American Political Science Association

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American Political Science Association headquarters located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

The American Political Science Association (APSA) is a professional association of political science students and scholars in the United States. Founded in 1903, it publishes three academic journals (American Political Science Review, Perspectives on Politics, and PS: Political Science & Politics). APSA Organized Sections publish or are associated with 15 additional journals.

APSA presidents serve one-year terms: the current president is Kathleen Thelen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Woodrow Wilson, who later became President of the United States, was APSA president in 1909. APSA has its headquarters at 1527 New Hampshire Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., in a historic building that was the home of Harry Garfield, son of President James A. Garfield and president of the association from 1921 to 1922.

APSA administers the Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs, which provides conference and research space for scholars, and Pi Sigma Alpha, the honor society for political science students. APSA also periodically sponsors seminars and other events for political scientists, policymakers, the media, and the general public.

Conferences and Meetings

A key part of APSA's mission is to enable political scientists to connect an environment conducive to teaching, research, and practice in all fields of political science and to ensure support necessary for the discipline to thrive. APSA conducts several annual conferences, which provides this environment for scholars and other professionals to network and present their work, along with other pertinent and useful resources. The APSA Annual Meeting is among the world's largest gatherings of political scientists. It occurs on Labor Day weekend each summer. The 2018 Annual Meeting is scheduled for August 30 - September 2 in Boston, MA.

The APSA Teaching and Learning Conference is a smaller working group conference hosting cutting-edge approaches, techniques, and methodologies for the political science classroom. The conference provides a forum for scholars to share effective and innovative teaching and learning models and to discuss broad themes and values of political science education—especially the scholarship of teaching and learning.

With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, APSA has organized political science workshops in various locations in Africa, APSA Africa Workshops.[1] The first workshop was convened in Dakar, Senegal in partnership with the West African Research Center from July 6–27, 2008. The annual residential workshops are led by a joint U.S. and African organizing team and aimed at mid-and junior-level scholars residing in Africa. They will enhance the capacities of political scientists and their resources in East and West Africa while also providing a forum for supporting their ongoing research. Each three week workshop brings together up to 30 scholars and cover substantive issues, methodologies, and reviews of research. See also, APSA International Programs.


To recognize excellence in the profession, the Association offers annual awards for:

  • Dissertation Awards
  • Paper and Article Awards
  • Book Awards
  • Career Awards
  • Goodnow Award
  • Teaching Award and Campus Teaching Award Recognition

In addition to the APSA awards, the APSA organized sections also present over 100 awards at every Annual Meeting to recognize important research and contributions to the profession. These awards are presented at the Association's Annual Meeting.[2]

Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs

Through its facilities and endowed funding programs, APSA'S Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs celebrates the past by investing in the future. Opened in 2003, the centenary of APSA's establishment, the Centennial Center encourages individual research and writing in all fields of political science, facilitates collaboration among scholars working within the discipline and across the social and behavioral sciences and humanities, and promotes communication between scholars and policymakers.

The Centennial Center, its facilities, and research support programs continue to be made possible in part through the generous donations of APSA members. The Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs assists APSA members with the costs of research, including travel, interviews, access to archives, or costs for a research assistant. Funds can also be used to assist scholars in publishing their research. Grants can range in size from $500 to $10,000, depending upon the research fund. See more centennial funding programs and grants.

Congressional Fellowship Program

The APSA Congressional Fellowship Program is a highly selective, nonpartisan program devoted to expanding knowledge and awareness of Congress. Since 1953, it has brought select political scientists, journalists, federal employees, health specialists, and other professionals to Capitol Hill to experience Congress at work through fellowship placements on congressional staffs.

The nine-month program begins each November with an intensive one-month introduction to Congress taught by leading experts in the field. After orientation, fellows work in placements of their choosing and also participate in ongoing seminars and enrichment programs.

Through this unique opportunity, the American Political Science Association enhances public understanding of policymaking and improves the quality of scholarship, teaching and reporting on American national politics.[3]


One key component of APSA's mission is to support political science education and professional development of its practitioners. The APSA publications program attempts to fill the diverse needs of political scientists in academic and non academic settings as well as students at various stages of their education.


  • American Political Science Review (APSR)
  • Perspectives on Politics
  • PS: Political Science & Politics
  • Journal of Political Science Education
  • Organized Section Journals

See APSA Journals.

Other Publications

  • Task Force Reports
  • Books and Career Materials
  • Political Science Now
  • Publication Resources & Manuals

Presidents of the American Political Science Association

View APSA Presidential Addresses, 1903-present

APSA Organized Sections

APSA members may also join the 41 membership organized sections focused around research themes in political science.[a] See all APSA Organized Sections.

  • 1. Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations
  • 2. Law and Courts
  • 3. Legislative Studies
  • 4. Public Policy
  • 5. Political Organizations and Parties
  • 6. Public Administration
  • 7. Conflict Processes
  • 8. Representation and Electoral Systems
  • 9. Presidents and Executive Politics (PEP, formerly called the Presidency Research Group)
  • 10. Political Methodology
  • 11. Religion and Politics
  • 13. Urban Politics
  • 15. Science, Technology and Environmental Politics
  • 16. Women and Politics Research
  • 17. Foundations of Political Theory
  • 18. Information Technology and Politics
  • 19. International Security and Arms Control
  • 20. Comparative Politics
  • 21. European Politics and Society
  • 22. State Politics and Policy
  • 23. Political Communication
  • 24. Politics and History
  • 25. Political Economy
  • 27. New Political Science
  • 28. Political Psychology
  • 29. Political Science Education
  • 30. Politics, Literature, and Film
  • 31. Foreign Policy
  • 32. Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior
  • 33. Race, Ethnicity and Politics
  • 34. International History and Politics
  • 35. Comparative Democratization
  • 36. Human Rights
  • 37. Qualitative and Multi-method Research
  • 38. Sexuality and Politics
  • 39. Health Politics and Policy
  • 40. Canadian Politics
  • 41. Political Networks
  • 42. Experimental Research
  • 43. Migration and Citizenship
  • 44. African Politics
  • 45. Class and Inequality
  • 46. Ideas, Knowledge and Politics
  • 47. American Political Thought

Presidential rankings

Since 2015, they have conducted 2 rankings of American Presidents.


In 2015, Republican President Abraham Lincoln was rated the greatest President, while Democratic President James Buchanan was considered the worst. Barack Obama, president at the time of the survey, being ranked 18th.[4]


In 2018, Republican Abraham Lincoln was ranked the greatest American President, while current President Donald Trump was ranked last. Previous president Barack Obama was ranked 8th.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ The numbers in the list represent the official number for the sections. The missing sections/numbers (e.g. 12) represent sections that disbanded.


  1. ^
  2. ^ See more on Award Descriptions and Nomination Information
  3. ^ See more on the Congressional Fellowship Program.
  4. ^ Vaughn, Brandon Rottinghaus and Justin S. (2015-02-13). "Measuring Obama against the great presidents". Brookings. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  5. ^ Rottinghaus, Brandon; Vaughn, Justin S. (February 2018). "Official Results of the 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey - PDF" (PDF). Boise State University. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Rottinghaus, Brandon; Vaughn, Justn S. (February 19, 2018). "How Does Trump Stack Up Against the Best — and Worst — Presidents?". The New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  7. ^ Dunn, Andrew (February 19, 2018). "Political scientists rank Trump in the middle, Lincoln first in presidential greatness survey". CNN. Retrieved February 19, 2018.

External links

  • Official website
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