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 in the College of Arts & Science was created to encourage students to consider how engaging with the ideas 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, a January intersession study abroad course at University of the Western Cape in South Africa, and an extracurricular academic fellowship program for Mizzou undergrads of any and all majors.

Questions about any of these undergraduate programs can be directed to Kinder Institute Director of Undergraduate Studies Dr. Thomas Kane at KaneTC@missouri.edu.



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.



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 “learn more” button below for more information on the admission and scholarship application process.

Early admission scholarship applications for the 2022-23 Kinder Institute Residential College cohort will open up in Scholarship Universe on October 15, 2021, with a deadline of December 1, 2021. More information on how to create a Scholarship Universe profile and how to apply for a scholarship associated with the KIRC can be found in the announcement link below, which also includes a preview of the materials students will submit for anyone who wants to begin prep prior to the official opening date.



Launched in Spring 2018 by Rich & Nancy Kinder Chair in Constitutional Democracy and Professor of History Jay Sexton, the “Global History at Oxford” class 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.

In addition, the Kinder Institute has a yearlong exchange program with Corpus Christi, through which an MU undergrad spends three Oxford terms as a fully-embedded student of history. Anyone interested in learning more about this exchange program can contact Prof. Sexton at sextonj@missouri.edu.

Applications for the weeklong study abroad course are due each November and applications for the yearlong fellowship are due each April.



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.

Applications for the Society of Fellows are made available on the Kinder Institute website every January, with a due date of late March.



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 2022 Kinder Scholars D.C. Summer Program are now open. Full details are in the call for applications below, but students of any major who are (a) in at least their third semester of coursework at Mizzou and (b) who will be returning to campus for undergraduate coursework in Fall 2022 are eligible to apply by the Friday, October 29 deadline.

Queries and applications materials can be sent to Dr. Thomas Kane, Kinder Institute Director of Undergraduate Studies, at KaneTC@missouri.edu.

An information session for the program will held on Wednesday, October 13 at 5:30pm. Interested parties can RSVP to Dr. Kane at the email address above to receive location information (either in Jesse 410 or via Zoom) no later than Monday, October 11.



Any student enrolled at Mizzou 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.



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 structured as a two-semester, three-credit hour 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, with seats also open for Constitutional Democracy majors.


Race & Politics in South Africa

Mizzou undergraduates of any major can examine the history and legacies of racialized rule in South Africa through HIST/CNST_DEM/BL_STU 4835: Race & Politics in South Africa, a three-credit hour class that includes an intersession study abroad component hosted at University of the Western Cape, in Cape Town, from January 5 – January 15, 2022, and that is organized around seminars, guest lectures, and tours of museums and sites of historic significance. Following the study abroad trip, students will complete a substantial, independent research and writing project during the Spring 2022 semester.

The class is listed in the Spring 2022 course offerings on MyZou (under the Black Studies designator), and successful completion and review of an application is required in order to receive a permission number to enroll. You can download the application using the link below.

Rolling application review will begin on October 18, 2021. Any questions can be directed to Caroline Spalding, cspalding@misouri.edu.