About the Department

In the Department of Political Science at the University of Nebraska at Kearney you will study governmental institutions, policy processes, international relations, and the histories and theories underlying them. The study of politics brings you an understanding of national and international events and issues, motivating all of us to become active and empowered citizens. Here you will learn how groups govern themselves and how policies are made, changed and improved.

Your classes will build your skills in communication, critical thinking and problem solving. Our faculty take an interest in your intellectual, social and civic growth. And our small class sizes and open-door environment help us get to know you to reach your goals.

Outside of the classroom you can get hands-on learning through internships, field-studies and directed research with attorneys, politicians, political consultants and members of non-profit organizations. Periodically we take students on field study classes to places like Colombia, Mexico and Cuba as well as cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York. Our graduates have gone on to serve as congressional aides, journalists, State Department officers — including a U.S. ambassador — city managers, attorneys, judges, and professors among other professions.

We also offer Public Administration and Pre-Law programs, the Kearney Law Opportunities Program and specialized minors in Global Peace and Security Studies, Public Law and Public Administration.

Braydon Conell
The small size and the amount of opportunities in the department was why I chose UNK. I was offered a chance to conduct undergraduate research starting my very first semester, and I attended the MPSA Conference in Chicago. This program expanded my knowledge of research, and the amount of ideas at MPSA was inspiring. I am truly excited to see where my education in this department will take me.

Braydon Conell

Political Science

Beyond the Classroom

The University of Nebraska at Kearney's Political Science Department provides students with multiple opportunities to get involved through student organizations, internships, and more. The Political Science Department encourages students to get involved in order to develop skills that will aid them in their future careers. 

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Student Organizations

  • Locke and Key Society Locke and Key Society is a non-partisan campus club for students interested in politics and public affairs. It is open to students from all majors, Locke and Key Society organizes and hosts public discussions of current events, politically-themed films, and social activities.
  • Model United Nations Model UN members participate in annual, international conferences that simulate the politics and processes of the United Nations. Explore international problems, and problem-solving, through a framework of global citizenship.
  • Pi Sigma Alpha Pi Sigma Alpha is the only national honor society for students of Political Science. As a junior or senior with a GPA of 3.3 or higher, you can join UNK’s chapter of this elite academic association. Pi Sigma Alpha’s national organization hosts an annual undergraduate research conference, awards prizes for high-quality undergraduate papers and scholarships for graduate study.
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Experiential Learning

Students learn by doing, whether through internships, undergraduate research, or study-abroad programs.

  • Undergraduate Research Fellows Supports student research and creative activity projects with a $1,000 stipend.
  • Summer Student Research Program Participants meet regularly to challenge and support each other while learning about research in other disciplines. The SSRP pays each student a $3,250 stipend over the summer while the student researcher works with a faculty mentor to design, conduct, and present original scholarship work.
  • Study Abroad Students have an array of opportunities to study abroad with specific classes studying the politics of a foreign country or a federal agency in Washington, D.C. or on their own exploring a variety of subjects while living abroad
  • Internships Internships integrate knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. They give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.
  • View full list of internships
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  • Jay Hill Scholarship The Jay Hill Scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen who show outstanding potential as Political Science majors.
  • George W. Norris Scholarship The George W. Norris Scholarship is awarded to sophomores, juniors or seniors who show outstanding academic performance and citizenship as Political Science majors or minors, or who pursue a Political Science teaching endorsement.
  • Dale L. and Ellen J. Schroeder Scholarship The Dale L. and Ellen J. Schroeder Scholarship is awarded to full-time sophomores, juniors or seniors who major in Political Science, maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0, and graduated from a Nebraska high school.
  • THE BRUCE KELLY SCHOLARSHIP This scholarship shall be awarded to a sophomore, junior or senior who is pursuing a major in Political Science with a minimum of a 2.0 GPA. Financial need is a primary criteria.
  • Jack Mills Scholarship for Public Policy This fund was established by the Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Association to recognize Jack Mills’ entrepreneurial spirit and years of sacrificial service representing the people in Nebraska at the local level as well as the state level.
  • Kearney Law Opportunities Program KLOP is a partnership between the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the University of Nebraska College of Law designed to recruit students from rural areas and train them to become lawyers that will return and practice in their communities.
  • Continuing Student Scholarships Eligible students may apply for the Continuing Student Scholarships each year from February 1 through midnight on the last day of February by accessing the online application on MyBLUE.