HS Students

Why the Kinder Institute?

As we hope the FAQ below reveals, we’ve developed our undergraduate programs with an eye toward really having something for everyone at Mizzou. Whether it’s an interdisciplinary B.A. for students who want to place coursework in History and Political Science in conversation with classes from other departments, an academic fellowship program for students in STEM who want to spend some time outside the classroom exploring the past, present, and future of democracy, or study abroad trips for English majors who want to see the world, we’re confident that you can find a program at the Kinder Institute that fits your unique interests.

How do I join the Kinder Institute?

We get this question all the time, and in a lot of different forms: “How do I sign up for the Kinder Institute?” “How do I apply to be a part of the Kinder Institute?”

The answer is always the same: all sorts of ways!

The most direct path is to declare a major in Constitutional Democracy before you get to campus, but this is definitely not the only path. Not even close.

As a high school senior coming to Mizzou, you can choose “Kinder Institute Democracy Lab” on Res Life’s online housing preference form. This will reserve your spot in classes associated with our living-and-learning community for first-year students, which is open to undergrads of any and all majors, and also make you eligible to apply for one of our first-year scholarships.

Once you get to campus, you can apply to be a part of our Society of Fellows—applications go live every January and are open to first-, second-, and third-year students—or our summer program out in D.C.—applications for that go live in September and are open to current sophomores and juniors. We should add that, like the Democracy Lab, these programs are open to all undergrads, regardless of major.

You could also just take some classes with our faculty members, all of whom are jointly appointed at the Kinder Institute and in either the Political Science Department, History Department, Honors College, or School of Law. Maybe you end up with our Minor or Certificate in American Constitutional Democracy. Maybe you spend a week or two at Oxford, in South Africa, or in D.C. through our study abroad/experiential learning seminars. Maybe both!

And, of course, you can always stop by the fourth floor of Jesse Hall, where the Kinder Institute is located, to study (free coffee for all!) or for one of our regular Friday colloquia.

Do I have to be a History, Constitutional Democracy, or Political Science major?

Not at all! Do we attract a lot of students from these majors? Certainly, in large part because a majority of the curriculum for our degrees is drawn from classes in these departments.

That said, we have students double majoring in Constitutional Democracy and English, Journalism, Ancient Mediterranean Studies, History, Poli Sci, Economics, and more, and we have students all over campus pursuing our Minor or Certificate.

The most recent cohorts of our D.C. summer program and Society of Fellows had students from over a dozen different majors, including the ones named above plus Public Health, Strategic Communication, Sociology, Religious Studies, International Studies, Secondary Education, and Peace Studies.

And the same is true of our study abroad programs, which students from Biological Sciences to Business—and everything in between—have participated in.

Does it cost extra to be in the Kinder Institute?

Again, not at all! Outside of regular tuition/fees associated with our courses or housing costs associated with the Democracy Lab, all Kinder Institute programs are all-expenses-paid. And we also run scholarships for any offering, like our study abroad courses and D.C. summer program, which might bring some additional costs with them.

What have Kinder Institute-affiliated students gone on to do?

It might be easier to make a list of what Kinder-affiliated students haven’t gone on to do!

In all seriousness, we’re both proud of and amazed by the range of post-college paths our students have taken, which include: attending law schools from Stanford on the West coast, to University of Michigan and Notre Dame in middle America, to Harvard out East; pursuing Ph.D. programs at Ohio State (Political Science) and History (Northwestern) and M.A. programs at Texas A&M (International Studies), Indiana University (Media Studies), and Oxford (Imperial History); commissioning into the military; taking jobs in and around government and reporting careers at majors newspapers, TV news outlets, and with public radio; and going into nursing and medicine, elementary and high school teaching, consulting and marketing, and much, much more.

And, of course, many of our students decide to continue on with graduate education here at Mizzou, whether that be in the Kinder Institute’s M.A. in Atlantic History & Politics, at the Law School, Med School, or School of Journalism, on the History Department’s Ph.D. track, or in the Truman School’s M.P.P. and M.P.A. programs.

Can I be in the Honors College and the Kinder Institute?

You certainly can! We actually work very closely with the Honors College on a number of different endeavors. We just launched a new “Revolutions & Constitutions” social science course sequence in partnership with Honors, and almost all the required and experiential courses in our Constitutional Democracy B.A. can be taken for Honors credit.

Does the Kinder Institute have anything for students still in high school?

We do indeed! Our current offerings are limited to in-state high schoolers for the time being, but they include the Constitutional Democracy Academy, a weeklong summer enrichment program that we host in Columbia every July, and a Kinder Institute-sponsored course associated with Mizzou’s crown jewel of high school programming, the Missouri Scholars Academy.

Who do I get in touch with to find out more?

Anyone who wants to find out more about the opportunities at the Kinder Institute can email Dr. Thomas Kane, KaneTC@missouri.edu, with any questions, set up an appointment with us through MU Admissions or just stop by our offices on the fourth floor of Jesse Hall