Curricular Education Programs

Graduate Fellowship Program in Politics and Government

An interdisciplinary certificate program open to graduate students in all Rutgers schools and disciplines who would like to further an interest in American politics and government.

About the Graduate Fellowship Program

The Eagleton Fellowship offers select Rutgers graduate students the opportunity to further their understanding of government, public affairs, and the practice of politics, and to connect the fellowship experience to their chosen fields of study. All Rutgers graduate students are eligible to apply for this one-year, interdisciplinary certificate program which includes a financial award. Meet the current Eagleton Fellows.

Alex Lleras
2018 class representative Alex Lleras at Fellows Closing Program

Eagleton Fellows work toward their graduate degrees without interruption; the one-year fellowship is designed to complement academic study. Throughout the year, Eagleton gives students direct access to practitioners in state and national politics and government. These contacts serve to bridge the gap between the academic training of a graduate student and the everyday challenges of a life in politics and public affairs. Eagleton fellowships expose students to the art and politics of governing and to multiple aspects of public policymaking while providing meaningful assistance to government.

All Fellows take one of two specially-designed seminars in the fall to prepare them for an internship placement in the spring. For their internship, Fellows are placed in the New Jersey Legislature, a state executive agency or department, or in other government offices at the local, county, state, regional and federal level.

 

“Throughout my graduate studies I have learned extensive details regarding Medicare and Medicaid policies. I have written many policy briefs… I thought I had a good understanding of health policy in the United States. I was wrong. After interning at the Medicaid office, I have learned more than I did throughout my graduate course work.”
– Mariam Rashid, 2016 Eagleton Fellow

 

The Eagleton Graduate Fellowship is open to graduate students from all departments and schools on any Rutgers campus who are interested in politics and government. Recent Fellows have represented more than 45 departments in the social sciences, humanities and natural sciences, and 19 different graduate and professional schools reflecting a wide variety of interests and perspectives.

Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell with Eagleton Fellows and Undergraduate Associates

“The biggest highlight of the Eagleton Fellowship has been the diversity among fellows in our professional and political backgrounds.” – Brandon Pugh, 2018 Eagleton Fellow

Stipends and Tuition Remission

Up to 27 Fellows are selected annually and are supported through four financial awards:
  • Harold and Reba Martin and Eagleton Alumni Awards: stipend of $6,000 plus full remission for tuition and fees for the academic year
  • Eagleton Alumni Award: stipend of $6,000 plus full remission for tuition and fees for the academic year
  • Henry J. Raimondo Legislative Awards: stipend of $8,625 plus up to $8,625 in tuition credit for the academic year
  • Governor’s Executive Awards: stipend of $8,625

Courses

Legislative Policymaking

Course #: 34:833:520 (3 credits)
Day/Time: Mondays 2:15-4:55 pm
Location: Eagleton
Instructor: Richard Bagger

This course is required for Eagleton Fellows who receive Henry Raimondo Legislative awards. The class is also open to students in the Graduate School‐New Brunswick, School of Public Affairs & Administration and Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Legislative Policymaking gives students interested in public policy and legislation knowledge of how policies are adopted in the American political system. Participants study comparative policymaking; ethical issues; formulation and enactment of state budgets; legislative and gubernatorial leadership; agenda setting; public representation and views of politics and policy; the electoral process; roles of interest groups and lobbyists; and careers and staffing of legislatures and governors. The course incorporates legislatures throughout the nation with guest practitioners providing insider knowledge of the NJ Legislature. The professor is a former NJ State Senator, mayor, and chief of staff to the governor.

“I cannot imagine a better place to learn directly from people who have been involved in politics in so many different capacities.” – Kyle Holder, 2017 Eagleton Fellow

Perspectives on American Politics

Course #: 16:790:595 (3 credits)
Day/Time: Fridays 12:00-3:00 pm
Location: Eagleton
Instructors: Peter McDonough & Joseph Doria

This course is required for Eagleton Fellows who receive Governor’s Executive, Harold and Reba Martin, and Eagleton Alumni awards. The class is only open to Eagleton Fellows. Perspectives on American Politics explores the practical and human side of politics and policymaking. It focuses on how political institutions, processes and practitioners operate in the policy arena. The seminar investigates the ways by which political capital is accumulated and expended; how decisions are made, compromises are struck and policies enacted. The seminar also examines the leadership traits common in successful political leaders from the executive and legislative branches. Participants investigate the practical and political considerations that must be weighed and balanced in the development of policies to address pressing public issues – past and present. The course also features a series of lectures by practitioners in politics, government and public affairs who have participated in resolving critical policy issues. The professors are a Democrat who was a state commissioner, speaker of the NJ State Assembly and urban mayor, and a Republican high-level staffer in the US House and NJ Assembly, and communications director for a governor.

