Presidential Fellows Program (CSPC)

About the Program

The Center's Presidential Fellows program gives undergraduate students the opportunity to study the US political system, conduct rigorous academic research, explore public service leadership, and travel to Washington, DC to learn about the policy-making process from experts and practitioners. This non-resident program takes place over the course of an academic year.

In the fall and winter, Presidential Fellows work with identified mentors (often mid-career alumni of the program) to develop a substantial (10-15 page) research project based on a topic of their choice. This topic should be linked in some core element to public policy developments and the roles played by the Executive and Legislative branches of the US government. Individual research is supplemented by monthly virtual sessions, beginning in September each year, that allow Fellows to network with peers from the US and around the world and meet with high-level government officials.

All Fellows travel to Washington, DC in the spring for a policy conference focused on exploring key issues with expert speakers. Fellows' research papers are also eligible for publication and a $1000 prize. The 2024 dates for the conference are March 16-20.


Presidential Fellows Program applicants must:

  • Be current Dartmouth undergraduates for the entirety of the program.
  • Have a 3.5 GPA or higher.
  • Have a demonstrated interest in an aspect of the American government and be comfortable speaking, presenting, and writing in academic settings.
  • Be responsible, open to constructive criticism, and willing to engage with their mentors.

Students from all academic majors are eligible, and the program is open to US and non-US citizens.

Preference at Dartmouth College is given to applicants who are committed to the study of Native American tribal policy and/or public policy that intersects with the priorities of indigenous communities.

Application Process

The Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (CSPC) Presidential Fellows Program has space for one Dartmouth student to participate each year. The cost for the fellow is covered primarily by the RMP Foundation. Travel to DC, from a US location, is covered by Fellowship Advising.

To apply for the opportunity, all interested students should submit a personal statement of no more than 1000 words, with an explanation of their proposed research topic, a transcript, a CV/resume, and the name of a Dartmouth faculty member to by August 10.