National deadline:  March 9, 2015 (before 5:00 p.m. Central time for online applications).  Transcripts that are mailed need to be received by March 12, 2015.

Eligibility requirements:
·       Be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.
·       Be a teacher, or plan to become a teacher, of American history, American government, or social studies 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.
·       Wait at least three years from the time that any previous graduate degree was awarded before applying for a James Madison Fellowship.

Award summary and conditions:  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 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 benefits of the fellowship program are manifold and lasting. Fellowship recipients have a unique opportunity to strengthen their research, writing, and analytical skills. In the process they form professional ties that can significantly influence their career aspirations. Fellows gain a deeper understanding of the principles of constitutional government which they in turn transmit to their students. In this way the James Madison Fellowships ensure that the spirit and practical wisdom of the Constitution will guide the actions of future generations of American citizens.

Professional Teaching Obligation:  After earning a master's degree, each James Madison Fellow must teach American history, American government, or social studies in grades 7-12 for no less than one year for each full academic year of study under the fellowship.

Financial Aspects of the Award:  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 teachers undertaking study of the Constitution. Fellowship payments cover the actual costs 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.

The Foundation offers two types of fellowships:
·       Junior Fellowships are 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.
·       Senior Fellowships are 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.
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.

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 will be earned in Washington, D.C., by the Fellow at the Foundation's Summer Institute on the Constitution.

Application process: electronic

Application materials:
·       Application available at:
·       Transcripts can be uploaded in the application as a PDF file.  Or if you choose to mail them, they must be received by March 4, 2015 at the following address:

  • James Madison Fellowship Program
    327 2nd Street, Suite 103
    Coralville, IA 52241
    Phone: 800-525-6928

·       Recommendations must be submitted online.  The recommender deadline is 5:00 p.m., Central time, March 4, 2015

Faculty representative:  Keith Raether

Selection process: 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. 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.

An independent Fellow Selection Committee appointed by ACT, Inc., evaluates all valid applications and recommends to the Foundation the most outstanding applicants from each state for James Madison Fellowships.

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.

Announcement date: The Fellow Selection Committee meets to recommend the appointment of Fellows to the Foundation in late March of each year, and James Madison Fellows are named by the Foundation and notified of their selection in April.

Contact information: