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?

This year, the Hertog Foundation is offering a suite of online and in-person programs. Our residential Political Studies Program 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. Our virtual Summer Courses offer the same high-quality instruction and seminar experience, but with the flexibility and convenience of online education. Register for an open house and learn more.

COVID-19. We are monitoring communication from the CDC, NIH, and in coordination with our residential and classroom partners. Above all, the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff are our highest priority. We currently anticipate that the Political Studies Program will take place as scheduled and are planning with public health protocols in mind. Learn more about our plans for an in-person program and required public health measures. Depending on your personal circumstances, an in-person program might not be appropriate; consider our virtual Summer Courses instead.

Original card image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

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Political Studies Program

Summer Residential Program / $2,500 Stipend + Housing

This highly competitive residential fellowship spans five weeks. A mandatory quarantine period with virtual activities is required for all fellows. Fellows will take morning and afternoon seminars on a wide variety of subjects, from political philosophy to economics, and foreign policy. Up to 18 fellows will be selected.

Summer Courses

Online Seminars / Course Materials + Stipend

Our virtual Summer Courses comprise a series of seminar sessions over one week or a series of weeks. The one-week sessions offer an intensive course of study on a political text or theme. The weekly sessions allow for deeper reflection between seminars and tackle larger works and topics. Choose the seminar that best fits your interests and schedule. Up to 150 fellows will be selected.

Week 1: Athens & Jerusalem

Aristotle

Engage in close study of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Politics.

The Bible & Politics

Explore the biblical view of the human condition with readings from Genesis and Exodus.

Week 2: America

American Political Thought

Engage key texts that have helped shape the political idea – and political ideals – of America.

Lincoln with Douglass

Reflect on the writings of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass -- and their crucial role in America’s confrontation with slavery.

Week 3: Domestic Policy

Constitutional Administration

Learn how policy is translated through the administrative state and the courts.

American Democratic Capitalism

Explore the intersection of theory and practice in our national politics, and particularly in our key economic debates.

Week 4: Foreign Policy

American Grand Strategy

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

Weeklong Summer Courses

The Federalist & Contemporary Debates

Consider The Federalist Papers anew through the lens of current events. 

Religion & Politics

Consider the proper role of religion in public life.

Weekly Summer Courses

Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Meditate on the nature of political authority with one of Shakespeare's greatest plays.

Ideas & Public Policy

Examine the influence of ideas in some of our key policy debates.

Free Speech in a Fractured Republic

Situate the classic debate over free speech in both historical and contemporary context.

Debating U.S.-China Strategic Competition

Explore contemporary views on U.S.-China strategic competition alongside a variety of prominent instructors.

Political Heretics

Track the ideological odysseys of five public intellectuals who broke ranks with their fellow partisans.

Vasily Grossman’s Life & Fate

Read the novel known as the Soviet War & Peace, and reflect on the nature of totalitarianism.

Machiavelli’s The Prince

Study the classic treatise that brought Machiavelli fame—and infamy.

Thucydides and Today’s Challenges

Read Thucydides as a series of case studies, setting up a discussion of contemporary strategic problems.

WHO SHOULD APPLY?

Any college or university undergraduate, or very recent graduate (2020 or 2021) not already pursuing an advanced degree, may apply.

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.
  • Strong letter of recommendation from a professor or another individual who is in a position to comment on the applicant’s academic or professional qualifications

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

  1. CV or résumé

  2. Personal Statement

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

  3. A college transcript

    Unofficial

  4. An academic writing sample

    20 pages maximum; double-spaced

  5. Academic Recommendation (Optional)

Other Courses You Might Be Interested In

The Federalist & Contemporary Debates

Consider The Federalist Papers anew through the lens of current events. 

Religion & Politics

Consider the proper role of religion in public life.

Ideas & Public Policy

Examine the influence of ideas in some of our key policy debates.

Free Speech in a Fractured Republic

Situate the classic debate over free speech in both historical and contemporary context.

Vasily Grossman’s Life & Fate

Read the novel known as the Soviet War & Peace, and reflect on the nature of totalitarianism.

Debating U.S.-China Strategic Competition

Explore contemporary views on U.S.-China strategic competition alongside a variety of prominent instructors.