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  • Writer's pictureOmran Aburayya

James Madison Graduate Fellowships (Fully Funded Master's degree | up to $24,000 in funding)

The James Madison Fellowship is a prestigious award for secondary teachers who aspire to become outstanding educators of the American Constitution. Offered by the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation, this program provides $24,000 graduate fellowships to individuals interested in teaching constitutional history and government at the secondary school level. Fellows gain lifelong connections, participate in the Summer Institute, and contribute to bringing the U.S. Constitution to life in schools nationwide. Aspiring educators can apply for this unique opportunity, competing against other applicants from their respective states. If you’re passionate about constitutional principles, this fellowship could be an enriching experience!

Here are key details about this opportunity.


Choice of Graduate School and Degree

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 Fellow will be expected to pursue and complete a master’s degree in one of the following (listed in order of the Foundation’s preference):

  1. Master of Arts (MA) in American history, political science, or government

  2. 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). MAT degrees without required constitutional coursework cannot be approved.

  3. 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

Constitutional Coursework

The Fellow’s proposed plan of graduate study should contain substantial constitutional coursework. Fellows are encouraged to choose institutions that offer courses that closely examine the origins and development of the U.S. Constitution, the evolution of political theory and constitutional law, the effects of the Constitution on society and culture in the United States, or other such topics directly related to the Constitution.

Whatever institution and whichever degree a Fellow selects, at least 12 semester credits (or 18 quarter credits) of constitutional study must be part of the Fellow’s program. Six of these semester credits are earned by the Fellow at the Foundation’s Summer Institute on the Constitution in Washington, D.C.


Eligibility Requirements

Fellowship applicants compete only against other applicants from the state of their legal residence. To be eligible to apply for a fellowship, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen

  • Be a teacher, or plan to become a teacher, of American history, American government, or civics classes where you will teach topics on the Constitution at the secondary school level (grades 7–12)

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree or plan to receive a bachelor’s degree no later than August 31 of the year in which you are applying


Professional Teaching Obligation

After receiving the master’s degree, each Fellow must teach American history, American government, or civics where you will teach topics on the Constitution in grades 7–12 for one full year for each academic year of funding received under a fellowship, preferably in the state from which you were awarded the fellowship.


Financial Aspects of the Award

The maximum amount of each award is $24,000, prorated over the period of study, and 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, and books (as well as room and board if required to live away from your principal residence), and are made only for the minimum number of credits required for the award of the degree.

Failure to complete your graduate degree, to attend the Summer Institute on the Constitution, or to teach qualifying subjects in grades 7–12 for the requisite amount of time entailed by the award will result in forfeiture of the fellowship and require the return of all funds paid under the fellowship, plus applicable interest under federal law.


Foundation’s Summer Institute on the Constitution

A major component of the James Madison Fellowship Program is successful completion of the four-week Summer Institute on the Constitution, “The Foundations of American Constitutionalism,” held in Washington, D.C. Fellows attend the Institute 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.

For further info about The James Madison Graduate Fellowship Program, Visit this webpage.


Application Procedure

Applications for the James Madison Graduate Fellowship are made online through this online application portal.

Application Deadline: March 09, 2025, 10:59 AM



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