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Leadership Fellowship: FAQs

Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership

Leadership Fellowship: FAQs

1. How can I become a Colin Powell Fellow? 

Colin Powell Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis. Applications are accepted in early spring for the following fall.  The application deadline for the 2015-2017 Powell fellowship cohort is March 2, 2015 by 4:00pm.  To apply, interested students are encouraged to stop by the Office of Student Success, located in Shepard Hall Suite 550, and meet with one of our staff members, or attend an informational session before filling out an application. Once applications are received and reviewed, finalists will be contacted for an interview. New fellows are notified by the end of the spring semester.

2. What are the qualities you look for in potential fellows? 

There is no single characteristic that makes a Colin Powell Fellow, but we look for students who demonstrate the following characteristics:

  •   Curiosity: Powell Fellows see connections between their own academic subject area and the world around them.
  •   Leadership: Powell Fellows want to make a difference; they look for opportunities to work with others to create change.
  •   Commitment to the public good: Powell Fellows have deep concern for issues that affect under-resourced communities at home and abroad.

3. I do not have a background in political science, policy, or international relations. Will I be at a disadvantage in the program?

The Colin Powell Program is specifically designed for students in all majors, and the program is designed to provide a grounding knowledge of political institutions and policy making processes to all Powell fellows. 

4. How much time should I plan to devote to the fellowship program? 

Colin Powell Fellows typically spending between 8 and 10 hours a week engaged in activities related to their fellowship. Students accepted into the program must be prepared to structure their schedules around this program of activity.

5. What is the President's Challenge that second-year fellows undertake?

The President's Challenge is a year-long effort that begins in the fall semester with research and analysis of a compelling policy issue and culminates at the end of the spring semester with a substantive paper or project that allows for more extensive exploration of the policy issue.

6. Can I receive academic credit for my participation? 

Yes. In recognition of the demanding nature of the Colin Powell Program, undergraduate fellows receive three credit hours a year for their participation. The credit hours are awarded in the spring semester.

7. Do I need to be a rising junior to apply?

We do recommend that students apply in their sophomore year. You should have between 40 and 60 credits at the end of the spring in which you apply.

8. I'll be transferring to CCNY next year as a junior. May I apply to the program? 

Yes. Transfer students are encouraged to apply.

9. Can I take part in a semester abroad program while I'm a Colin Powell Fellow? 

Under some circumstances, fellows may take a leave from the program to participate in a semester abroad. If you believe you will be interested in this option, please discuss the possibility with a fellowship staff member before you apply. 

10. If I become a Colin Powell Fellow, can I also take part in another scholarship program? 

While you may apply to any scholarship program that CCNY offers, if you receive offers to join more than one program, you must choose the one that best fits your goals and needs. In the past, students who participated in more than one such program typically found themselves overcommitted. Additionally, limiting students to one scholarship program enables more CCNY students to take advantage of scholarship opportunities at CCNY.

11. Can I attend the fellowship seminars if I am not in the program?

Unfortunately, no. However, the Colin Powell School regularly hosts public events. To find out information about these events, follow us on Facebook, join our mailing list, or check our website for updates on events and opportunities. 

11. Where are you located?

The Office of Student Success at the Colin Powell School is located on the fifth floor of Shepard Hall, Suite 550

12. Whom should I contact for further information?

For further information, please contact Stefana Soitos, Program Coordinator, at or 212-650-8446.  You can also visit our office on the fifth floor of Shepard Hall, Suite 550.