Obama Foundation

Obama Foundation Scholars Program 2019 for emerging leaders


Obama Foundation Scholars Program 2019 for emerging leaders

 We are very pleased to inform interested persons that Applications are now open for the  Obama Foundation Scholars Program 2019 for emerging leaders.You can apply to the University of Chicago.The Obama Foundation Scholars Program 2019 for emerging leaders seeks to support dynamic, collaborative, rising leaders from around the world in an innovative one-year academic experience.The Obama Foundation Scholars Program will give rising young leaders around the world who are already making a difference in their communities the opportunity to take their work to the next level through a newly designed curriculum that brings together academic, skills-based, and hands-on learning. The Scholars Program empowers individuals with a proven commitment to service with the tools they need to make their efforts more effective, to identify innovative solutions to complex global problems, and promote change through values-based leadership.

The program will build lasting relationships among emerging leaders who are committed to working together to solve the most pressing challenges of our time, creating a global network that reaches across issues and borders. After completing the program, Obama Foundation Scholars will return to their communities and continue the important work they started in the program by implementing their own personalized action plan. They will also have an opportunity to play a role in the Obama Foundation’s efforts to inspire, train, and connect rising leaders from around the globe.

The programs to which you may apply through this application include:


  • Master of Public Policy (MPP) Program
  • Master of Arts in International Development and Policy (Obama Foundation Scholars Program)
  • Master’s Degree, Part-Time (Evening) Master of Arts in Public Policy (EMP)
  • Master of Arts (MA) Program (1 Year)
  • Master of Arts in Public Policy and International Relations (AM/MA)
  • Master of Arts in Public Policy with Certificate in Research Methods (MACRM)
  • Master of Science in Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MSCAPP)
  • Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (MSESP)
  • MPP/JD Program
  • MPP/MBA Program
  • MPP/MA Program
  • MPP/MDiv Program
  • BA/MPP (Professional Option)
  • BA/MSCAPP Program
  • Doctoral Program (PhD)
  • Civic Leadership Academy
  • International Innovation Corps
  • Data and Policy Summer Scholar Program


The Obama Foundation Scholars Program offers an extraordinary scholarship that covers tuition and expenses and provides a living stipend, funding for books and course materials, medical insurance, housing, and opportunities to experience unique out-of-the-classroom programming. Any travel costs for these experiences will also be fully covered.


Obama Foundation is seeking emerging leaders from around the world who meet the following criteria:

  • Significant work experience (typically 3-5 years or more) and professional accomplishments with a clear trajectory of increasing impact.
  • Demonstrated record of community service or working for the public good, either through a full-time professional role or significant engagement outside of primary employment.
  • Possess a clear focus on a global challenge or policy issue.
  • A clear commitment to return to and reinvest your new skills in your community after the program concludes.

If that sounds like you, then you have the opportunity to participate in the Obama Foundation Scholars Program. You’ll earn a Master of Arts in International Development and Policy (MA-IDP) at Harris Public Policy and receive a full scholarship that includes access to exceptional programming outside of the classroom.



Applicants will submit a single application for the Harris MA-IDP and the Obama Foundation Scholarship.


There will be two application deadlines for the Fall 2019 admissions cycle – a Priority Deadline and a Secondary Deadline.

Applicants who apply by the Priority Deadline will receive priority for review and have a better opportunity to be considered for other Harris degree programs should they not meet the acceptance criteria for the Obama Foundation Scholars Program.

Specific deadlines are still being finalized. If you submit a Request for Information, you will receive notification of the final deadlines.

  • Priority Deadline for applications – November 1, 2018
  • Secondary Deadline for applications – January 1, 2019
  • Notifications of admission and scholarship decisions to be released – March 2019
  • Deadline for candidates to accept their admission – Spring 2019
  • Arrive in Chicago for the Obama Foundation Scholars Program Orientation – August 2019
  • Obama Foundation Leadership Week (for scholarship recipients) – Late Summer 2019
  • Harris Orientation and Welcome Week – September 2019
  • Classes begin Tuesday, October 1, 2019


All applicants must complete the online application and include the following, which are required to apply for the Harris MA-IDP and participation in Obama Foundation Scholars Program:

  • Transcripts

    • You may submit unofficial transcripts through the electronic application process; however, official transcripts will be required upon admission for enrolling students. Please submit transcripts for all prior academic work from any institution of higher education.
  • Test Scores

    • The GRE is not required, but you have the option of submitting a GRE or other test scores (e.g., GMAT or LSAT) as supplemental material.
    • Scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required for international students.
      • The Harris institution codes for the TOEFL are 1849 or 1832.(Both codes will be accepted.)
      • You should make your reservations to take the TOEFL or IELTS directly.
  • Work Experience

    • Please include current and prior positions, preferably demonstrating 3–5 years or more of work experience, the nature of your job, and responsibilities. You may upload a current resume reflecting this information along with your education, community service, professional honors, and any other relevant information.
  • 3 ­ Letters of Recommendation

    • We prefer to have at least one reference from a previous professor who can speak to your academic background and preparedness for graduate studies.
    • Those making a recommendation should submit letters through the electronic application—hard copy letters will be accepted but are not preferred. (Your references will receive an email requesting a recommendation.)
  • Motivation Statement

    • Prepare a brief and well-articulated response to a prompted question regarding your motivation to pursue graduate studies in public policy (300 words).
  • 2 Short Essay Responses

    • Tell us about your current work (which may be your paid employment or your significant volunteer activity). In answering, please describe the concrete impact – however you define impact – your current work is having. Why have you chosen this work? What are the challenges you have faced in this work and how have you sought to overcome them? (400 words or fewer)
    • What impact do you want to have on the world? How would becoming an Obama Foundation Scholar help you achieve this? What do you plan to do after the Obama Foundation Scholars Program? What will you do if you are not selected? (300 words or fewer)

Visit the Official Website of the Obama Foundation Scholars Program 2019 for emerging leaders for more details.

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