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The Obama Foundation Scholars Program



An extraordinary scholarship for extraordinary leaders.

In addition to pursuing a Master of Arts degree in International Development and Policy, you’ll have the opportunity to receive a full scholarship that includes access to exceptional programming outside of the classroom.

Through the Obama Foundation Scholars Program, you’ll be connected to one another, the UChicago and Obama Foundation networks, and gain additional skills, training, and inspiration that will help you change your community and, ultimately, the world.

“This partnership will give young people from around the world who are already making a difference in their communities the opportunity to take their work to the next level.”

President Barack Obama

A Scholarship with Unparalleled Opportunities

The Obama Foundation and the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy share a goal of ensuring that talented young people from around the world can build the skills they need to advance their work as active citizens and to make a real impact in their communities.

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.

Experiences Outside the Classroom

You won’t just be working in the classroom. You’ll participate in unique programs developed in partnership with the Obama Foundation.

The Obama Foundation will offer a robust program of leadership development and service activities throughout the academic year to help you gain the real-world skills, tools, and experiences to expand the impact of your work when you return home.

Programming begins before you set foot on campus and extends well beyond your return home. The extraordinary experiences you will have as an Obama Foundation Scholar—opportunities such as a Leadership Week before classes begin, access to some of the world’s most innovative thinkers, values-based leadership training, internships, and immersive activities throughout the year in Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.—will provide outstanding networking, learning, and leadership development opportunities, and enable you to give back by engaging in Obama Foundation activities and programs while you are in the United States.

Some of these Foundation activities will include experiences throughout Chicago and the South Side. By engaging with the local community, students will have the opportunity to complement what they learn in the classroom and to bring their unique perspectives to Chicago.

A Continued Commitment

As an Obama Foundation Scholar, you’ll be expected to return to and reinvest your new skills in your community after the program concludes.

Over the course of a year-long, values-driven leadership development curriculum, you’ll work to develop an action plan that can be implemented when you return to your community. By turning these plans into reality, you’ll play an important role in amplifying the Obama Foundation’s efforts to mobilize and train emerging civic leaders around the world.

As an alum, you’ll also have the opportunity to provide support for Obama Foundation programs in your own community. Plus, you’ll have continued access to the Obama Foundation network and the opportunity to participate in regionally focused programming and events.

More than anything else, you’ll gain the tools, training, and inspiration you need to change your community and the world; you’ll make new connections to help expand your work; and you’ll gain multiple opportunities to tell your story.


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