The Richard G. Lugar Program in Politics and Public Service is named after Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana (1977-2013), Denison class of 1954, Rhodes Scholar and Denison trustee

The program is open to students of all academic majors and partisan perspectives who are interested in government and public policy.

The program has two tracks:

  1. Track One focuses on the workings of American national government and offers a congressional internship as well as coursework.
  2. Track Two focuses on United States foreign policy and international affairs and offers coursework in foreign policy, comparative politics and international politics, as well as off-campus internships.

The Lugar Program welcomes former members of Congress to Denison every other academic year. Typically, we host two former members per visit, a Democrat and a Republican. While here, they appear in classes and meet with students, faculty and others in the Denison and Granville communities. A theme common to these visits is the importance of public service.  The Lugar program also sponsors The Richard G. Lugar Symposium in Public Policy, a biennial speaker series that brings prominent public servants to the campus to address issues of national and international concern.

How to Apply:

  • Visit the Apply for the Lugar Program page to find out more.
  • Or contact Andrew Katz, Program Director at 740.587.6405 or by email at katz@denison.edu.  Application forms are available online, or on the bulletin board in the Political Science office suite, Knapp 305.

The Lugar Program Concentration

Track One

Students in track one of the Lugar program must fulfill the following requirements:

  • One of the following courses:
    • Foreign Policy Formulation (POSC 215);
    • The Conduct of American Foreign Policy (POSC 341);
  • The Politics of Congress (POSC 307);
  • Any two courses selected from among the Political Science Department course offerings in the American politics subfield;
  • A congressional internship (all coursework must be completed prior to the internship)

Most congressional internships take place during the sophomore or junior year.

Track Two

Students in Track Two of the Lugar Program must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Four courses selected from the Political Science Department offerings in the comparative politics or international relations subfields; (Note: Foreign Policy Formulation (American politics subfield) may be counted toward the Track Two requirements.)
  • Four semesters of a foreign language;
  • Completion of an approved off-campus internship or program with an experiential component.

Students enrolled in Track Two may fulfill part of their language requirement during the summer at the Graduate School of International Policy Studies in the Monterrey Institute in California or a similar program.  Track Two students are strongly encouraged to complete a one-semester off-campus program prior to the start of their senior year in order both to solidify their foreign language skills and to gain practical experience in the security or foreign policy realm.

Additional Requirements

Students must earn at least a C in every Lugar Program course, including those meeting the foreign language requirement for Track Two.  For both Tracks, with the approval of the Director, one off-campus course may be used to fulfill Lugar course requirements. 

The Lugar Program will only sponsor students for congressional internships who have a record unblemished by serious disciplinary and academic infraction as reported by the Office of Student Development and the Provost’s Office.

Visiting Former Members of Congress

In cooperation with the Congress to Campus program, co-sponsored by the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service and the United States Association of Former Members of Congress, the Lugar Program welcomes former members of Congress to Denison every other year. Typically, we host two former members per visit, a Democrat and a Republican. While here, former members appear in classes and meet with students, faculty, and others in the Denison and Granville communities.

A theme common to every such visit is the importance of public service. We honor our guests at a dinner attended by Lugar Program students and faculty, as well as representatives of the teaching faculty and administration. Beginning with former Congressman Romano Mazzoli in 1996, twenty former members of the U.S. House have visited campus:

Visiting Former Members of Congress
Former member Party & state Semester & year
Romano Mazzoli D-KY Spring 1996
Austin Murphy D-PA Fall 1996
John Rhodes III R-AZ Fall 1996
Glen Browder D-AL Spring 1998
Lou Frey R-FL Spring 1998
John Erlenborn R-IL Fall 1998
Larry LaRocco D-ID Fall 1998
William Clinger R-PA Spring 2000
William Roy D-KS Spring 2000
Beverly Byron D-MD Spring 2002
Robert Daniel R-VA Spring 2002
Arlen Erdahl R-MN Spring 2004
Robert Underwood D-Guam Spring 2004
Andy Jacobs D-IN Fall 2005
Denny Smith R-OR Fall 2005
Jim Bates D-CA Fall 2007
Nick Smith R-MI Fall 2007

Students Completing the Lugar Program

As of May 2013, the number of graduates who completed all Lugar Program requirements was 147.

What do our Students do after Denison?

  • Several Lugar students who followed Track One have found employment as congressional staffers upon graduating from Denison.
  • Many of our students have gone on to law school, or graduate school in international affairs,  and some have completed graduate studies in political science and other disciplines.
  • Track Two is specifically designed to facilitate graduate study for students who are interested in careers in homeland security, international business, global environment, and other international sectors but who presently do not want to earn a Ph.D., law degree, MBA, or MPA.

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