The program is named in honor of Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-Indiana), former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Denison Trustee, and member of the class of 1954. Inspired by Senator Lugar's legacy of academic excellence, distinguished service, and prominent role in American agricultural and foreign policy, the Lugar Program is open to students of all majors and partisan predilections. International students are welcome to enroll.
The Lugar Program features two tracks, the first of which was established by a 1995 vote of the faculty. Track One focuses on American politics and public policy, combines coursework in these areas with a congressional internship, and brings former members of Congress to campus every other year. Students must complete four courses in American politics and U.S. foreign policy. One of these courses (Political Science 307) must be taken prior to the congressional internship; another (Political Science 214 or 341) must be taken before graduation. Two more courses selected from among the Political Science Department course offerings in the American politics subfield must also be completed by the end of the senior year. Students must earn a grade of C or better in each Lugar Program course. The internship may be taken in a House or Senate office. Students may pursue internships with any congressional office, either during the summer months or as part of an approved off-campus program during the fall or spring semesters.
The faculty enacted Track Two in May 2005. It has been designed for students primarily interested in international affairs and foreign policy, especially with an aptitude for the study of foreign languages and a desire to pursue a career in such fields as international security, homeland defense, control over weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and foreign affairs. In particular, Track Two provides a foundation for graduate study at the Graduate School of International Policy Studies at the Monterey Institute in California, or at similar graduate programs that also require extensive language training. To complete the Track Two program at Denison, students must take two years (four semesters) of course work in a foreign language. Although French, German, and Spanish are acceptable, students interested in the Monterey option are encouraged to study Arabic, Chinese, or Japanese. Some course work in a language could be undertaken at Monterey or another institution, most likely during the summer. Students must take four courses from Political Science Department offerings in the comparative politics/international relations subfield. The minimum grade in each of these courses and in every semester of foreign language instruction is a C. Track Two contains an experiential/internship component that must be completed prior to the student's senior year. The off-campus commitment must be met while participating in an approved off-campus program that will place Lugar students in their internships.