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.

This summer’s offerings provide students the flexibility to create their ideal summer experience – by applying for a seven-week summer fellowship or choosing among one to two week seminars to create their own individualized course of study.

Watch this video to learn more

Political Studies Program

7 weeks / $2,000 stipend + housing

This highly competitive fellowship is designed to reflect the broad curriculum of the Hertog Foundation. Hertog Summer Fellows take courses in a wide variety of subjects, from political philosophy to contemporary public affairs, from economics to foreign policy. Twenty-four exceptional undergraduates and recent grads (2018 and 2019) will be invited to participate.

Summer Courses

1-2 weeks / $500-$1,000 stipend + housing

Students seeking a more specialized experience can apply to the courses within the Political Studies Program that best fit their interests and knowledge level. This option is also ideal for students who have other jobs, internships, or commitments during the summer. Up to 150 undergraduates and recent grads (2018 and 2019) will be selected to participate.

Week 1

Weeks 2 & 3 (Select a track)

Foundations of Political Philosophy

Explore the differences between ancient and modern political philosophy, with a focus on texts by Aristotle and Machiavelli.

Religion & Politics

Examine the influence of religion as a political force.

Traditions of Freedom

Study the intellectual roots of conservative thought, focusing on the works of Adam Smith and Edmund Burke.

Weeks 4 & 5 (Select a Track)

American Political Thought

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

Foundations of Grand Strategy

Assess grand strategic theory and practice in Thucydides and Plutarch.

Nationalism & Liberal Democracy

Understand the rise of nationalism and the crisis of liberal democracy.

Weeks 6 & 7 (Select a Track)

American Democratic Capitalism

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

Varieties of American Conservatism

Explore the intellectual roots of modern conservatism.

The Constitution, The Courts, and Conservatism

Explore the debates within conservative legal thought on the courts and the Constitution.

Chinese Grand Strategy

Explore the implications of China’s global rise for U.S. primacy and the liberal international order.

Partisanship in American Politics

Explore how societal trends and political parties have reshaped the character of America's partisan attachments.

Russia: What’s Next?

Examine U.S.-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War, with a view toward exploring where to go from here.

Political Thought & Philosophy

Foundations of Political Philosophy

Explore the differences between ancient and modern political philosophy, with a focus on texts by Aristotle and Machiavelli.

Religion & Politics

Examine the influence of religion as a political force.

Traditions of Freedom

Study the intellectual roots of conservative thought, focusing on the works of Adam Smith and Edmund Burke.

American Political Thought

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

Nationalism & Liberal Democracy

Understand the rise of nationalism and the crisis of liberal democracy.

War & Foreign Affairs

Nuclear Strategy and World Order

Explore the ways nuclear weapons have transformed the world we inhabit today.

Foundations of Grand Strategy

Assess grand strategic theory and practice in Thucydides and Plutarch.

Chinese Grand Strategy

Explore the implications of China’s global rise for U.S. primacy and the liberal international order.

Russia: What’s Next?

Examine U.S.-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War, with a view toward exploring where to go from here.

Economics & Domestic Policy

Can Free Speech Survive the Internet?

Consider the impact of the Internet on our political discourse and associational life.

Charles Krauthammer: A Life in the Arena

Study the writing and life of one of America's most prominent conservative thinkers.

American Democratic Capitalism

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

Varieties of American Conservatism

Explore the intellectual roots of modern conservatism.

The Constitution, The Courts, and Conservatism

Explore the debates within conservative legal thought on the courts and the Constitution.

Partisanship in American Politics

Explore how societal trends and political parties have reshaped the character of America's partisan attachments.

WHO SHOULD APPLY?

Any college or university undergraduate, or very recent graduate (2018 or 2019) 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
  • Strong letter(s) of recommendation from a professor or another individual who is in a position to comment on the applicant’s academic or professional qualifications
  • A statement of purpose which tells us why the applicant is interested in pursuing study with the Hertog Foundation and how it fits into their aspirations and plans for the future. The personal statement 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. A CV or résumé

  2. Personal Statement

    Describe your background, your intellectual interests, and your future ambitions as they relate to the program (1,000 words or less)

  3. A college transcript

    (unofficial)

  4. Academic Recommendation

    Minimum of one academic letter of recommendation that specifically speaks to your background and interests as they relate to the program

  5. An academic writing sample

    (20 pages maximum)

Other Courses You Might Be Interested In

Charles Krauthammer: A Life in the Arena

Study the writing and life of one of America's most prominent conservative thinkers.

Can Free Speech Survive the Internet?

Consider the impact of the Internet on our political discourse and associational life.

Foundations of Political Philosophy

Explore the differences between ancient and modern political philosophy, with a focus on texts by Aristotle and Machiavelli.

American Democratic Capitalism

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

American Political Thought

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

Varieties of American Conservatism

Explore the intellectual roots of modern conservatism.