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Purdue is internationally renowned as a research institution. In addition to exceptional faculty and graduate-level research, there is a vibrant culture of undergraduate research with almost 2,000 projects completed every year.

Political science professors pursue rigorous and diverse research agendas and publish in the discipline’s top academic journals. Our faculty members are eager to work with undergraduate research assistants and to serve as mentors.

Here are some of the opportunities for students interested in research to work with faculty mentors, earn course credit, and receive financial support.


Wilke Undergraduate Research Internship Program

The College of Liberal Arts Wilke Program introduces students to the fundamentals of research. Interns are paired with a faculty mentor to learn the basic skills and best practices of conducting research, culminating with the intern creating and presenting a poster at the Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference in the spring. Interns earn one credit and are awarded a $500 stipend per semester.

Political Science Undergraduate Research Grant

The Department of Political Science awards grants to encourage students potentially interested in graduate work to undertake a research project. Under the direction of a political science faculty mentor, students pursue original research to address an important question in the study of politics. The grant will cover up to $500 of related expenses to facilitate the completion of the project.

Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship

The Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship (DURI) program provides opportunities for students to work closely with faculty on cutting-edge research projects that combine the strength of two or more disciplines. Students experience the excitement, challenge, and power of interdisciplinary research in the fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment that is Purdue’s Discovery Park.

Purdue Policy Research Institute Undergraduate Policy Fellows Program

The Purdue Policy Research Institute (PPRI) offers several resident fellowships to seniors interested in the interdisciplinary study of public policy and policy-related research. Fellows get hands-on experience on a research project that addresses global challenges, participate in PPRI seminars, and play a leading role in the outreach activities of PPRI. Fellows are appointed for an academic year, earn course credit, receive a $1,000 stipend and space for study in Discovery Park.


Purdue offers undergraduates valuable opportunities to present their research:


Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference is the largest showcase of students’ scholarly work and creative endeavors. Each spring, undergraduates present their research through oral and poster presentations and receive constructive feedback from faculty judges. The conference encourages students to engage in the discovery process, learn the rigors of academic research, and fine-tune their presentation skills.

Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research publishes outstanding research papers from all academic disciplines from students who have completed a faculty-mentored project. The student-run journal provides valuable experience in learning the scholarly research process from submission, through review and development, to formal publication.

Undergraduate Research Society of Purdue is a student-led organization advised by the Office of Undergraduate Research. Members meet regularly to discuss progress on their work and to hone the necessary skills to be successful in their current and future research endeavors.

Pi Sigma Alpha (PSA) is the national political science honor society. Purdue’s chapter regularly sponsors events for members to engage in research and the political process. In February, a team of PSA students went to the Iowa caucuses to conduct interviews with voters about the 2020 election under the guidance of two faculty mentors.

Pi Sigma Alpha National Undergraduate Research Conference. Every February, a group of Purdue PSA students travels to Washington, D.C. to present their research projects. The conference is a great opportunity to practice presentation skills in a professional setting and to network with political science peers in the heart of the nation’s capital.

Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics. This bi-annual journal is published online to showcase the best undergraduate research from students across the Unites States. Submissions are accepted for the spring and fall issues each year, and students are encouraged to explore topics from across the discipline’s subfields.