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A scholarship is financial support awarded based on achievement, financial need, or other criteria to support expenses associated with student education. Many scholarships provide opportunities for students to pursue internships, study abroad, or conduct research. Scholarships do not need to be repaid and they differ from awards in that you need to apply to be considered. We encourage you to apply. 

UMass scholarship opportunities may be offered from the university, the college, or the department. There are scholarships that support high-impact learning experiences such as research, study abroad, and internships. Outside of UMass, you may also find scholarships at the national, state, and local level.


Scholarships offered by the Political Science Department open early in the spring semester. Please be aware that application deadlines and criteria are specific to each opportunity.

AcademicWorks is the online application system you will use for most UMass Amherst scholarships. AcademicWorks uses your data from SPIRE to create a list of opportunities based on your class year, major, and sometimes GPA. You will have to read through these “recommended opportunities” to determine which ones apply to your experience and interest. In some cases, the system will automatically submit your application to eligible scholarships. In most cases, it will generate a list of scholarships that may need additional information, such as a recommendation or essay.

  • Login to AcademicWorks using your NetID and password.
  • Complete the General Application and the SBS Conditional Application. Much of the information you will need will be from your resume.
  • Answer “yes” to confirm that AcademicWorks may use your SPIRE information.
  • Consider saving a copy of your answers. The General Application must be resubmitted each year, but AcademicWorks will not save your responses.

To search for awards outside of UMass, read the “More About Scholarships…” section of the Financial Aid website. For a combination of UMass and external scholarships, consider using the Financial Aid scholarship search tool.


Applying for scholarships will take work and require research, writing and resume-building. The SBS Pathways website has General Information and Additional Resources that can be useful.

Your Political Science and Legal Studies Advising Team is always ready to help, just make a "scholarship support" appointment in Navigate.


Coleman Family Fund Scholarship
The Coleman Family Fund Scholarship is made available through the generosity of legal studies alumni Christopher F. Coleman ’94 to support legal studies majors who conduct an internship or research assistantship in the summer. The scholarship will be awarded to a legal studies major who is in good academic standing and has demonstrated financial need who secures an internship or research assistantship opportunity for the summer. Applicants must submit documentation to substantiate their internship or research assignment, a resume, and a cover letter explaining how they would benefit from this opportunity by to be considered. Award amount: $3,000-$5,000

Sheldon Goldman Scholarship
The Sheldon Goldman Scholarship was established to honor Professor Goldman for his nearly 50 years of teaching, service and research in the Department of Political Science and to celebrate his promotion to Distinguished Professor. It is designed to provide assistance to a Political Science junior or senior who has demonstrated excellence in Public Law and Judicial Politics. The recipient must have a GPA of at least 3.5. Award amount: $500 - $1,000

Paul and Lynn Hohenberger Scholarship
The Paul and Lynn Hohenberger Scholarship was established by Paul ('87) and Lynn Hohenberger to support Political Science or Legal Studies majors with connections to Holyoke, MA. The recipient must demonstrate financial need and be eligible for university financial aid. Preference is given to students who reside in or were born in Holyoke, but students who have interned or volunteered in the city, currently work there, or have demonstrated an interest in the city in some other way are encouraged to apply and explain their connection to the city in their essay. Award amount: $2,500

John W. Lederle Endowed Student Internship Fund in Public and Non-Profit Service Scholarship
Established by Angie K. Lederle in the name of her husband, John W. Lederle, former President of University of Massachusetts, 1960 – 1970, to provide financial aid for selected undergraduate or graduate students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who would benefit from practical internship experience with local, state, and national government or non-profit agencies. First generation college students, socioeconomically disadvantaged students, and students with documented financial need are particularly encouraged to apply. Internships must take place in either summer or fall with a local, state, or national government or non-profit agency. Award amount: $1,000 - $3,000

Shep Shepard Award
The Shep Shepard Award was established in honor of Claude L. "Shep" Shepard; his spirit, energy, humanity, wisdom, and his contributions to the development, enhancement and preservation of the department of Legal Studies. One or more juniors or seniors in Legal Studies will receive the award for achievement of academic excellence and contributions to the community. Award amount: $500-600

Paul R. Shuldiner Memorial Scholarship
Paul R. Shuldiner Memorial Scholarship was created in memory of Paul R. (“Randy”) Shuldiner ’75 by his family, this scholarship supports legal studies students with an interest in legal research and writing, as demonstrated through an original commentary on an article about civil liberties and civil rights.  Award amount: $750 - $2,000