Name: Jeffrey Nonnemacher
Major (s): Political Science & International Affairs
Minor (s): None
Certificate (s): European Union Studies
Post-Graduation Plans: Attending graduate school for a PhD in Political Science

My Pathway:

Freshman year:

  • Took the intro level PSCI classes to explore the discipline and discover my interests.
  • Took broad coursework to figure out what interested me.
  • Added IAFS as a second major.

Sophomore year:

  • Began taking upper division coursework in PSCI to progress through the major, forging relationships with faculty
  • Figured out what kinds of puzzles interested me for my own research.

Junior year:

Senior year:

  • Interned for the Jared Polis campaign to explore my options.
  • Wrote two honors theses, one in PSCI and one in IAFS, to fulfill degree requirements and strengthen my grad applications.
  • Presented my research at MPSA.
  • Began applying to graduate schools in the Fall.

Freshman-Sophomore: Recharged
Sophomore-Junior: Took core and UD coursework and worked on campus.
Junior-Senior: Continued working on campus and started my honors thesis projects & research.

  • It was not until my Junior year did I know that I wanted to go this route with my career and really began intentionally working towards this goal.

  • Take methods courses. Grad schools love seeing that you know your methods and can actually do social science research, so take advantage of the wide array of methodological trainings that are offered to undergrads. It also makes writing an honors thesis easier.

  • I would have taken more methods courses beyond PSCI 2075 and social science research training. I also would have connected with faculty outside the classroom from the very beginning, even in the big intro lectures. I would have also done UROP either for my honors theses, my junior year, or over a summer.

  • It is a combination of both the undergrad research program and the honors program through the department. This is where you do original research and learn the most about the process of conducting research, and what academia at its most basic level looks like.

  • I was also a member for two years of Pi Sigma Alpha, and became the co-president in my Senior Year to work to build a community of PSCI students to help other students take advantage of the opportunities available to them through the department and with a major in PSCI.

  • Talk to faculty and grad students! They are willing to help you with your own research and help you navigate the application process, but you have to ask them for help. The process is so much easier with faculty in your corner helping you along the way.