James Madison Graduate Fellowships

The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation offers $24,000 James Madison Graduate Fellowships to individuals desiring to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution at the secondary school level. Fellowship applicants compete only against other applicants from the states of their legal residence. Generally, one Fellowship per state is awarded each year. For more information: http://www.jamesmadison.gov/index.php.

Who is eligible to apply for a fellowship?

U.S. citizens who demonstrate a commitment to civic responsibilities and to professional and collegial activities and who qualify for admission with graduate standing at an accredited U.S. university that offers a qualifying master's degree program are eligible to apply. Applicants must be committed to teaching American history, American government, and/or social studies full time in grades 7-12.

Selection Criteria

File:2009 Fellows at Montpelier.jpgApplicants compete only against other applicants from the states of their legal residence. Applicants are evaluated on their demonstrated commitment to a career teaching American history, American government, or social studies at the secondary school level; demonstrated intent to pursue and complete a program of graduate study that emphasizes the Constitution and offers instruction in that subject; demonstrated devotion to civic responsibility; demonstrated capacity for study and performance as classroom teachers, and their proposed courses of graduate study. Applicants will be evaluated without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation or other non-merit factors.

What is the value of a fellowship award?

The maximum amount of each award is $24,000, prorated over the period of study. In no case shall the award exceed $12,000 for one academic year of study. Normally, Fellows receive less than these maximum amounts. Payments are made only for the actual costs of tuition, required fees, books, and room and board, and are made only for the minimum number of credits required for the award of the degree for which a Fellow is registered.

The fellowships are intended exclusively for graduate study leading to a master's degree. James Madison Fellows may attend any accredited institution of higher education in the United States. Each individual entering the James Madison Fellowship Program will be expected to pursue and complete a master's degree in one of the following (listed in order of the Foundation's preference):

•Master of Arts (MA) in American history or in political science (also referred to as "government and politics" or as "government")

•Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) concentrating on either American Constitutional history (in a history department) or American government, political institutions, and political theory (in a political science department)

•Master of Education (MEd) or the Master of Arts or Master of Science in Education with a concentration in American history or American government, political institutions, and political theory

How many fellowships are awarded?

Each year, the Foundation selects at least one James Madison Fellow, either junior or senior, from each state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and, considered as a single entity, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Funds permitting, more than one fellowship may be awarded in jurisdictions with larger populations.

Summer Institute on the Constitution

As part of the James Madison Fellowship program, each Fellow attends the four-week Summer Institute on the Constitution held in July in Washington, D.C. Fellows attend the Institute at Georgetown University after they have matriculated in a graduate program and commenced coursework. The academic focus of the Institute is a graduate course entitled "The Foundations of American Constitutionalism." Taught by constitutional scholars, this course is a study of the principles, framing, ratification, and implementation of constitutional government in the United States. A feature of the Institute is the occasional trips to sites associated with the Constitution, in and around Washington. These sites include Mount Vernon, Montepelier, Monticello, and Arlington Cemetery. Participants also have a private meeting with a sitting Supreme Court Justice. One of the informal benefits of attending the Institute is the opportunity for interaction with a wide range of individuals whose varied interests can lead to enduring friendships and professional associations. Expenses for the Summer Institute are paid for out of the $24,000 fellowship.

Why are there two types of fellowships (junior and senior) and what's the difference between the two?

There are two types of fellowships to recognize the different challenges and circumstances between those without teaching experience and those currently teaching who seek to pursue graduate study. Junior fellowships are awarded to outstanding college seniors and college graduates without teaching experience who intend to become secondary school teachers of American history, American government, or social studies in grades 7-12. Junior Fellows must complete graduate study within 2 academic years of full-time study. Senior fellowships are awarded to superior current teachers who must be able to complete graduate study within 5 calendar years of part-time study.

About the Foundation

The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 for the purpose of improving teaching about the United States Constitution in secondary schools. The Foundation is an independent agency of the Executive Branch of the federal government. Funding for the Foundation's programs comes from Congress and generous contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations. The Foundation has a Board of Trustees and its daily operations are directed by a president and a small staff. The Foundation's office is located in Alexandria, Virginia.