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Fellowship Overview

The Carl Albert Congressional Fellowship, directed by Professor Cindy Simon Rosenthal , is a specialized Ph.D. program sponsored by the Carl Albert Center in cooperation with the University of Oklahoma's Department of Political Science. The program offers graduate students a dual perspective on the workings of Congress by affording them opportunities to study the institution both on campus and in Washington, D.C., as a member of a congressional staff. Each Carl Albert Fellow receives a fully financed, five-year fellowship package that includes a three-year teaching or research assistantship at the university, a congressional fellowship year in Washington, and a final year of dissertation support at the university. During the year in Washington, Fellows take part in the seminar and programs of the American Political Science Association's Congressional Fellowship Program.

 In their classwork, Carl Albert Fellows concentrate on the Congress, taking four required courses: Political Theory and Representation, Legislative Process and Behavior, Congress in the Political System, and Research Seminar in Legislative Studies. They are also expected to write their Ph.D. dissertations in the area of congressional studies.

 In addition to their work on the Congress, Fellows also take course work and general examinations in two other fields within the political science discipline. These fields include political theory, comparative government and politics, international relations, public administration and public policy, and political methodology. In certain circumstances, students may substitute an outside field or a program of interdisciplinary study for one of the usual fields.

 The Department of Political Science's faculty consists of more than twenty-five members. They hold advanced degrees from major universities in all parts of the United States, and their publications have appeared in all the social sciences' leading journals. In addition, the department is closely affiliated with the Bureau of Government Research, a research unit concentrating on state and local government issues; the Public Administration Program, which offers master's and doctoral degrees on campus and the master's degree at various off campus locations around the world; and the Science and Public Policy Program, an interdisciplinary research unit of the social, engineering, and life sciences that studies society's technological problems.

 Fellows are able to take advantage of the facilities offered by the department as well as those available through the Carl Albert Center. They are encouraged to write for publication while in residence at the Center and to deliver their research findings at professional meetings. The Center regularly makes funds available to Fellows for research travel and conference attendance. The Center's favorable student/faculty ratio (less than 3 to 1), excellent support facilities, generous financial support, and exceptional research opportunities all contribute to the Fellow's unique professional preparation.

 Research interests have included such diverse topics as congressional candidate recruitment, the Religious Right's legislative agenda, congressional oversight of executive agencies, cooperation within state delegations, the vice-presidency, the careers of female members of Congress, the roles of informal groups in Congress, congressional participation in shaping Central American policy, and the nuclear freeze movement in Congress. They have presented scholarly papers at national and regional professional meetings and have had their work published in professional journals.

 Former Fellows have gone on to pursue careers in academics, public service on Capitol Hill, and professional writing. The Carl Albert Congressional Fellowship Program affords the necessary instruction, research guidance, and practical government experience to enable its graduates to contribute productively to the discipline and the society.

 For more information on the Carl Albert Congressional Fellowship Program, contact Professor Cindy Simon Rosenthal at the Carl Albert Center. The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. The Center also offers an undergraduate fellowship.

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