The James Madison Public Service Certificate Program is an interdisciplinary academic minor (16 credit hours) that was created in the early 1990s for students interested in careers with government agencies and non-profit organizations. In addition to completing classes in public administration, ethics, public policy, and public speaking, students in this program are required to complete a summer internship and research project. Students prepare for their internships in a special seminar, and take courses in ethics, economics, psychology, and public speaking. They also meet with elected and career public officials in Washington, D.C. and Richmond, and on campus.
Activities such as conferences and symposia prepare students to take the step from academic study to meaningful public service. Students receive a certificate acknowledging completion of the requirements of the Public Service Program at an awards banquet in the spring of their senior year.
Student internships have been arranged at the White House, in the Office of the Vice-President, on Capitol Hill, the American Embassies in Brazil and Turkey, the United States Information Services office in the Czech Republic, the Virginia Port Authority in Belgium, and the European Parliament, as well as with state and local government agencies from Pennsylvania to California.
"... great summer internships! I have friends who went to London, Prague and Washington, D.C., and others found internships at home. You can do your internship almost anywhere you choose. Another great aspect of the program is the wonderful speakers it brings to Hampden-Sydney. In one semester we had presidential and gubernatorial candidates on campus...The Center and Hampden-Sydney brings the world to you." - Ryan Pemberton '00
Students may apply for admission in the fall of their sophomore year. For more information, contact Dr. David Marion at the Wilson Center.