2. The application is now available through Scholarships@UW-Madison for eligible students. To access the application, log in to My UW and go to the Finance tab. Please log on and complete the questions presented to you. Please keep in mind that the site is screening applicants for many L&S scholarships so you may be asked questions that seem unrelated to specific scholarships. The website will then present you with a list of scholarships for which you are eligible to apply, including those in the political science department. Review the whole application to get an idea of what information is needed and to gauge how long it will take you to complete.