Department Scholarships

Travers Undergraduate Scholarship in Ethics and Politics

The Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science invites applications for the annual Travers Scholarships in Ethics and Politics. These merit-based awards are intended to give recognition and encouragement to outstanding undergraduate students who plan to serve their country or community in an elected or non-elected government capacity sometime in the future. By integrating the study of ethics and political science, the Department of Political Science hopes to train future leaders who will be sensitive to the ethical dilemmas implicit in a public career. In keeping with a desire to integrate education in practical as well as theoretical matters, the scholarship stipend is divided between giving support during the academic year and giving support during a summer internship. Two annual scholarships will be awarded.

Terms Of The Award

Students who receive a Travers Scholarship must have already taken, or commit to completing one of two courses: PS 108A, Ethics, Politics and Leadership or 124C, Ethics and Justice in International Affairs. Check with the department for availability or future offerings of these two courses. Students must also commit to pursuing a summer internship in politics or public policy by the summer before their senior year to complement their studies. Following the internship awardees are expected to write a 3 page essay reviewing their summer internship experience.


Declared Political Science majors at UC Berkeley who will, at the time they accept the award, have at least one full academic year left at UC-Berkeley are eligible to apply. Students must be declared at the time of application. The two  scholarships are merit-based, and not need-based, so there is no need to demonstrate financial need. All interested Political Science majors in good academic standing are encouraged to apply for these scholarships which are two of the more generous awards on campus.


$12,000 for twelve months, of which $3,000 will be paid during the summer months to support the student undertaking his or her summer internship. Students on financial aid should note that the stipend may have a significant effect on their financial aid package.

Selection Process

The two Travers scholars will be chosen by a faculty committee of the Department of Political Science. Three types of information will inform the selection process:

  1. Evidence of outstanding academic performance;
  2. An essay (of no more than 800 words) that discusses the applicant's interest in and plans for public service or political life; and,
  3. For those chosen as finalists, an interview with the selection committee. Finalists currently studying abroad or in Washington, D.C. will be interviewed by telephone.

Application & Deadlines

The scholarship application period is announced via the Undergraduate Student Mailing List in early spring. This year's deadline is 4pm on Monday, March 11th, 2024. 

The application includes an essay (see above "Selection Process" for details) and a full set of academic transcripts (for UCB and any other colleges attended. Unofficial transcripts or academic summary reports from CalCentral are accepted). Please submit application materials to the Political Science Undergraduate Advising Office via e-mail at The application deadline is firm. Late applications will not be accepted. Finalists will be notified and interviews scheduled shortly thereafter. Awards are announced later in the semester.

Travers Family Undergraduate Fellowship at the Commonwealth Club

Thanks to a generous grant from the Travers Family, the Department of Political Science and the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco are pleased to announce the Travers Program Fellowship. This Fellowship will be awarded to two qualified Political Science majors. The two successful candidates will work for the program team at The Commonwealth Club. The fellowship will be one semester in length and will be offered three times a year (fall, spring, and summer).

The Commonwealth Club (external link), based in San Francisco, is the nation's oldest and largest public affairs forum. This is an excellent opportunity for students considering a career in non-profit or media-related work. Students will be able to interface with leading figures from politics, media, academia, and the arts.

Programming Fellowship

The Program Fellows will work with the Club's Program staff on almost all aspects of our programs. Recent programs have discussed racial inequality in America, political polarization and more. The Commonwealth Club is the only place in the Bay Area where you’ll hear from Sean Spicer one day and Jesse Jackson the next day. Working largely remotely (with both in-person and virtual events), you will help on a variety of projects including (but not limited to) background research on speakers and program topics, outreach and marketing for upcoming programs, and organizing data collected on programming activities.

The ideal candidate should be comfortable getting involved in every detail of assigned projects and have very strong writing skills. During our virtual events, you’ll help ensure that speakers and attendees have a seamless viewing experience. The Program Fellowship is an unparalleled opportunity to hear from some of the world’s brightest leaders — recent virtual and in-person guests include Congressman Adam Schiff, President George W. Bush and Dr. Michio Kaku.

Fellows are expected to participate in 1-2 programs a week in the evenings as their schedules allow (evenings may last until 8:00 or 8:30pm, and daily schedules adjusted around later nights).

Hours and Duration of Internships

Depending on the program, the hours and duration of the internships may vary somewhat. In general, the fall and spring semester interns will work 12-15 hours per week for 16 weeks (Sept-Dec or Jan-May). The summer interns will work 30+ hours per week for 8-12 weeks (June-August). Interns must be available to work 1+ evenings per week until 8:00 or 8:30pm.


  • Excellent reading and writing skills
  • Eye for detail and strong proofreading skills
  • Good Internet research and word processing skills
  • Interest in the non-profit sector


  • Hourly compensation and travel stipend
  • Exposure to regional, national, international issues and leaders
  • Unparalleled networking opportunities and job development skills
  • Opportunity to attend unlimited Club events gratis
  • A fun and engaging work environment
  • One-year membership in The Commonwealth Club, following completion of the Fellowship


Travers Fellows will receive financial remuneration of $18.10 per hour, plus a monthly travel stipend.


Students must be legal U.S. residents who have completed at least one full semester at UC Berkeley at the time of application and be currently declared Political Science majors. Applicants must be registered at UC Berkeley during the semester of the fellowship (or the following semester for the summer fellowships). Current or former fellows cannot reapply for either position.


A complete application consists of the following:

  1. A cover letter addressed to the Travers Fellowship Program at the Commonwealth Club. Include your name, SID#, telephone number(s), and email address. Please be sure to indicate desired semester (fall, spring, or summer), and the days and times you will be available (see Selection Process below).
  2. A resume.
  3. A brief essay that discusses your interest in, and plans for, public service or political life. This essay should not exceed one page, or approximately 400 words. Longer essays will not be read.
  4. An Academic Summary from CalCentral. Transfer students need not submit transcripts from previous schools attended.


Complete applications should be e-mailed to the Political Science Undergraduate Advising Office at by 12 noon on the following dates:

  • For Spring Fellowships: Monday, 12/11/23 for Spring 2024.
  • For Summer Fellowships: Monday, 4/22/24 for Summer 2024.
  • For Fall Fellowships: Monday, 4/22/24 for Fall 2024.

Selection Process

Applications for the fellowship will be forwarded by the department to the Commonwealth Club for final selection. Three types of information will inform the selection process and determine which applicants will be contacted for an interview :

  1. Evidence of outstanding academic performance;
  2. The strength of the essay;
  3. Availability: Students who can devote a significant block of time in a day will be at a significant advantage in the application process. Please include in your cover letter which days and times you can be at the Commonwealth Club (e.g., "Mondays 9-12, Tuesdays 3-7 and Fridays 1-5pm"). If your availability changes later on due to class scheduling changes, please e-mail as soon as possible.