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James Madison Teaching Fellowship

The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation offers $24,000 to individuals planning to teach American history, American government, or any other social studies class where you will teach topics on the Constitution at the secondary school level (grades 7–12). Fellowship applicants compete only against other applicants from the states of their legal residence. As funding permits, the Foundation plans to offer one fellowship per state per year.

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 any other social studies class where you will teach topics on the Constitution in grades 7–12. Junior Fellows are expected to complete graduate study within 2 academic years of full-time study.

Senior Fellowships are awarded to outstanding current teachers who are required to complete graduate study within 5 calendar years of part-time study.

Selection Criteria

Applicants are evaluated on their demonstrated commitment to a career teaching American history, American government, or any other social studies class where you will teach topics on the Constitution 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.

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):

  • Master of Arts (MA) in American history, political science, or 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). MAT degrees without required constitutional coursework cannot be approved.
  • 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.

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.

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