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 dozens of bi-partisan CPF Political Conversations and conferences throughout the year.

Fellows Programs

Meet Our Current Fellows - CPF Fellows are specialists in practical politics, excelling in on-the-ground political strategies and robust, real-world policy solutions. They serve as an invaluable resource to USC students and the CPF community.

Fellows Courses (POSC 410) - The cornerstone of the Fellows Program is POSC 410, an in-depth seminar on the ins and outs of practical politics taught by a CPF Fellow. Far from political theory and academic journals, each 2-unit credit/no-credit course runs once a week for 10 weeks and is jam-packed with VIP guest lecturers, unprecedented career and internship opportunities, and access to Center Fellows in and out of the classroom. Max 15 students per class. All USC students are eligible to apply.

POSC 410 counts toward USC and Dornsife unit requirements but is not offered for POSC major or minor credit. For specific questions about how this course applies to your degree, speak to your advisor.

Pizza and Politics Series - Enjoy FREE pizza and small group conversations with former Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Executive Director Ralph G. Neas. The Center for the Political Future (CPF) Fellows will go deep on current events, their careers, and whatever is on your mind. Moderated by CPF Senior Associate Ben Pearce.

Pizza and Politics will be held indoors every other Monday from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. PT. The list of Pizza and Politics dates for Spring 2022 will be announced on January 2022.

Events are for USC students, faculty, and staff only. Attendees will be required to observe USC COVID protocols. Trojan Check will be reviewed for each participant prior to entry.

Questions about Fellows, Pizza & Politics, or POSC 410? Contact CPF's Senior Associate, Ben Pearce.

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?

No. Participation in the CPF Fellows program is by invitation only. Fellows are invited to apply based on their ability to provide USC students with the best practical politics experience possible.

What does the Fellows application process entail?

Applicants must submit a resume, cover letter, and three letters of recommendation​. They will be submitted in two ways: to Harry Burke, the Fellows Manager, ​and through the formal application that is submitted to the USC Political Science and International Relations Department (POIR). Each application is reviewed by the POIR faculty and voted on by its members. Once approved, Fellows are considered USC faculty for the semester.

How long is the Fellowship?

CPF Fellowships are one semester long. The Fall term at USC runs from August to December, and the Spring term runs from January to May.

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

No. Fellows may commute to USC so long as they meet the 3-5 hour per week program minimum. Prior fellows have flown in from San Francisco and DC, trained in from Santa Barbara, and drove in from throughout Southern California. During COVID, fellowships have been virtual. We hope to return to in-person fellowships as soon as we are able. Fellows can also move to Los Angeles for the duration of the fellowship, and CPF can help provide housing.

What are the time requirements of the fellowship?

Each Fellow teaches one course, which is typically 2.5 hours per week. In addition to class, Fellows are asked to be available for 1-2 hours a week for office hours and participation in CPF programs.

Is housing provided?

Housing can be provided as part of the compensation package.

Is there a stipend?

Yes. Fellows receive paychecks every two weeks ​until they reach their agreed upon total stipend payment. Compensation to be discussed at time of offer.

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 and serve as the Fellows' point of contact for any CPF related events.

Can Fellows bring outside guests to Fellows events and classes?

Yes. Guest speakers are ​highly encouraged. Each Fellow has a small budget to accommodate travel expenses for guest lecturers.

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