Awards and honors are bestowed each year
Awards for Excellence
Bestowed by the School for Politics and International Affairs upon students who perform well in a variety of academic and political pursuits.
Departmental Honors in Political Science
Presented to a B.A. candidate for outstanding scholarly achievement in political science.
Presented to the student whose internship experience is especially outstanding. Selection is made by the department faculty and is available to both graduates and undergraduates.
Honors in Political Science
Political Science Bachelor’s Degree students with at least 15 completed hours in Political Science courses with a minimum 3.50 GPA in those courses may apply to the Department’s Honors Program. To be considered for the Department’s Honors Program, students must submit the Application for Honors Form (PDF) to the Chair of the Political Science Department by the end of the fall semester preceding their senior seminar. To graduate with Department Honors in Political Science, an undergraduate student must successfully complete an independent research project in PSC 486 Honors Closing Seminar. Students are also able to take a graduate-level course in Political Science as an elective. (Please be aware that any graduate-level course counted toward credit in a student’s undergraduate degree cannot later be counted toward a graduate degree.)
Honors in Public Policy
Students with at least 15 completed hours in Public Policy courses with a minimum 3.50 GPA in those courses may apply for participation in the department’s honors program. To graduate with Honors in Public Policy, students must successfully complete an independent research project in PSC 488 Honors Closing Seminar. Students are also able to take a graduate-level course in Political Science as an elective. (Please be aware that any graduate-level course counted toward credit in a student’s undergraduate degree cannot later be counted toward a graduate degree.)
Marshal - Global Studies
The Global Studies Marshal is an honor bestowed on one outstanding undergraduate student in the program. This student leads the B.A. candidates in global studies at the graduation ceremony.
Marshal - Political Science
Honors the outstanding undergraduate student in the department. This student leads the B.A. candidates in political science at the graduation ceremony.
Pi Sigma Alpha
The Political Science Bachelor’s Degree Program has a chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, on campus. Eligible undergraduates must have earned a least a 3.00 GPA, have taken at least 10 semester hours in political science or public administration, and be in the top third of their class. Chapter activities typically include both social and substantive events, including student/faculty “brown bag” discussions, candidate debates, and so forth. Many of these activities are open to all students, whether they are members of Pi Sigma Alpha or not.
Robert C. Spencer Prize
Awarded to the student for the quality of citizenship shown in department, university, and public affairs.
Scholarship Awards & Other Honors
Faculty also nominate students for scholarships and other awards made by the University Scholarships and Awards Committee. Political science majors have been named UIS’ Lincoln Laureate and member of the Governor’s Lincoln Academy. Students in our programs have also won a wide assortment of private scholarships including the William Chamberlain Scholarship, the Craddock Scholarship, and Alumni Association Scholarships.
Students are also nominated by the faculty for such honors as Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, the National Dean’s List, and the American Scholar Society. In addition, faculty recommend qualified students for national honors, such as the Summer Institute for Black Political Scientists, sponsored by the American Political Science Association.
The Honors Banquet
Each year on the eve of commencement, SPIA faculty and students gather to celebrate the graduation of their fellows and to honor the achievements of their students with awards and recognition. It is a pleasant, dressy occasion – especially nice for the families of the graduates, who can meet the faculty and students they have heard about. Students receive an invitation and reservation form in April.