A Dual Perspective on Congress

The Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma offers a unique five-year Ph.D. program in the study of American government focusing on the Congress and representative government. 

Fellows spend the first three years of the program on campus completing their Ph.D. course work and preparing for their general examinations. They participate in a rigorous academic program and receive academic support from the Center's three full-time faculty members as well as from the other professors in the Political Science Department. Additional opportunities and resources available to Fellows while on campus include: 

  • Frequent opportunities for collaborative research with faculty members;
  • Regular teaching seminars that enable Fellows to serve as Graduate Teaching Assistants and, during the second year on campus, to teach their own undergraduate political science courses;
  • Participation in special guest lectures and seminars with leading congressional scholars and members of Congress;
  • Access to the Center's archival collection which includes the papers of more than fifty former House and Senate members;
  • Access to the Department of Communication's political commercial archives, one of the largest in the world.
Fellows also have the opportunity to receive advanced methodological training by attending the ICPSR's Summer Training Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research at the University of Michigan after the first or second year of the program. 

Upon successful completion of their course work, Fellows spend a year on Capitol Hill as American Political Science Association Congressional Fellows. They generally serve as legislative assistants to members of Congress and divide their time in Washington between the House and the Senate. The year in Washington provides Fellows with an unparalleled opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of the Congress, pursue their dissertation research, conduct interviews with members of Congress and congressional staff members, and meet other political scientists who study the Congress. Additionally, Fellows are able to take a trip to a Member's congressional district and to participate in a week-long exchange with Canadian Parliament interns in Ottawa. 

Fellows return to the University campus for the fifth and final year of the program, during which they receive financial and academic support as they write their doctoral dissertations. 

In addition to covering the full tuition and fees of its Graduate Fellows, the Carl Albert Center provides a substantial monthly stipend, a book allowance, travel for research and professional meeting participation, and other support. The goal of the Center is to alleviate, as much as possible, the financial burdens of graduate study to enable students to devote their time and energy to academic excellence. The total value of a five-year fellowship is more than $125,000. 

For information and application materials:
Gary W. Copeland, Associate Director
Carl Albert Center
630 Parrington Oval, Room 101
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019.
Telephone: (405) 325-6372. 
Web Page:


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