Loyola University Chicago

Interdisciplinary Honors Program

Megan Sholar, Ph.D

Learn more about Dr. Megan Sholar

Senior Lecturer

  • Office Location: Francis Hall 147
  • Phone Number: 773.508.2692
  • E-mail: msholar@luc.edu


I am a political scientist with a focus on Comparative Politics and Women and Politics. Since joining the Interdisciplinary Honors Program in 2012, I have taught an array of courses, including the Western Intellectual Traditions course (HONR 102) required of all incoming Honors students. I regularly teach three of the area studies courses (Encountering Africa; Encountering Europe; and Encountering Latin America and the Caribbean), and I developed a U.S. Experience course that focuses on women’s political involvement in the United States.

My overarching goal as an instructor is to foster an inclusive learning environment that will enable my students to realize their full potential as effective world citizens. I strive to show students how the academic knowledge they acquire in my courses—such as why women are still treated as second-class citizens, how colonialism continues to influence political and economic development across continents, and what the future of democracy may look like—connects to their everyday lives. Building from those connections, I encourage students to explore the ways they can have a positive impact on their communities—whether that be their hometowns, our Loyola campus, or the global community at large.

My research centers on women, politics, and public policy, with a focus on family and parental leave policies. My first book, Getting Paid While Taking Time: The Women’s Movement and the Development of Paid Family Leave Policies in the United States (Temple University Press, 2016), examines the reasons that the United States remains the only industrialized country in the world without paid family leave at the national level. My latest co-authored project, Chasing Equality: Women's Rights and US Public Policy (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2023) traces the struggle for women's equal rights and opportunities in the United States across more than a century. In particular, we explore the reasons that women have been unable to close the gender gap and eradicate discrimination in employment, education, and family and reproductive rights.



  • BA, Political Science, Illinois Wesleyan University
  • MA and PhD, Political Science, Loyola University Chicago


Teaching and Research Interests 

  • Comparative Politics
  • Women and Politics
  • Family Leave Policies


Selected Publications

Mezey, Susan Gluck, and Megan A. Sholar. 2023. Chasing Equality: Women’s Rights and Public Policy in the United States. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Sholar, Megan A. 2019. “Yes, Gillibrand and DeLauro Introduced a Family Leave Bill. More Important, Republicans Are Introducing Paid Leave Bills, Too.” The Washington Post (The Monkey Cage), February 20.

Sholar, Megan A. 2016. “The History of Family Leave Policies in the United States.” The American Historian 10: 41-45.

Sholar, Megan A. 2016. “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Both Support Paid Family Leave. That’s a Breakthrough.” The Washington Post (The Monkey Cage), September 22.

Sholar, Megan A. 2016. “Trump Courts Women’s Vote with a Maternity Leave Policy That Will Ultimately Hurt Women.” The Hill, September 15.

Sholar, Megan A. 2016. Getting Paid While Taking Time: The Women’s Movement and the Development of Paid Family Leave Policies in the United States. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.