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Opportunities for Students/Scholarships

Many of our students work alongside Political Science faculty as research assistants and co-authors, as well as pursuing their own independent projects. Every year students present their original research at regional and national academic conferences, and regularly publish either as single authors or with faculty co-authors in peer-reviewed academic journals.

The department also awards several competitive scholarships each year to majors in our degree programs.

The department sponsors an award-winning Model United Nations team. Every year, students travel to conferences to compete against teams from universities across North America in a simulation of policy making and politics at the United Nations. Students participate in Model UN by either taking the course (PS 3605) or by becoming a member of the Model UN student organization. Typically, the team travels to the Lake Erie Model United Nations conference in Cleveland during the Fall term and the North American Model United Nations conference in Toronto during the Winter term.

Model UN is one of the many opportunities in the Department that helps students hone some of the skills they develop in their coursework. For instance, students learn to debate, negotiate, and think creatively about how to address complex issues in a fast-moving and intense environment.

Students interested in participating on OU's Model UN team should contact Professor Cody Eldredge for more information.

Read more information about our Model UN conference for high school students.

Each year, the Department of Political Science, and the International Relations program in particular, sponsors the Meadow Brook Lecture in International Affairs. The purpose behind the Lecture is to bring a scholar of national or international renown to campus to share their work on an important issue of the day. The talks bring together an audience of students, faculty, staff, and community members to hear about and discuss topical issues of international relations.

The Lecture, which happens annually in March, has included the following speakers

  • 2012—Dr. John Mueller, Senior Research Scientist at Ohio State University’s Mershon Center for International Studies, “The Terror Delusion.”
  • 2013—Dr. Jeffrey Frieden, Dr. Frieden is the Stanfield Professor of International Peace at Harvard University, “Lost Decades? Global Debt Crises and the Long Recovery”
  • 2014—Dr. Charli Carpenter, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, “Gender, the Laws of War, and the Civilian Protection Paradox.”
  • 2015Michael Ross, "The Geopolitics of Cheap Oil"
  • 2016Dan Drezner, "Everything You Wanted To Know about Sanctions"
  • 2017Raj Menon, "America and the World under President Trump"
  • 2018Clifford Bob, "Should we be Africa? America's International Security and Foreign Policy"
  • 2020Elizabeth Saunders, "Foreign Policy in 2020 and Beyond"

For more information on the Meadow Brook Lecture in International Affairs, check the Department’s web site and Facebook page early in each Winter semester.

Beginning in 2002, the Department of Political Science has hosted an event entitled Campaign Roundup after each election cycle. These events have brought practitioners from the world of politics (including pollsters, campaign finance experts and journalists who have covered the campaigns) to campus for a discussion about the election results and implications for governing in the next two years. It is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and members of the surrounding community to gather to discuss the campaign, the results and what they mean going forward.

Guests at previous Campaign Roundups have included:

  • Bill Ballenger, Inside Michigan Politics
  • Susan Demas, Michigan Information & Research Service (MIRS)
  • Diana Dillaber-Murray, Oakland Press
  • Mark Hornbeck, Detroit News
  • Christy McDonald, Detroit Public Television
  • Bernie Porn, EPIC-MRA
  • Rich Robinson, Michigan Campaign Finance Institute
  • Ed Sarpolus, EPIC-MRA
  • Chuck Stokes, WXYZ TV

Each semester, the Political Science Department hosts research forums where faculty present some of their latest work. The main focus of the research forums are faculty in the Political Science Department, but we have worked to include others as well including those in Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal Justice, as well as faculty from neighboring institutions.

Students are invited to attend these forums where they can learn about the latest research their professors are conducting. The Political Science Research Forum typically takes place once a month in both the fall and winter semesters.

Undergraduate students in the Political Science Department often have the opportunity to work on research projects with faculty. This could be in the form of collaboration with a faculty member or faculty support of an independent research project.

Student Conference Travel

Since 2012, the Department, with the help of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean and Oakland University’s Provost, has financially supported students who have travelled to regional and national conferences to present their research. Students have recently travelled to conferences including:

  • Marc Dubuis, Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, “Resource Diversification and the Durability of Autocratic Regimes” 
  • Ellen Hainey, Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, “Natural Resource Wealth and Human Development.” 
  • Robert M. Larsen, Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, “Does Resource Wealth Alter the relationship between Property Rights and Foreign Direct Investment?”
  • Jane Dixon and Alyssa Clark, Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, "Is Integration Key in Defeating Europe's Far-Right?"
  • Marc Dubuis, Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, “Resource Diversification and the Durability of Autocratic Regimes”
  • Sean Cannady, "Europe: East and West" conference at the University of Pittsburgh, I “ Nationalism and Authoritarianism: Comparing Tsar Nicholas II with President Vladimir Putin.”
  • Joanna Allamani, Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union at Claremont University (CA), “The EU as a Democracy Promoter: Can the EU Use Albania’s Ambitions for Membership to Strengthen Democracy in the Balkans?."
  • Jane Dixon, Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union at Claremont University (CA), "Explaining the Rise of the Far-Right: Comparing Greece and Spain."
  • Drew Lewis, Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union at Claremont University (CA), "The European Union and Movement Away from Democracy in Hungary."
  • Alyssa Clark, Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union at Claremont University (CA), "A Comparison of Far-Right Political Parties in France and Hungary"
  • Dana Parke, Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union at Claremont University (CA), "The Institutional Limits of the European Union in Humanitarian Intervention: The Case of Darfur"
  • Evan Jones, International Studies Association-Midwest, “Beijing’s l’esprit de l’escalier Policy: Domestic Sources of South China Sea Politics.”
  • Marc Dubuis, International Studies Association-Midwest, “Swedish Conduct in the 30 Years’ War.” 
  • Drew Lewis, International Studies Association-Midwest, “The Fate of European Identity and Democracy in Europe: Brussels vs. Budapest.”

The culture of student research in the Political Science Department at OU has also been highlighted by the American Political Science Association.

Search and apply for more than 250 OU scholarships.

Political Science

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371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
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(248) 370-2352