James Madison Fellowship Program

Description: The James Madison Fellowships were created to honor Madison's legacy and Madisonian principles by providing support for graduate study that focuses on the Constitution—its history and contemporary relevance to the practices and policies of democratic government. The Foundation offers two types of fellowships.
The first is the Junior Fellowship, which is awarded to students who are about to complete, or have completed their undergraduate course of study and plan to begin graduate work on a full-time basis. Junior Fellows have two years to complete their degree.
The second fellowship is the Senior Fellowship, which is awarded to teachers who wish to undertake work for a graduate degree on a part-time basis through summer and evening classes. Senior Fellows have up to five years to complete their degree.
Dollar value: The maximum amount of each award is $24,000, prorated over the individual period of study, thus making the James Madison Fellowship the leading award for secondary level teacher undertaking the study of the Constitution. Fellowship payments cover the actual cost of tuition, required fees, books, and room and board, but cannot exceed $12,000 per academic year. Normally, Fellows receive less than these maximum amounts.
Number of Fellowships: Each year, the Foundation selects at least one James Madison Fellow, either a junior or a senior, from each state, the District of Columbia, The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and, considered as a single entity, Guam, the US 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.
  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or national.
  • Applicant must be a teacher, or planning to become a teacher, of American history, American government, or social studies at the secondary school level.
  • If the applicant already has a graduate degree, they must wait at least three years from the time that degree was awarded before applying for a fellowship.
  • Applicant must either currently possess a bachelor's degree, or plan to receive a bachelor's degree no later than August 31 of the year in which they are applying.
Application Procedure: All applications and supporting documents must be submitted by March 1 through the Madison online application process.
Deadline: March 1, 2013 (5 p.m. CST)
James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation
2000 K Street, NW, Suite 303, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone: 202-653-8700
FAX: 202-653-6045
For general information, call 1-800-525-6928
or e-mail madison@ act.org
Faculty Representative:
Name: Dr. Thomas S. Dicke, History, STRO 410
Phone: 417-836-5376
Email: TomDicke@MissouriState.edu
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to apply for a James Madison Memorial 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.
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.
What is a "qualifying master's degree program"?
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 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
What are the selection criteria?
Applicants 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.
What are a Fellow's obligations to the Foundation during his/her graduate education?
Each fellow must make satisfactory progress toward the degree and remain in good academic standing and must complete the graduate degree study within the amount of time indicated above. Junior Fellows may not be engaged in gainful employment that interferes with the Fellow's studies. In addition, each Fellow is required to attend the Foundation's Summer Institute during the term of fellowship. Fellows are expected to attend the Summer Institute the summer after the year of their award and the commencement of their first year of graduate study. The four-week Summer Institute is held in July at Georgetown University.
What is a Fellow's obligation after graduate study is completed?
After receiving the master's degree, each Fellow must teach American history, American government, or social studies in grades 7-12 for one full year for each academic year of aid received under a fellowship, preferably in the state from which the recipient won the fellowship. Teaching during the term of the fellowship study does not count toward satisfaction of this obligation, nor does transfer into an administrative position or to college or university teaching.