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Political Science Graduate Student Association

About the Political Science Graduate Student Association

The UMSL Political Science Graduate Student Association (PSGSA) is a student organization formed to represent the interests of master's and doctoral political science students to the faculty Graduate Committee, the Political Science faculty as a whole, the Student Government Association (SGA), the Graduate School, the Alumni Association, and the University community. The organization includes four officers: president, vice president, secretary/treasurer, and student government representative.

The Political Science Department is attracting a growing number of qualified and energetic candidates, many work full time, and others have special demands on their time and energy. The PSGSA is committed to providing for its members the resources they need to successfully complete the program, including: access to texts and the expertise and advice of senior students to assist and advise new arrivals to the program; access to test and syllabus banks; reimbursement for conference attendance; and brown bag presentations on various career-oriented topics.

The PSGSA fosters building community and professional development within the department. The association provides opportunities for students to gather and learn from one another as they progress through the program. The department provides a collegial atmosphere among students and faculty and this is reflected in the level of interactions students have with others in the department.

The PSGSA provides funds for travel to academic conferences. The total budget allotment for each year, as well as the number of students traveling to conferences determines the amount individuals may be reimbursed. Students presenting papers are given first priority in the reimbursement process, however, all graduate students are eligible for some reimbursement of expenses. Students must complete the following forms for reimbursement:

All forms need appropriate signatures from PSGSA, Graduate School and the Political Science Department.

For employees, the office staff will advise you on how to make them a delegate in PeopleSoft.

The PSGSA, while serving the formal purposes briefly outlined above, also has an informal, collegial function: to allow the students and faculty in this growing and vital program to get to know one another, share the experience of the academy, and form networks and friendships that will extend into its members' professional lives.

The following Constitution, as adopted by the membership of the PSGSA, shall govern the operations of the organization.

PSGSA Constitution

I. Membership in the PSGSA

Section 1.
Membership in the PSGSA is automatically granted to students upon their acceptance into the Doctoral Program in Political Science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Section 2.
The payment of dues shall not be a condition of membership in the PSGSA; however, its officers shall, from time to time, request donations of members for capital projects, computer programs or books, for various social functions, or for other projects the membership deems necessary for the Association to carry out its mission.

For the full text of the PSGSA Constitution, contact the officers.

ABD Club

In January, 2002, the ABD Club was started. The ABD Club is an opportunity for fellow ABDs to gather regularly to support each other and exchange ideas. The ABD club is:

  • A place to bounce ideas off other people who understand and appreciate the work you are trying to do.
  • A place to pre-present a paper and get constructive feedback before you present it live elsewhere.
  • A chance to share frustrations with your project and get ideas on the way to move forward from whatever point you find yourself.
  • It is a time and place to have interactions with fellow students who are having similar struggles, misgivings, successes, brainstorms and creative ideas.
  • The ABD club provides an opportunity that is separate and different from interaction with your dissertation committee.
  • The ABD Club fosters a sense of friendship that will outlast our duration in the club and help us complete our dissertations.
  • Membership to the ABD club is automatic for graduate political science students who have passed their qualifying exams. Participation is voluntary.