The Kinder Institute’s undergraduate programs are designed to promote rigorous, communal inquiry into the history, theory, and practice of constitutional democracy in the United States and around the globe. We envision this happening first and foremost in the classroom, and our new B.A. in Constitutional Democracy was created to encourage students to consider how engaging with the idea and events of the nation’s founding enriches our understanding of the unfolding of political history across centuries and continents. We also want students’ exploration of these subjects to expand far beyond the classroom walls, and we have designed a number of programs with this goal in mind: a living-and-learning community for first-year MU students, a summer program in Washington, D.C., week- and yearlong study abroad opportunities at University of Oxford, and an extracurricular academic fellowship program for Mizzou undergrads of any and all majors.


The Kinder Institute’s B.A. in Constitutional Democracy not only engages Mizzou undergrads in a close, interdisciplinary examination of the ideas and events that are central to understanding the founding of the United States but also provides students with an opportunity to trace the reverberation of these ideas and events over time and around the globe. How and why have the philosophical ambitions and historical practice of constitutional democracy changed over time in the U.S.? What are the institutions and who are the figures that have been most responsible for driving this change? How, over the course of its history, has U.S. constitutional democracy influenced—and been influenced by—foreign nations? These are just some of the many questions that students can explore through the major, which consists of required common curriculum courses and concentrated upper-level electives in Constitutional Democracy, History, Black Studies, Philosophy, Public Affairs, Economics, and more.

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The Kinder Institute Residential College allows first-year Mizzou students interested in politics and history to begin forming a scholarly community right when they get to campus. All members of the KIRC will live together in Wolpers Hall, take courses together during the fall and spring semesters with Kinder Institute faculty, and participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities associated with the Residential College. Starting the application process is as easy as choosing “Kinder Institute Residential College” on your online housing preference form, and use the button below to find out more.

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Launched in Spring 2018 by Kinder Institute Endowed Chair in Constitutional Democracy Jay Sexton, the “Global History at Oxford” is a study abroad program unlike any other. Every spring, students spend the semester’s first ten weeks exploring the global history of empire with Prof. Sexton on the MU campus, and then cross the Atlantic during Spring Break to continue their study with distinguished faculty at University of Oxford’s Corpus Christi College, one of the globe’s oldest institutions of higher learning.

Applications for the Spring 2020 “Global History at Oxford” program are now open via MU’s International Center, and instructions on how to apply can be accessed using the link below.

In addition to the weeklong program, the Kinder Institute sponsors a fellowship program that sends one student to Corpus for three terms of study as a fully-integrated student of history. For more information on that program, contact Prof. Sexton at SextonJ@missouri.edu.

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The Kinder Institute’s flagship undergraduate initiative, the Society of Fellows is a competitive academic fellowship program through which students of all majors come together to forge an intellectual community dedicated to studying and drawing connections between the ideas and events of the American founding and the present state of constitutional democracy in the U.S. and abroad. The program kicks off each August with a three-day residential conference at the historic Tiger Hotel in downtown Columbia and continues throughout the school year with a series of lunch and dinner discussions with MU faculty and guests of the Kinder Institute.

The deadline to apply for the 2019-20 Society of Fellows has passed. We will re-open applications for 2020-21 in January.

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The Kinder Scholars D.C. Summer Program provides rising MU juniors and seniors with a rare chance to wed theory and practice by spending the summer in the nation’s capital taking a 3-credit hour seminar on U.S. constitutional history while also interning four days a week at an organization whose mission complements their academic coursework and post-college interests.

Applications for the Summer 2020 Kinder Scholars Program are currently open. The deadline to apply is October 10, 2019, and application materials and instructions can be accessed via the link below.

An optional information session for the program will be held on September 26 from 5-6pm in Jesse Hall 410. Any questions about the Kinder Scholars program can be directed to Thomas Kane, KaneTC@missouri.edu.

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Any student enrolled at Mizzou in Fall 2019 or prior is eligible to apply to receive the Kinder Institute’s Minor or Certificate in American Constitutional Democracy. With a truly interdisciplinary curriculum that weaves together the study of history, political science, philosophy, economics, and more, both degrees were designed to provide students with expansive, diverse courses of study in the philosophical foundations and historical development of constitutional democracy not only in the United States but also around the globe.

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Founded by Anurag Chandran, a member of the inaugural classes of the Society of Fellows and Kinder Scholars Program, the Journal on Constitutional Democracy is a student-run, scholarly publication organized each year around a new theme. Now organized as a two-semester class, the Journal not only lets staff members conceptualize and patiently execute an article-length, academic writing project of their own devising but also gives them experience in the worlds of copyediting, layout and design, and promotion. All current and past members of the Kinder Institute’s Society of Fellows are eligible to take the Journal course.

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