How to Apply

Apply for the Class of 2021 Eagleton Fellowship program online starting in late January 2020. Application deadline is March 27, 2020. Paper applications and recommendation letters are not accepted.

Application Sections

Submitting your application for the Eagleton Fellowship Program is a three-step process:

  1. Complete online application
  2. Attach support files (resume, unofficial transcript, and essay)
  3. Three letters of recommendation are emailed to Eagleton separately to support of your application.

Applicants will receive an email confirmation when your packet is processed at Eagleton. Packets also must include three (3) letters of recommendation which are sent from recommender directly to Eagleton via email. Receipt of recommendation letters will be confirmed with applicants via email. All applications and letters must be received by 5:00 pm on March 27, 2020 to be considered.

Essay/Statement

In 300-500 words, your essay/statement should answer the following questions:

  • Why you want to participate in the fellowship program?
  • What makes you a strong candidate?
  • What has prepared you for this fellowship?
  • What are your professional goals?
  • How do you think this program will help you meet those goals?

Your essay must be attached to your online application as MS Word or Adobe PDF document

Letters of Recommendation
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation must be submitted in support of your application. Letters should be written by those who can speak to your academic qualifications and/or relevant experience for the Eagleton Fellowship program. You will need to list the names of your recommenders on the application.
  • At least one letter should come from a faculty member, preferably at Rutgers. If you are a transfer or new graduate student, then you can use professors from your previous college/institution.
  • Letters should be addressed to “Fellowship Selection Committee” and emailed as MS Word or Adobe pdf directly from the recommender to fellows@eagleton.rutgers.edu. Recommendation letters sent from the applicant will not be accepted. Paper recommendation letters are not accepted.
  • All recommendations must be received by 5:00pm on March 27, 2020 in order to be considered. You will be notified by email when your recommendation letters have been received and processed at Eagleton.
Selection Criteria

The selection committee reviews applications using the following criteria: demonstrated interest in government, politics and/or public affairs; academic performance; the quality of the essay and the applicant’s purpose for applying to the program; and letters of recommendation. Overall GPA is considered as part of academic performance. There is no “minimum GPA” in order to apply, but Fellows selected usually have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. All applicants must be accepted into a graduate program at Rutgers University to be eligible. Students must be enrolled full or part time from September to May. Students in one-year graduate programs are encouraged to apply. Preference is generally given to applicants who are further advanced in their graduate program. Students in multi-year graduate programs (i.e., law, PhD, etc..) are generally not accepted for their first year of study.

Application Process

Once you submit your application you will receive an email confirmation when the packet has been processed at Eagleton and your recommendation letters received. Letters of recommendation are confidential between the recommender and the Eagleton selection committee. Applicants cannot request to view the letters.

The selection committee will decide on candidates to interview who will be contacted via email. Henry Raimondo Legislative award candidates will complete a second interview in their legislative placement office before fellowship awards are made. The fellowship class is not finalized until all selected candidates confirm acceptance of awards.

Students will receive preliminary notification of fellowship status by email in early May 2020. Henry Raimondo Legislative and Governor’s Executive fellows will receive final confirmation of fellowship awards once the FY21 New Jersey state budget is approved in early July.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the structure of the fellowship?

The Eagleton Graduate Fellowship is a one-year interdisciplinary certification program. During the fall, fellows enroll in a weekly, three-credit seminar in applied politics to help prepare fellows for the spring semester when they are placed with an office in the NJ legislature, the Governor’s Office, an executive agency, or other government-related office for 15 hours a week.

In addition to coursework and internship placements, Fellows participate in a series of events, including an Opening Program, monthly seminars, placement orientation, a two-day trip to observe the Maryland Legislature, Eagleton public programs or sponsored events, and a Closing Program graduation. Fellows also reflect on their spring placements through monthly journal submissions. Detailed requirements are listed here.

