If you could study with some of the world’s top thinkers on some of the world’s most important topics – war and grand strategy, economic policy, or political thought and philosophy – which would you choose?

Each year, the Hertog Foundation brings together top college students to the nation’s capital to explore the theory and practice of politics in an intensive seminar setting with outstanding faculty. Political Studies Fellows take courses in a wide variety of subjects, from political philosophy to contemporary public affairs, from economics to foreign policy. In the afternoons and evenings, they have the opportunity to hear from leaders in American government and politics.

All fellows receive residential accommodations and a $2,500 stipend to offset travel and living expenses.

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Weeks I & II

Foundations of Political Philosophy

Delve into the principles of political rhetoric or explore Shakespeare's lessons for politics.

Weeks III & IV

American Political Order I

Choose between seminars on the American Founding & on Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.

American Political Order II

Explore the American regime, with a focus on the Black experience.

Weeks V & VI

Contemporary American Politics

Survey the contemporary political landscape or examine our key economic debates.

Grand Strategy

Consider the multiple, competing foreign policy crises America faces today.

WHO SHOULD APPLY?

Any college or university undergraduate, or very recent graduate (2021 or 2022) not already pursuing an advanced degree, may apply to the Political Studies Program.

Admission is extremely competitive, and every year we decline admission to many highly qualified applicants simply due to lack of space. A typical competitive applicant will have:

  • An undergraduate GPA > 3.5
  • A statement of purpose that tells us how the applicant’s interests and ambitions relate to the preferred program. The statement of purpose is very important and deserves careful attention.
  • An academic writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s powers of analysis and independent thought, and not only their ability to do scholarly research or comment on a text.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

  1. CV OR RÉSUMÉ

  2. PERSONAL STATEMENT

    Describe, in 1,000 words or less, the political questions you find most interesting, your future ambitions, and how these relate to your preferred program(s).

  3. A COLLEGE TRANSCRIPT

    Unofficial

  4. AN ACADEMIC WRITING SAMPLE

    10 pages maximum; double-spaced. Please send academic writing that best showcases your ability to invent and sustain a persuasive argument, no matter the subject-matter.

  5. ACADEMIC LETTER & REFERENCE

    Provide the name and contact information of a professor, mentor, or supervisor. (Letter not required for nominated applicants.)

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Shakespeare’s Henry V

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Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov

Meditate on Dostoevsky’s final – and greatest – novel.

Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart & No Longer at Ease

Reflect on two great novels from the father of modern African literature.

Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities

Read Tom Wolfe’s devastating, irresistible satire of urban and racial politics.

The Supreme Court & American Politics

Explore how the new conservative supermajority will change the Court.