Student Organizations


358 Stillwell
Cullowhee, NC 28723
828.227.7475 tel
828.227.7502 fax


Special Opportunities for Political Science and Public Affairs Students


There are WCU alumni and other professionals who have expressed an interest in sharing their knowledge and experiences with our students by serving as a mentor. This is an excellent opportunity to receive personal guidance and support that will enable you to better navigate the world beyond the university walls. To participate in this program, you must agree to a number of conditions, including the following:

  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA or higherAs part of her Washington internship in 2006, student Margaret "Megan" McCollum had the chance to meet and interview Gen. Peter Pace, USMC, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Pentagon.
  • Meet at least four times a year with your mentor (on-line or in person)
  • Communicate at other times with your mentor
  • Be punctual and professional
  • Fill out a mentorship evaluation at the end of your mentor year

To apply to receive a mentor, complete this online Mentor Form.

Funding for Professional Development

Up to $250 may be available to assist students in attending professional development opportunities such as conferences, seminars, and other events that have a registration fee or require travel. (Be sure to first ask the organizer of the activity if a student rate is available--some even allow students to attend for free!). Funds are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis. Apply early using this online form.

Academic Opportunities

Many of our students are proud of their research papers. If this is true of you, then consider presenting your paper at the annual National Conference for Undergraduate Research, which is held at locations across the United States.

Many of our students participate in our department's internship program. Learn more by contacting Dr. Niall Michelsen.

If you’re a minority student, you may be interested in attending the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute at Duke University.

Each year we send students to present papers at the North Carolina Political Science Association.  Please speak with Dr. Cooper for details.

In addition to the above academic opportunities, there are many ways to get involved at WCU and enhance your classroom studies with extracurricular activities and initiatives.

Extracurricular Opportunities

Take advantage of the opportunity to work in the Public Policy Institute or get involved in the Political Science Club, the Model United Nations, the College Democrats, and the College Republicans.

WCU Chapter of Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society

The North Carolina Lambda Chapter has been awarded several honorable awards for extensive campus membership and distinguished campus impact including the Roll of Distinction, Roll of Merit and Joseph B. James Chapters Incentive Award.

Pi Gamma Mu Mission:

  1. To encourage the study of the social sciences and closely related disciplines among students and faculty members in colleges and universities throughout the world,
  2. To recognize outstanding achievement through selection to membership and the presentation of various awards for distinguished achievement,
  3. To promote mutual understanding among the people of differing opinions through academic study and academic disciplines.

The Seven Ideals of Pi Gamma Mu:

  1. Scholarship
  2. Science
  3. Social Sciences
  4. Social Idealism
  5. Sociability
  6. Social Service
  7. Sacrifice

Pi Gamma Mu History

Pi Gamma Mu was founded in 1924 by Dean Leroy Allen from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas along with Dean William Hamilton of the College of William and Mary. Pi Gamma Mu is the oldest, largest, and most significant honor society concerned with the Social Sciences. The first large university to establish a chapter was Columbia University in N.Y. City in 1925. The University of Hawaii was the first chapter to be organized outside the continental United States. The first foreign chapters formed in 1932 at the University of Toronto in Canada and at the University of the Philippines.

SOCIAL SCIENCE was established as a quarterly journal in 1925. With the beginning of Volume 57 in 1982, the name of the journal was changed to INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SCIENCE REVIEW. Publication of the PI GAMMA MU NEWSLETTER began in 1978.

Rear Admiral Richard Byrd served for a time as Honorary National President of Pi Gamma Mu, in 1928 carrying the Society's flag to the Antarctic. President Lyndon B. Johnson was a member of the Society and joined as a student; Two Presidents of the Philippines were also members of the Society.

The Society was incorporated under the name "The National Social Science Honor Society, Pi Gamma Mu, Inc." on April 5, 1929 as a non-profit corporation in Colorado. To acknowledge its chapters outside the U. S., the Board of Trustees took action in 1980 to change the name of the Society to "Pi Gamma Mu, International Honor Society in Social Science."

Today there are over 149 active chapters located at various universities throughout the United States and abroad.



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