L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs


Graduate fellowship


A prestigious opportunity

Gain professional work experience, in-state tuition and a stipend.

The Wilder School’s prestigious Graduate Scholars Fellowship provides top full-time students in each of our master’s programs with professional work experience, in-state tuition and an $14,500 stipend through a host employer.

Wilder School fellows are placed with employers around the Richmond region each year including at nonprofits, government agencies and businesses. In past years, seven to 14 fellows have been selected.

Appointments are for one academic year that begins in August and ends in May. Fellows are expected to work 20 hours a week.

Application process

Applications for the 2018-2019 academic year are due by May 1, 2018.

To apply, create a single document (.doc or .pdf) that includes:

  • Completed WGSF application cover page
  • Your current resume
  • A writing sample that highlights analytical and/or research abilities (e.g., a research paper written for a course)
  • Contact information for three references, including at least one academic and one professional reference
  • A copy of your unofficial academic transcript(s)
  • A phone number and email address where you can be reached throughout the selection process
  • A personal statement that focuses on experiences that have significantly influenced you and your professional goals. Discuss how the fellowship program will help you advance those goals.

Submit your completed application file to WilderFellows@vcu.edu.

Selection process

An internal Wilder School committee reviews applicants for factors including academic record and professional work ethic. Selected candidates receive a preliminary in-person or telephone interview with the Wilder School committee.

Once a host employer becomes available, we select well-qualified students for their consideration or if they prefer, match a particular student with them. Employers often conduct in-person interviews and make a final selection. Placement occurs throughout the summer, often after July 1.

Javon Davis

"The innovative design of the fellowship allowed me to gain much-needed work experience through my placement at the Virginia Department of Corrections while pursuing my M.P.A. This experience transformed me into someone who is ready to take on the world after graduation."

— Javon Davis, M.P.A., 2016