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Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI)

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The Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Program (RBSI) is an annual, intensive five-week program held at Duke University. It is designed to introduce to the world of doctoral study in political science those undergraduate students from under-represented racial and ethnic groups or those interested in broadening participation in political science and pursuing scholarship on issues affecting underrepresented groups or issues of tribal sovereignty and governance. Participants in the RBSI are drawn from a competitive national applicant pool. APSA RBSI Scholars - Read Bios of the Current Cohort!


The 2020 RBSI Application Cycle is open

Learn more about the eligibility requirements and submit an application for the 2020 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Program. May 31, 2020 to July 2, 2020 at Duke University.The deadline for the 2020 application cycle is  Friday, January 17, 2020. 


About the RBSI Program

Named in honor of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize winner, former APSA President, and the first African American to receive a PhD in political science, Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) encourages students to pursue academic careers in political science. The RBSI does this by:

  • Enhancing writing, research, and analytical skills to increase competitiveness in the application and financial aid process for graduate school;
  • Developing statistical skills for data analysis used in political science;
  • Exposing participants to the significant questions in the discipline and profession of political science;  
  • Introducing participants to leading political scientists; and
  • Educating participants about political science career opportunities and encouraging their application to doctoral programs in political science.

* Learn more about the RBSI Program
* Learn about the RBSI 30th Anniversary
* Learn about the Ralph Bunche Award
Learn about the RBSI Advisory Committee


Nadia Brown, PhD
Associate Professor, Purdue University
RBSI Class of 2003
"The skills I learned at RBSI were a crucial foundation that enabled me to be successful in graduate school at Rutgers University. The knowledge gained at RBSI and connections that I made through the program have helped me to produce innovative scholarship on Black women political elites."

See more RBSI Alumni Reflections