When am I eligible to apply to the program?

The program is only open to graduate students at Rutgers University. You can apply at any point during your graduate studies as long as you are enrolled full-time or part-time for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. Transfer students are eligible to apply. Eagleton fellows work toward their graduate degrees without interruption; the one-year fellowships are designed to complement academic study.

Preference is generally given to applicants who are further advanced in their graduate program. Students in the first year of multi-year graduate study programs (i.e., law, PhD, etc..) are generally not accepted, depending on the length of their graduate program. However, students in one-year graduate programs are encouraged to apply.

What majors are eligible for Eagleton Fellowships?

The Eagleton Graduate Fellowship is interdisciplinary – students from all majors and all Rutgers University campus locations are eligible. Previous Fellows have represented a wide variety of graduate majors including: agricultural and food resource economics, anthropology, art history, atmospheric science, biomedical engineering/sciences, business/administration, chemistry, civil and environmental engineering, communications, childhood studies, city and regional planning, criminal justice, cultural heritage preservation, ecology and evolution, economics, education, educational psychology, environmental science, exposure assessment, food science, geography, global affairs, history, journalism and media studies, landscape architecture, law, liberal studies, library and information sciences, management, media, microbiology and molecular genetics, music, neuroscience, nursing, plant biology and pathology, political science, psychology, public administration, public affairs, public health, public policy, social work, sociology, toxicology, urban systems, urban planning, visual arts and women’s and gender studies.

What are the requirements for Eagleton fellowships?

Fellows must maintain a B/3.0 average during the fellowship year and remain in good academic standing in their disciplinary program.

Additional requirements include:

Fall Semester:

  • Three-credit course at Eagleton (fellowship award dictates which class is taken)
    • Legislative Policymaking (Monday afternoon)
    • Perspectives on American Politics (Friday afternoon)
  • Opening program (Friday afternoon beginning of September at Eagleton)
  • Monthly group seminars (one Friday morning per month at Eagleton)
  • Placement orientation (December-first/second Friday all day at State House, Trenton)
  • At least one Eagleton public program or sponsored event (times/locations vary)

Spring Semester:

  • Internship placement in government office
    • Minimum of 15 hours/week (total of 210 hours)
    • Shadow a legislator/commissioner/high-level official for a day
    • Credit: Fellows can receive 3-credits for time spent in placement through an assigned or independent study course from their school/department/program
  • Monthly placement journal (submitted electronically the end of each month)
  • Monthly group seminars (one Friday morning/month at NJ State House)
  • Maryland Legislature trip (late February/early March: Thursday & Friday)
  • At least one Eagleton public program or sponsored event (times/locations vary)
  • Closing Program graduation (May-second/third Thursday evening at Eagleton)

Upon successful completion of these requirements, fellows are awarded a certificate from the Institute and receive notation on their Rutgers transcript.

What are the fellowship awards/classes/internship opportunities?

The Eagleton Graduate Fellowship Program in Politics and Government is made possible by four funding sources. Fellowship awards include Henry J. Raimondo Legislative Award, Governor’s Executive Award, Harold and Reba Martin Award, and Eagleton Alumni Award. All Eagleton Fellows have the same basic requirements (fall class and spring internship). All awards provide a stipend with varying levels of tuition support and also require students to enroll in a specific course. Internship placement options also differ according to the fellowship award received. There are diverse internship opportunities available at all levels of government.

Henry J. Raimondo Legislative Awards:

This award was initiated by the New Jersey Legislature and Rutgers University to honor the memory of Henry J. Raimondo (1947-1999), who served as associate director and professor at Eagleton. Eight Raimondo fellowships are awarded annually. Raimondo fellowship awards provide a stipend of $8,625 plus $8,625 partial tuition credit for the academic year. (Awards are contingent on funding in the FY21 New Jersey State Budget.)

Fellows with Raimondo awards take the Legislative Policy Making class in the fall. The class meets on Mondays 2?15-4:55 pm at Eagleton.

These fellows are placed in the NJ State Legislature during the spring semester. Four fellows are placed with the New Jersey Senate and Assembly Democratic and Republican offices and four are placed with the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services.

