Pi Sigma Alpha

Nancy McManus Washington Internship Scholarships

The submission deadline has passed. Check back in 2025 for next year's application details!

Pi Sigma Alpha awards five McManus Washington Internship Scholarships annually to members participating in political science internship programs in Washington, DC, for summer, fall, or spring semester. Each scholarship is $2,000. At least one of the scholarships is reserved for a member participating in a program of The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC.) 

The internship must take place in Washington, DC. It may be under the auspices of the candidate’s own institution or any other recognized internship organization, and the home institution must award academic credit for the internship.

NOTE: The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC) will also provide $2,500 toward housing costs for one winner of the Pi Sigma Alpha intern scholarship who participates in a TWC internship program in each of the three seasons (spring, summer, and fall). The Washington Center, founded in 1975, is the largest full-time internship program in the nation’s capital, serving over 1500 students each year. For further information, contact info@twc.edu

The intern scholarships will be awarded by a national selection committee solely on the basis of academic merit and service to Pi Sigma Alpha, the member’s university or college, and the community. Pi Sigma Alpha welcomes applications from any member without regard to race, gender, or ethnicity. You can read more about the history of the McManus Scholarship here.

Each chapter is invited to nominate one candidate for the intern scholarship. The candidate’s Chapter Advisor should send a completed application package to the National Office via email at office@pisigmaalpha.org and must include one copy of each of the following:

  • 1.  A completed individual application form.

  • 2.  A statement by the candidate describing how a Washington Internship relates to his or her course of study or career plans.

  • 3.  A statement by the candidate describing his or her involvement in the campus Pi Sigma Alpha chapter and related voluntary activities in the department and/or the university.

  • 4.  A letter of recommendation from the Chapter Advisor. If the candidate has not yet been initiated into the campus chapter, this letter must also confirm that s/he is eligible for membership in Pi Sigma Alpha and will be initiated on a certain date.

  • 5.  A letter of recommendation from one other political science faculty member who knows the candidate well.

  • 6. An official college transcript.

The recipients will be notified by mid July. Funds will be awarded upon confirmation of the candidate’s acceptance by and enrollment in an internship program.


At its Fall 2015 meeting, the Pi Sigma Alpha Executive Council accepted a proposal that modifies the award process for the McManus Scholarship to allow for $1000 in additional funding to two individuals awarded the prize who demonstrate financial need.

No financial aid information beyond the optional responses to those questions are required on the application. Pi Sigma Alpha will not determine the amount of need required by individual students, just whether or not they are eligible. Students who have answered yes to any of three key questions and are selected for the McManus Scholarship will be required to provide documentation of one those financial need measures before the award is provided.

The selection criteria will remain merit, with supplemental funds to be awarded to selected students who can demonstrate financial need. If there are not two cases of financial need among the students selected, then up to five awards of $2000 each may be awarded.

About Nancy McManus

Pi Sigma Alpha is pleased to name its annual internship scholarship in honor of Nancy McManus. McManus served as national office administrator for twenty years and played a major role in creating valuable programs, such as the internship scholarships, for student members of Pi Sigma Alpha. You can read more about Nancy’s life and contributions to PSA here.

Sandi Abdelshehed, University of South Florida

2022 McManus Scholarship Awardee

The Council of State Government

In addition to this exclusive Pi Sigma Alpha scholarship program, all Pi Sigma Alpha members are eligible to receive partial scholarships to the Washington internship programs sponsored by the Washington Internship Institute. The Washington Center, and The Fund for American Studies. These partial scholarships are granted by the sponsoring institutions to all students who have been initiated into the honor societies of the Association of College Honor Societies. Applications for these awards are made directly to the sponsoring institutions, not to Pi Sigma Alpha.