Center for the Political Future

Fellows Program

Each semester, we host three ideologically diverse Fellows on campus, who expose students to a wide array of perspectives, broadening and challenging their understanding of government while strengthening civil dialogue on campus and within our community.


Our Fellows spend the semester leading 2-unit seminar courses as well as hosting office hours, roundtable discussions, and bi-partisan political panels designed to benefit students and the broader community.

Fellows Programs

Meet Our Fellows- These Fellows are specialists in practical politics, excelling in on-the-ground political stratagem and robust, real-world policy solutions. They serve as an invaluable resource to students and the broader community, in the classroom and through event participation.

Classes (POSC 410)- The cornerstone of the Fellows Program is the semester-long class designed and taught individually by each Fellow and associated guest lecturers to a max capacity of 15 USC students on a specific topic of the Fellow's choosing. Students in enrolled in POSC 410 also have access to one-on-one career counseling sessions with Fellows, providing unprecedented career opportunities.

Fellows Roundtable Series- CPF Fellows partake in a virtual discussion series where students ask the Fellows anything they want – from career advice to the 2020 presidential election to where to live in DC. These unique conversations guide participants toward tough issues, creative solutions, and navigating differences. Attendees are expected to come to the table researched and prepared. In partnership with Unruh Associates.

Fellows also participate in dozens of CPF Political Conversations and conferences throughout the year.

Get Involved

View all our events on our Upcoming Events Calendar.

CPF Fellows FAQ

Is anyone able to apply to become a Fellow at CPF?

There is no universal application available to the public to become a Fellow. CPF invites individuals to apply. These individuals are selected in order to connect students with the best practical politics experience possible.

What does the Fellows application process entail?

When invited by CPF, Fellows will formally apply to the USC Political Science and International Relations Department (POIR). Before applying, applicants must gather materials as part of the application: their resume, a cover letter, and three letters of recommendation. After those materials are collected, applicants can formally apply to the program (CPF Fellows Manager will email link to formal application to potential Fellows). Each application is reviewed by the POIR faculty and voted on by its members.

How long is the fellowship?

CPF Fellows are selected for a semester and should apply 6-8 months before their desired term. The fall term at USC runs from August to December and the spring term runs for January to May.

Do I need to live in Los Angeles to be a Fellow?

No, Fellows may commute to Los Angeles so long as they meet the 3-5 hour program minimum.

What are the time requirements of the fellowship?

Each Fellow teaches one course to undergraduate students, which is typically 2.5 hours once per week. In addition to class, Fellows are asked to be available for 1-2 hours a week for office hours and participate in panel discussions organized by CPF throughout the semester if asked to.

Is housing provided?

Housing is provided based on further discussion with CPF. Please contact Harry Burke for further consultation.

Is there a stipend?

Yes. Please contact Harry Burke for more information.

Are the Fellows provided an office?

Yes. Each Fellow is provided a private office and access to CPF Fellows Manager Harry Burke who will provide administrative support, serve as the Fellows' point of contact for any CPF related events, and sit-in on weekly classes.

Can Fellows bring outside guests to Fellows events and classes?

Yes. There is no limit on the number of guests a Fellow can bring over the semester, although CPF has a limited travel budget for such purposes.

Fellows Program: Hear From the Students

Pictured above, from left to right.

"As someone deeply interested in both journalism and politics, the Fellows Program has been a valuable and unique opportunity for me as a USC student. I was able to engage with, and learn from, renowned guest speakers who joined our class each week to discuss the Democratic debates and the future of both parties. I can't express enough how incredible it was to have access to these leaders in the media and politics and to have candid, open conversations. Adam Nagourney was a great Fellow who actively encouraged our participation in the class and created an environment where students and guest speakers felt safe to discuss, debate, and question current events in real time."
-Chandra Ingram, Journalism and International Relations and Global Economy

"Having the opportunity to be a part of the Center for Political Future’s Fellows Program was the highlight of my first semester at USC. My experience centered around taking a ten week course on the role of interest group politics in our federal government taught by Ron Christie, the former advisor to President George W. Bush. Throughout the ten weeks, our class got a behind-the-scenes look at the orthodox and unorthodox mechanisms of lawmaking in the lobbying process, legislative branch and executive office. With over thirty years of experience, Professor Christie’s was able to bring the subject matter and readings to life. I am extremely thankful for the Center for Political Future for providing me with this experience and I hope to continue to use it as a resource as I progress in my academic career."
-Adam Jackman, Political Science

"While the American people continue to grow closer to online identities and virtual networks, it is strange that many have come to distrust journalists who, for decades, have packaged hard-hitting truths into “byte” sizes for the public. Through quite serious but feel-good storytelling, Ann Klenk revealed that what lies behind TV screens is the same as what lies behind your front door. With her rolodex of industry pioneers, she taught meaningful journalism through the eyes of people who are skeptics. Going into this class, there was so little I understood about the political world. And while I still do not know everything, this class taught to never be satisfied until I do."
-Julianna Montano, Philosophy, Politics and Law