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*Developing Dynamics of Democracy

Prague, Czech Republic

IntroductionAcademicsLocation Faculty Program Director CostsDatesApplication


Learn more at the info session: 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3


The MU International Center sponsors this summer, faculty-led program in collaboration with Department of Political Science. MU professor L. Marvin Overby will lead this four-week program in Prague, Czech Republic.

In this dynamic course, you will "unpack" the term democracy. You will explore how your understanding of democracy has changed and developed over time, and how democracy has been practiced in different locations around the world. During your month-long stay in Prague, you will have unique opportunities to consider how democracy has blossomed in central and eastern Europe, and how contemporary Europe has struggled to realize the dream of a supra-national democracy in the European Union. You may earn up to six hours of 4000-level MU credit.



You will be enrolled in one MU course for a total of three credits. This course can be used for capstone credit and can count toward a minor in American Constitutional Democracy. You can also arrange to earn an additional three hours of course credit while on the program.

POL SC 4840: Developing Dynamics of Democracy (3) is a four week course that focuses on the developing dynamics of democracy as practiced in the United States and Europe. Taking the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville as the point of departure, you will consider various aspects of democracy, comparing and contrasting situations in America and Europe historically and currently.

You will consider democratic development in older versus newer societies, the influence of social and cultural factors, and divergent historical development patterns. You will compare institutional arrangements and political practices, assessing their implications for democracy in the 21st century. Finally, you will reflect on the emergence and consequences of supra-national democratic organizations, such as the European Union.

Academic credit

You will be enrolled in actual MU courses. You are guaranteed to receive MU credit for successfully completed courses; however, you must work with your academic adviser(s) to obtain pre-approval as to how courses might fulfill degree requirements.

MU students: Grades will calculate into your MU GPA and appear on your MU transcript when grades are recorded by the faculty program director. You must work with your academic adviser(s) to obtain pre-approval as to how the courses might fulfill degree requirements.

Non-MU/visiting students: Transcripts will be issued from MU and can be mailed to your home university. You must work with your home university to determine how credit from the program will transfer. The MU International Center will issue one transcript per student to one domestic address, as indicated on your Non-MU Student Application for Study Abroad. Additional MU transcripts for study abroad must be requested and purchased from the MU Registrar.


Accommodations and meals

You will stay in shared rooms in centrally-located apartments with access to kitchen and laundry facilities. Some group dinners are included in the program cost; you will be responsible for all other meals on your own.

Host cities and surrounding areas

Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is known as the City of a Hundred Spires and ranks among the most beautiful cities in Europe. It has long been at the crossroads of the most important trading routes, as well as a cultural and political center in Europe. One of its major landmarks, Charles Bridge, symbolizes the historical connection between the east and west that made Prague a place where elements of Slavic, German, Italian and Jewish cultures merged to create a picturesque city. The historic center of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1992, and its lower cost of living makes it a popular European tourist destination.


You will travel with the group, but will have opportunities to explore many sites independently during your time abroad. Group excursions will include tours in Prague, day trips to other locations in the Czech Republic and one overnight visit to a neighboring country.

Faculty program director

MU faculty member L. Marvin Overby, professor of political science, will accompany the students to the Czech Republic.

Faculty-led programs enrich the study abroad experience as well as the MU campus by providing students with opportunities to study other cultures and disciplines in depth while gaining new perspectives on our own society. Faculty leaders serve as mentors, role-models and resources as students explore their host institution and country.

L. Marvin Overby

L. Marvin Overby

Prior to joining the faculty at MU in 2002, L. Marvin Overby taught at the University of Mississippi and Loyola University Chicago. During 2000/01, he served as Lazslo Orzagh Distinguished Fulbright Professor at the University of Szeged in Hungary, and during both 1997/98 and 2005/06 as Fei Yi Ming Visiting Professor at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China.

Overby earned his bachelor's degree from Davidson College and his Ph.D. from the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma. His research and teaching interests include legislative politics, Southern politics and minority politics.

This course is a wonderful opportunity for students to consider the many facets of democracy, wrestling with what that term means, how its meaning has changed historically and how democracy is practiced in different ways in different political cultures. — L. Marvin Overby


Program Budget

Additional Expenses

In addition to the program costs paid to MU, you will have expenses associated with international travel and living abroad. The amounts listed are estimated costs based on current exchange rates and on the information provided to us by your host institution and past participants. Depending on your personal spending habits, you may spend more or less than the figures provided.

Please note that these expenses do not include vacation travel or sightseeing.

Financial Aid Information

If you are awarded financial aid for study abroad, it will be applied to your MU account according to the regular financial aid disbursement schedule. Reminder: You must be enrolled in study abroad and have completed the required financial aid forms for study abroad in order to be considered for aid.

Because non-resident tuition charges apply, MU students should be eligible to use non-resident scholarship towards the program costs.

Dates and Deadlines

Term Application Deadline Program Start Program End
Summer 2016 02/26/2016 05/21/2016 06/18/2016
Summer 2017 02/15/2017

Early acceptance date for summer programs: December 15

Summer faculty-led programs fill up quickly! Submit your application by the early acceptance date to ensure preferred consideration for admission and to be eligible for International Center scholarship funds reserved for early acceptance applicants. Applications are still welcome after the early acceptance date, but must be received by the final application deadline for consideration.


We are delighted that you are applying to study abroad. This is the first step of your journey, and while there is a lot to do, it should not be overwhelming. Once you apply for the program, you will have an electronic checklist to help you through the process. In addition, our study abroad staff are available to answer your questions.

  1. Meet with the MU International Center study abroad adviser listed in the program snapshot if you have any questions.
  2. Start an application in using the button below if you are an MU student.
    • Non-MU students should visit our page for Non-MU participants for more information about the application process.
    • Once you have started an application, you can return to it later by logging in to myStudyAbroad (see the button at the top of the page).
  3. Complete your application. There will be several documents that need to be completed for the application. While specific requirements vary by program, a typical application consists of the following:
    • Material submissions - Printable forms which require the physical submission of materials.
    • Signature Documents - Items you may digitally sign (if you are over 18 years of age) to indicate your agreement and understanding.
    • Recommendations - Recommendations may be submitted electronically by MU faculty and staff.
    • Application Questionnaires - Items that you complete and submit electronically.

Note: If you do not have an MU PawPrint, please review our instructions for Non-MU (visiting) students.

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