Diversity and Inclusion FAQs

For further information on the Diversity and Inclusion Programming, please see the below frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions that are not answered, you can send them into APSA at [email protected].

 Diversity Fellowship Program (DFP):

Q: Who is eligible for the diversity fellowship program (formerly the minority fellowship program?)
A: Fall cycle applicants must be undergraduate seniors, graduates, or students enrolled in a master’s program that plan to apply for a PhD in political science. They must also represent a racial/ethnic minority group. Spring applicants must be 1st or 2nd year PhD students in good standing in a political science program.

Q: When is the deadline for the minority fellowship program?
A: The Fall Cycle deadline is Friday, October 30, 2020. The Spring Cycle deadline will be availabile in February 2021.  Application materials are available online at least one month before deadline.

Q: Will I need a letter of recommendation?
A:  Yes, at least three letters of recommendation are required in your application. In your application, you'll list the name and email address for each recommender. When you're ready, you'll be able to submit your recommender request through the online applicaiton portal.

Q: Will you accept an un-official transcript?
 A:  Yes. Given widespread remote work and changes in university operating schedules, APSA will now accept unofficial transcripts and degree audits for the purposes of application review. If selected for the fellowship, you may be asked to provide an updated transcript before funds processed on your behalf. Transcripts or degree audits must be submitted for all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.


Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI):

Q: Who is eligible for the APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute?
A: Applicants must be undergraduate juniors who are a member of a racial/ethnic minority group or who are interested in broadening participation in political science by minority populations.

Q: When is the deadline for the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute?
A:  The deadline is in January. Application materials are available online at least one month prior to deadline.  

Q: Will I need a letter of recommendation?
A:  Yes, three letters of recommendation are required. They must be mailed by the recommender to APSA.   One letter must come from the department chair at your institution.

Q: Will you accept an un-official transcript?
A:  No.  Applications must include an official transcript from each undergraduate attended.

Q:  How long is the summer institute?
A:  The RBSI is a five week long (in-residence) intensive program.

Q:  Where is the RBSI program held?
A:  The RBSI program is held at Duke University located in Durham, North Carolina.

Q:  Do I have to cover any expenses while attending the RBSI?
A:  Transportation to and from Duke University are provided. You will be housed on campus and will be receive access to the campus meal-plan as a part of the institute.   Every student also receives access to student health insurance through Duke University and a weekly stipend. RBSI attendees are encouraged to have money for emergencies/spending money.


APSA Mentoring Program:

Q:  How do I become an APSA mentor? Are there requirements?
A:  APSA Members are welcome to sign up to become an APSA Mentor, as long as you have the time to commit to mentoring the mentee.   We welcome mentors who are Master’s students, PhD students, junior faculty, senior faculty, retired, career experts, etc. Sign up on the APSA website: www.apsanet.org/mentor.

Q:  How do I request an APSA Mentor?  Are there requirements?
A:  Is it highly encouraged that all mentees have a student membership with APSA, however, it is not required.   You can request a mentor on our website www.apsanet.org/mentor.

Q:  How long is the commitment for the mentoring program?
A:  The duration of the mentor process can vary. When you fill out your mentor or mentee profile, you will designate whether you need short-term (one semester) or long-term (one academic year) mentoring.    

Q:  What if I would like my mentor relationship to continue longer than a year?    
A:  If you and your long-term mentor have established a good mentor/mentee relationship, you can continue beyond the long-term one year time frame.   However, if one or both of you are unable to continue, you can contact APSA and we will match you with a new mentor.

Q: Is my mentor/mentee in the same institution as me?    
A:  Your mentor/mentee could be at another institution anywhere around the world.   It is up to the mentor and the mentee to discuss the best way to communicate (i.e. phone, email, skype, etc.) and set up a standardized mentoring schedule that works for both people. APSA recommends starting over email.

Q:  What factors do you use in mentor matching?
A:  When completing a APSA mentor/mentee profile, you will answer a number of questions regarding your current status, research interests, subfields, areas of expertise, and the professional development areas that you need mentoring in.   APSA seeks to match each mentee with a mentor that best fits their request.

Q:  I have not heard from my mentor/mentee. What should I do?
A:  It is required that the mentees make the initial communication within 48 hours of the match.   If you reach out, or did reach out, and have not heard back, contact APSA.



Minority Student Recruitment Program (MSRP):

Q:  What is the MSRP program?
A: The APSA MSRP works to advance diversity in political science by identifying students from under-represented backgrounds who show potential for or are interested in doctoral study. This information is shared with APSA member graduate departments that enroll in the MSRP program for recruitment purposes.

Q:  How does my department become an APSA MSRP recruiting department?
A:  On your MyAPSA user account, the chair and graduate director will have access to the “Become an MSRP Recruiting Department” selection via the “Account Actions” column.   Contact [email protected] with any questions.

Q:  What are the benefits of enrolling my department in MSRP ?
A:  A link to your PhD program is listed on the APSA website and sent to MSRP students, you receive access to the MSRP database to recruit undergraduates to your PhD program, and participation in the MSRP best practices meeting at the APSA Annual Meeting.

Q:  How is a student’s information submitted to the database?
A:  A student’s information can be submitted via their department or a faculty member, or they can self-submit. The online submission form can be found here https://apsa.wufoo.com/forms/x1qmbzbx151par2/

Q:  I am a student who is in the database and I have not heard from any schools. What do I do?
A:  Each PhD department’s recruitment cycle is different, thus you may not hear from a school right away.   You are encouraged to view the list of current MSRP recruiting departments and reach out to those departments that fit your academic interests.   You can view them at http://www.apsanet.org/PROGRAMS/Diversity-Inclusion/Minority-Student-Recruitment-Program/Participating-Graduate-Departments.


For more information on Diversity and Inclusion, please visit www.apsanet.org/PROGRAMS/Diversity-Inclusion. You can also contact us at [email protected].