The APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) was founded in 1986 to enhance diversity within the discipline of political science. Named in honor of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize winner and former APSA President, Ralph J. Bunche, the RBSI program goal is to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to pursue academic careers in political science by helping to:

  • Enhance participants’ writing, research, and analytical skills and make them more competitive applicants for graduate school admissions and financial assistance.
  • Improve the students’ use of computers for statistical analysis of research data used in the study of political science.
  • Expose interested and engaged students to issues in the discipline and profession of political science.
  • Introduce participants to leading political scientists.
  • Inform promising students about political science career opportunities and encourage applications to PhD programs in political science.

The APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) has had measurable success in preparing students for higher education as well as academic and professional fields.

According to APSA records and Dr. Paula McClain, approximately 476 students have attended RBSI since it’s inception and 56 of those RBSI scholars have earned doctoral degrees.  After Dr. Paula McClain became Director in 1996, RBSI has produced 48 participants who completed their Ph.D in political science and 8 more who completed doctoral programs in cognate social science fields.  There are 36 former RBSI participants who are in academic jobs or postdoctoral fellowships.