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Special Opportunities for Political Science and Public Affairs Students


There are WCU alumni and other professionals who have expressed an interest in sharing their knowledge and experiences with our students by serving as a mentor. This is an excellent opportunity to receive personal guidance and support that will enable you to better navigate the world beyond the university walls. To participate in this program, you must agree to a number of conditions, including the following:

  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Meet at least four times a year with your mentor (on-line or in person)
  • Communicate at other times with your mentor
  • Be punctual and professional
  • Fill out a mentorship evaluation at the end of your mentor year

To apply to receive a mentor, complete this online Mentor Form.

Funding for Professional Development

Up to $250 may be available to assist students in attending professional development opportunities such as conferences, seminars, and other events that have a registration fee or require travel. (Be sure to first ask the organizer of the activity if a student rate is available--some even allow students to attend for free!). Funds are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis. Apply early using this online form .

Academic Opportunities

Many of our students are proud of their research papers. If this is true of you, then consider presenting your paper at the annual National Conference for Undergraduate Research, which is held at locations across the United States.

Many of our students participate in our department's internship program. Learn more by contacting Dr. Niall Michelsen.

If you’re a minority student, you may be interested in attending the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute at Duke University.

Each year we send students to present papers at the North Carolina Political Science Association. Please speak with Dr. Cooper for details.

In addition to the above academic opportunities, there are many ways to get involved at WCU and enhance your classroom studies with extracurricular activities and initiatives.

Extracurricular Opportunities

Take advantage of the opportunity to work in the Public Policy Institute or get involved in the Political Science Club, the Model United Nations, the College Democrats, and the College Republicans.

WCU Chapters of Pi Sigma Alpha and Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Societies

Students in WCU's Political Science and Public Affairs programs can join Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science Honor Society, or Pi Alpha Alpha, the Public Administration Honor Society. Both have active chapters at WCU. For more information, contact Dr. Chris Cooper at

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