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Aitchison Public Service Fellowship in Government

Immerse yourself in the life and politics of the nation's capital through The Johns Hopkins University Aitchison Public Service Undergraduate Fellowship. This residential program gives Hopkins juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn 15 credits while making connections and gaining real-world experience as they spend a full semester in Washington, D.C

Johns Hopkins alumna, Beatrice Aitchison, Ph.D., established the Aitchison Public Service Fellowship in 1994 to promote undergraduate involvement in the government and inner workings of our nation's capital.

  • Take 5 Johns Hopkins courses
  • Attend lectures and symposiums by elected officials, political consultants, ambassadors, journalists, and visiting professors;
  • Intern with the policy makers and elected officials, lobbyists, or civil servants who turn the wheels of government;
  • Explore the social and cultural resources of Washington: music and theater at the Kennedy Center, exhibits at the Smithsonian and DC's many other museums, the cuisine and dance clubs of Adams Morgan, walking and shopping along the Georgetown waterfront.

The Curriculum

  • Thinking Organizationally About Politics
  • Thinking Economically
  • Thinking Strategically
  • Making Social Change
  • Numbers, Pictures, Politics
  • Public Policy Writing

Our Core Faculty

Steven Teles is Associate Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University and Fellow at the New America Foundation. He is the author, most recently, of the Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law (Princeton University Press, 2008), and before that Whose Welfare: AFDC and Elite Politics (University Press of Kansas, 1996). He is the co-editor of two books: Conservatism and American Political Development (Oxford University Press, 2009, with Brian Glenn) and Ethnicity, Social Mobility and Public Policy: Comparing the US and UK (Cambridge University Press, 2005, with Glenn Loury and Tariq Modood). Professor Teles is also the editor of Oxford University Press' book series on Contemporary American Political Development. He is currently working on two co-authored books. The first, with Mark Kleiman of UCLA, tentatively called The Statesman's Discipline: The Art of Asking the Right Questions. His second project, with Peter Frumkin, is a developmental study of foundations over the past half-century. Professor Teles has also published articles in the New Statesman, American Prospect, Public Interest, National Affairs, The American Interest, Prospect (UK) and Boston Reviews, appeared on and blogs occasionally at He received his Ph.D in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 1995, and his BA in Political Science from George Washington University in 1989.

Kathy Wagner is the Program Coordinator for the Aitchision Public Service Undergraduate Fellowhip Program and Director of the Hopkins Center for Advanced Governmental Studies in Washington, D.C., which icludes the M.A. in Government and the M.A. in Global Security Programs. She has taught courses in public policymaking, environmental policy and research methods at Hopkins for over ten years. Prior to joining Hopkins, she taught at Swarthmore College and was previously a Congressional Fellow in the Office of Technology Assessment and later a policy analyst and project director there. She is the lead editor and contributor of Environmental Management in Healthcare Facilities and the author of several articles on environmental policy making. She received her PhD in Goverment from Cornell University in 1987 and her BA with High Honors in Psychology from Oberlin College 1981.

Our Fellows and Alumni
Recent Aitchison fellows and their internship placements.

"For me, being an Aitchison Fellow meant taking my previous understandings of government and turning them upside down. I know I gained invaluable writing and analytical skills while making personal connections with top thinkers in the Washington world. Overall, my experiences as an Aitchison Fellow are best summed up in a single word: inspiring." -- Elizabeth DeMeo, 2010 Aitchison Fellow, Congressional Office Intern

"The Aitchison Program enabled me to apply the theory of government and its workings to actual practice through my internship in the Senate. I gained a definite direction for where I would like to take my studies and career. My experience as an Aitchison Fellow prepared me for acceptance into the Hopkins' MA in Government Program and a career-entry position in the Pentagon." -- Liusuke Nagayoshi, 2010 Aitchison Fellow, Congressional Office Intern

Program Costs

Students are charged their normal tution and the costs for housing are at the rates charged by UCDC ( i.e., $4,726 total fees for fall 2011), but are billed through Hopkins. (A limited number of single rooms are available for an additional fee.) Since the Aitchison Fellowship is a JHU program all financial aid is applicable to the program costs.


All JHU students are eligible to apply for the Aitchison Fellowship. Preference will be given to students who are rising juniors or seniors.


To apply to the program, students must submit the following items:

  • Application Form

  • Letter of Recommendation: This letter should be from someone in a position to evaluate your academic and/or leadership performance during college, for example from a JHU Faculty Member, Employer, Advisor, or Coach

  • 1-2 page essay explaining the candidate's interest in public service

  • JHU Transcript

  • Resumé or CV

Please submit all materials in one envelope. We regret that, due to the large number of applications we receive, we cannot respond to requests for notification of receipt of student materials. If you wish to receive notification that your materials have been received, please include in your application packet a self-addressed stamped postcard.
Please send all materials to

Kathy Wagner
Center for Advanced Governmental Studies
School of Arts and Sciences
Johns Hopkins University
1717 Massachusetts Ave, N.W Suite 104J
Washington, DC 20036-2001

We are not responsible for materials delayed because of incorrect addressing.



THE DEADLINE FOR THE AITCHISON FELLOWSHIP FOR FALL 2014 IS MARCH 26TH (there is no longer an early decision deadline in January). All applications must be received by the deadline. Applications received after March 26th will be considered only if spaces in the Aitchison Program remain available.

Information Session - Re-scheduled for Thursday, February 20, 2014

Professor Teles will hold an information session on Thursday, February 20, 2014, Time: 7:00 - 8:00 pm, Where: Maryland 104

For more information, contact

Kathy Wagner
Program Coordinator
Aitchison Public Service Fellowship
Johns Hopkins University
(202) 452-1953

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