Wayne Morse Scholars



“This program awakened my passion for politics.” -Aleiya Evison ’17

The Wayne Morse Scholars program is an opportunity for students from across disciplines to tackle big questions of democracy and governance, and to explore various forms of political engagement. Wayne Morse Scholars meet throughout the year with a diverse set of prominent officials, activists, and scholars.  They also engage in praxis in real-world settings, do applied research, and develop specific leadership skills in a supportive environment.  The program aims to build a community of students committed to service and justice, and to cultivate future leaders to take on complex realities.

Program components

  • Backstage PASSes with invited speakers including: elected officials, public scholars, and movement leaders
  • Monthly lunch gatherings to discuss compelling topics ranging from campus and local issues to national and global challenges (free food!)
  • Special seminars: PS351: Democratic Dilemmas and PS399: Democracy in Practice
  • Intimate workshops and training sessions to prepare for the job world and to explore varied leadership styles
  • Annual field trips to Salem, Portland, and other sites to watch the political process and public policy in action
  • Fun social events and service days
  • Internships and applied research for upper-level scholars, with modest funding to support them


University of Oregon sophomores and juniors from all disciplines are welcome to apply for the scholars program.  Roughly 25 students per year are selected. Criteria for selection include service experiences, demonstrated interest in politics or public policy, and academic merit. Students are expected to continue as Wayne Morse Scholars in subsequent years.


Applications are due each October. 

Read about the inaugural class of Wayne Morse Scholars in CAScade Magazine.