Governor’s Executive Awards:

This award is supported by the New Jersey Office of the Governor. Twelve Governor’s Executive fellowships are awarded annually. Governor’s Executive fellowship awards provide a stipend of $8,625. (Awards are contingent on funding in the FY21 New Jersey State Budget.)

Fellows with Governor’s Executive awards take the Perspectives on American Politics class in the fall. The class meets on Fridays 12:00-3:00 pm at Eagleton.

During the spring semester these fellows are placed in state government departments or agencies, including the Governor’s office and administration.

Harold and Reba Martin Awards:

The Harold and Reba Martin Fellowship Award was established in 1981, when Harold Martin, former Bergen County Assemblyman, and his wife, Reba, made their first generous donation to the Institute. Six Harold and Reba Martin fellowships are awarded annually. These fellowship awards provide stipends of $6,000, plus full remission for tuition and fees for the academic year.

Fellows enroll in the Perspectives on American Politics class in the fall. The class meets on Fridays 12:00-3:00 pm at Eagleton.

Spring placements are determined by the Fellows’ interests in politics, public affairs and/or government and can be in an office or agency at the municipal, county, state, regional or federal government levels.

Eagleton Alumni Award:

The Alumni Fellowship Award is made possible by generous contributions from Institute alumni and friends. One Eagleton Alumni fellowship is awarded each year. The Alumni fellowship award provide stipends of $6,000, plus full remission for tuition and fees for the academic year.

Fellows take the Perspectives on American Politics class in the fall. The class meets on Fridays 12:00-3:00 pm at Eagleton.

Spring placements are determined by the Fellows’ interests in politics, public affairs and/or government and can be in an office or agency at the municipal, county, state, regional or federal government levels.

Alumni

There are more than 1,100 alumni of the fellowship program since the first class graduated in 1958. Some choose careers in public service and politics while others apply their sophisticated knowledge of government and politics in the private and non-profit sectors or in business, education, law, politics, advocacy or a variety of other fields. 

The Institute has a strong alumni network, with many graduates involved as internship placement supervisors, guest speakers, and members of the Eagleton Alumni Committee. 

Current Fellows

Name Field/Degree School/Campus
Sarah Ballentine Law/JD School of Law/Camden
Sarah Blaine History/MA School of Graduate Studies/Newark
Zane Byrd Law/JD School of Law/Newark
Matthew Camarda Public Policy/MPP Edward J. Bloustein School/New Brunswick
Maira Castellane Public Administration/MPA School of Public Affairs & Administration/Newark
Adam Conrad Law/JD School of Law/Newark
Kayla Crawley Sociology/PhD School of Graduate Studies/New Brunswick
Derek J. Demeri Law/JD School of Law/Camden
Mariel DiDato Women’s and Gender Studies/MA School of Graduate Studies/New Brunswick
Deona Edgerton Criminal Justice/MA + Public Administration/MPA Graduate School/Camden
Sarah Elgalad Public Administration/MPA School of Public Affairs & Administration/Newark
Ellen Fallon Senechal Landscape Architecture/MLA School of Graduate Studies/New Brunswick
Zoe Getz Social Work/MSW School of Social Work/New Brunswick
Stephanie Gibson Law/JD School of Law/Newark
Rebecca Glinn Public Policy/MPP Edward J. Bloustein School/New Brunswick
Ryan Jeter Public Policy/MPP Edward J. Bloustein School/New Brunswick
Vineeta Kapahi City & Regional Planning/MCRP + Public Policy/MPP Edward J. Bloustein School/New Brunswick
Jacqueline Kline Public Administration/MPA + Law/JD School of Public Affairs & Administration + School of Law/Newark
Thomas Lahey Law/JD School of  Law/Newark
Logan LeCates Business/MBA + Law/JD Rutgers Business School + School of Law/Newark
Monica Moir Public Policy/MPP Edward J. Bloustein School/New Brunswick
Arthur Murphy Law/JD School of Law/Camden
Ben Ojerkis Law/JD School of Law/Camden
Mathilde Roux Public Policy/MPP Edward J. Bloustein School/New Brunswick
Colin Sheehan Law/JD School of Law/Camden
Michael Swan City and Regional Planning/MCRP Edward J. Bloustein School/New Brunswick
Alexandra Vidal History/MA School of Graduate Studies/Newark