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School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs Graduate Scholarship

Graduate Scholarship & Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program are generally guaranteed at least four years of funding. This funding is generally in the form of a teaching assistantship or a research assistantship. Assistantships are half-time appointments (20 hours per week) for nine months, and all students on assistantships are granted a full tuition waiver and health benefits.

Students who have used up their years of guaranteed funding often find work as course instructors or as research assistants in other units on campus, including DGSS (The Division of Governmental Studies and Services), the Foley Institute, or the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Because of the generosity of donors, PPPA also distributes several scholarships and fellowships to continuing students each year. These typically range in amount from $1000 to $4000. Many of our graduate students have secured summer research fellowships through the Foley Institute.

Summer Funding

In addition, many students find paid work during the summer months as a course instructors or as research assistants within or outside PPPA.

Travel Funding

The School makes funding available to assist students who are presenting papers at major conferences. The amount of funding available varies from year to year but generally is sufficient to allow students to travel to one disciplinary conference.



Paul C. Anderson graduated from WSU with both a B.A. in General Studies (1955) and a M.A. in Political Science (1960).  He had a 33 year career as a political science professor at Yakima Valley Community College where he taught courses in comparative government. Through his gift he sought to honor his Professors at WSU, Daniel Ortega, Paul Castleberry, Thor Swanson and Claudius O. Johnson.

Criteria:  Preference is given to students who major in political science.


Paul L. Beckett was a professor of political science at WSU from 1947 to 1977, serving as the first chair of the political science department when it was established as a separate department in 1956. He was considered the “founding father” of the department by his colleagues.

The Paul L. Beckett Fellowship is intended to encourage study, research, and active contribution to public service in the spirit of Dr. Beckett’s own career.

This scholarship provides fellowship stipends to be used by the recipient for tuition and fees, subsistence, research expenses, and other educationally related costs.

Criteria: Fellowships are awarded annually with input from the director of the Foley Institute to graduate students concentrating in public administration.

In conjunction with recognition as the Paul L. Beckett Graduate Fellow in Public Administration, each recipient may be further distinguished as a Foley Fellow, gaining additional exposure to priority needs in government and public service through programs offered by the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service.


H. Paul Castleberry was a professor of political science at WSU from 1950 to 1983, and he served as the department chairman in 1957, 1961–1962, and 1964–1968. Castleberry was a member of the American Political Science Association, the Western Political Science Association, the American Society of Public Administration, Pi Sigma Alpha, and served on the Washington Constitutional Advisory Commission. He played a major role in the creation of the Pacific Northwest Political Science Association.

Criteria: This scholarship is open to political science graduate students with preference given to students whose scholarly focus is on cultural diversity. It is restricted to Pullman campus-based students but may include Pullman campus-based students studying abroad.


Regent Professor Emeritus Nicholas P. Lovrich joined the Washington State University faculty in 1977 and served as the director of the Division of Governmental Studies & Services for 30+ years. Nicholas supervised 30 PhD dissertations, half in Political Science (public policy/administration) and half in Criminal Justice.

Upon retirement to Emeritus status in 2011, he was recognized with the V. Lane Rawlins Faculty Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 honoring faculty who had devoted a substantial part of their career to advancing WSU through excellence in administration, teaching, research, extension, or a professional field. Outside of WSU, the President of the American Society for Public Administration appointed him Member of the Hall of Champions, 2010-2011 in recognition of lifetime service to the ASPA.  Similarly, the American Political Science Association (Public Policy Section) gave him with the Outstanding Mentoring Award for 2008 for his support of doctoral students in the public policy field. His scholarship includes 13 books and over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles co-authored with colleagues in political science and criminal justice.

Criteria: This fellowship provides funds to one or more graduate students in PPPA working in the public administration/policy area. Recipients will be selected by the director of the school upon recommendation from the faculty.


Claudius O. Johnson joined the faculty of Washington State College in 1928 as the department chair of history and political science. With a career spanning four decades, Johnson was considered by many students to be the most influential role model of their college experience. He was described as “one of the most stimulating people who ever entered a classroom at WSU.” Professor Johnson authored several books that were widely adopted nationwide. Government in the United StatesAmerican National Government, and American State and Local Government have all appeared in several editions.

Mary W. Johnson joined the faculty in 1923 as a physical education instructor. In response to a nepotism rule, she resigned in 1929 when she and Claudius married. Nevertheless, she remained involved as an advisor to the physical education department and as a civic leader in the Pullman community. Mary remained in Pullman after Claudius’ death in 1976. She died in April of 1992 at age 92.

Claudius and Mary Johnson influenced WSU students in countless ways with their teaching, guidance, and scholarship. Through gifts from their estates, they created distinguished professorships and scholarships in both political science and history.

It is most fitting that the building in which the politics, philosophy, and public affairs school is housed is named after Dr. Claudius O. Johnson.

Criteria: This scholarship provides funds to award graduate fellowships in political science. The recipient(s) may be distinguished as a Foley Fellow, gaining additional exposure to priority needs in government and public service through programs offered by the Foley Institute. Fellowships are awarded annually by the school with input from the director of the Foley Institute.


Professor Emeritus Charles H. Sheldon joined the faculty of Washington State University in 1970 and served as the department chair in political science. Charles was a nationally recognized scholar in the areas of judicial behavior and state judicial politics. He was the foremost authority on the history of the Washington state judicial system. Additionally, Charles authored 11 books on these subjects and provided expert testimony before state and legislative committees on the judiciary. He was also a member of the Washington State Commission on Minorities and Justice and served as a consultant to the Advisory Committee on Civil Reform of the U.S. District Court for Eastern Washington.

Criteria: This fellowship provides funds to one or more graduate students in political science who have demonstrated financial need. Recipients will be selected by the director of the school upon recommendation from faculty.

Contact Us

School of Politics, Philosophy, & Public Affairs
Washington State University
801 Johnson Tower
PO Box 644880
Pullman, WA 99164-4880
Phone: 509-335-2544
Fax: 509-335-7990

Graduate Coordinator:

Diane Scott
Johnson Tower 801
Phone: 509-335-2545

Useful Link:

Graduate School