Skip to Content

College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Political Science

Bennet Medal

Philo S. Bennett Medal Essay Competition on “The Principles of a Free Government”

Deadline: Friday, March 20, 2015, 5:00 PM

First Prize --- $3,000 --- Scholarship

2 Second Prizes --- $1,000 ---  Scholarships


DESCRIPTION: The Department of Political Science is pleased to announce the Philo S. Bennett Medal essay competition for undergraduate majors in Political Science and International Studies. Eligible students are invited to submit an original essay addressing the question: “What are the principles of a free government?”

AWARD: Essays will be judged by the members of the Department’s Undergraduate Committee. The author of the winning essay will be awarded a $3,000 scholarship for the 2015-2016 Academic Year. Up to (2) two runner ups will receive $1,000 scholarships for the 2015-2016 Academic Year. Winners will choose whether to use the funds for one or both semesters.

ELIGIBILITY: Eligible students must be USC Political Science or International Studies majors who are enrolled during the spring semester of 2015 and must plan to enroll at the Columbia campus for the fall 2015 semester.

INSTRUCTIONS: All entries must be typewritten, double-spaced, use 12 point font; and 1-inch margins on all sides and be no more than 4,000 words. They must also include a title page that includes the author’s full name, home address, telephone number, and e-mail address. Submissions must follow standard political science rules of citation and include an accurate and complete bibliography.

All contestants must submit 2 copies: 1 hard-copy and 1 electronic copy. The hard-copy must be delivered to Dr. Neal Woods, Department of Political Science, 327 Gambrell Hall, Columbia, SC, 29208. The electronic copy must be submitted under Blackboard. In the “Courses” section of Blackboard search for the term “Essay” and after you enroll yourself follow the instructions to submit under the “Safe Assignment” feature. Click on "Complete" below, and the Safe Assignment Upload Form will appear. Enter any comments if you would like, click "Browse" to select the file for upload. After selecting the proper file click the "Submit" button to upload the document.

Winners will be announced before the end of the spring semester. Direct any questions you have to Dr. Woods, email: NO E-MAIL SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

USC’s HONOR CODE & CAROLINA CREED: The Undergraduate Committee of the Department of Political Science is requiring students to submit their essays through Safe Assignment to ensure compliance with the university's "Honor Code" and the "Carolina Creed”.

Any student suspected of Honor Code violations will be reported to the Office of Academic Integrity. For further details about Honor Code; what constitutes plagiarism, and the possible consequences for plagiarism, please contact the Office of Academic Integrity or their website:

Philo S. Bennett Medal Essay Competition on “The Principles of a Free Government”

Monday, February 2, 2015