Fielding Fellows Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do the Fielding Fellows do?

A: Fielding Fellows study and analyze presidential leadership and emphasize the value of governmental service and civic engagement. They attend a variety of events including dinners with current and past government leaders. They have the opportunity to study and visit presidential libraries. Fellows also submit opinion pieces to The Cupola literary magazine. All programming originates from the Fellows themselves, thus those students involved have the opportunity to help steer this Fellowship in multiple exciting and relevant directions.

Q: Is this only open to Seniors?

A: Yes

Q: Do I have to be a Poli Sci Major?

A: No! All majors are welcome, though you need to have completed at least one Presidency-related class through the Political Science department prior to applying to the Fellowship.

Q: Are there any prerequisite classes?

A: Applicants need to have successfully completed one or more of the following classes focused on the American Presidency - specifically FYS 107, PS 224, or PS 324.

Q: What is the relevance of the American Presidency classes?

A: The Fielding Fellowship focuses solely on the presidency and related issue areas such as national security, domestic policy, and congressional/judicial relationships. While the scope of an American president is quite broad, the program is rooted in the study of the American presidency and an interest in the Executive branch is necessary. 

Q: How much does it cost?

A: There is no program fee. All trip logistics (hotels/transportation) are generally paid, though each Fellow may be responsible for some expenses.   

Q: What is the time commitment?

A: The time commitment can vary based on upcoming events. The level of access Fellows are given to prominent political leaders is unparalleled, thus a certain amount of respect and flexibility on behalf of the Fellows is expected. There are weekly meetings during lunch (Tuesdays, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM) which all Fellows are required to attend.  During trips (such as to D.C. for the evening or on a longer trip over a weekend), Fellows are expected to work with their schedules and adjust accordingly.

Q: Can I still participate in other Gettysburg activities and organizations?

A: Yes! Most Fielding Fellows are involved in other campus activities.

Q: What happens if I have a class or other obligation during a Fielding Fellows activity?

A: Class is always the first priority. If you have an event other than a class that would conflict, you should contact Eisenhower Institute staff in advance to let them know. We ask that the Fielding Fellowship activities be a top priority, but if there is a valid reason for missing an activity, it should be able to be excused.

Q: Can I work at the EI or hold another job while also being a Fielding Fellow?

A: Yes.

Q: Do I have to live at the EI House or on campus?

A: No.

Q: Are there any GPA requirements?

A: Applicants are required to have a cumulative 3.2 GPA.

Q: What if my GPA is less than the stated requirement - can I still apply?

A: Yes. While the stated GPA requirement for the Fielding Fellowship is a 3.2, if there is a valid reason for a lower GPA, please provide an explanation for any and all relevant circumstances.

Q: Is there travel involved? (Will I need a passport?)

A: There may be both domestic and international travel. Frequent trips are made to D.C. and there are usually 1-2 extensive trips per semester. The Fellowship programming dictates the amount of travel involved, thus the number and geographic diversity of trips will vary year-to-year.

Q: Do I need to be a U.S. citizen?

A: No.

Q: What is the difference between the Fielding Fellows and the EI Undergraduate Fellows?

A: The Fielding Fellowship revolves around the study of the American presidency and its programming includes primarily off-campus events. The Fielding Fellowship places an emphasis on creating relationships with entities outside of the College and all of their trips and events relate in some way to the Executive Branch. In contrast, the EI Undergraduate Fellowship focuses on one theme related to contemporary U.S. politics and delves into that theme throughout the academic year. Undergraduate Fellows hold on-campus lectures and panel discussions with experts in that specific field and focus on bringing such knowledge to the campus community.  

Q: How many total Fielding Fellows are there during an academic year?

A: There can be up to eight Fielding Fellows per academic year. Fellows hold their position throughout an entire academic year - both the fall and spring semester.

Q: What is the mission and purpose of the Fielding Fellowship?

A: The Fielding Fellowship promotes the study and analysis of presidential leadership and emphasizes the value of governmental service and civic engagement.

Q: Why is it called the ‘Fielding’ Fellowship?

A: The Fielding Center for Presidential Leadership Study was established in 2015 under the leadership and guidance of former White House Counsel Fred F. Fielding ’61, who continues to serve as our advisor and mentor and remains very involved in the administration of the College.

Q: Who is in charge of the Fielding Fellows program?

A: Fred F. Fielding is the chief mentor of the Fielding Center and engages a wide variety of outside experts and staff directly involved with the Eisenhower Institute including the following political and presidential practitioners and Gettysburg College faculty:  

  • Kasey Pipes, EI Norris Fellow
  • Carl Cannon, EI Scholar-in-Residence, Washington Bureau Chief, RealClearPolitics
  • Richard Norton Smith, Presidential Historian & Executive Director of seven Presidential Centers & Libraries
  • Dr. Shirley Anne Warshaw, who serves as faculty adviser

Q: Will I receive academic credit for my work?

A: No. There is an option to apply to have your involvement with the Fellowship recognized as an independent study and thus receive academic credit, however the onus is on you as the individual Fellow to explore that process and carry it out successfully.

Q: How long has the EI offered this program?

A: The Fielding Center was established in spring 2015 and is the newest addition to Eisenhower Institute programming.

Q: What are the benefits of the Fielding Fellowship?

A: Students are directly exposed to many high-ranking political officials on a national and international scale and can build their network within the D.C. Beltway. Fielding Fellows gain an intimate understanding of the Executive Branch and carry that knowledge and various connections with them into their careers. An additional benefit is the direct mentorship from Mr. Fielding, Carl Cannon, Kasey Pipes, Richard Norton Smith, Dr. Warshaw, and Jeffrey Blavatt. 

Q: What is the application process like?

A: The application is online and involves basic information, several essays, and a letter of recommendation. Qualified applicants will advance to an interview process.

Q: Is prior EI involvement a factor in the selection process?

A: The application is open to all qualified students.

Q: Can I sign up with my friend?

A: No, it is an individual application. You may certainly encourage your friend to apply!

Q: Can I consult current Fielding Fellows on any questions I may have about applying for the Fielding Fellowship?

A: Yes!