Skip to content

This program is a world-class, front seat, crash course for veterans interested in public engagement and public office. It was totally bipartisan and participants were engaging and supportive of each other. I would highly recommend this course to any veteran looking to become more active and engaged in policy.”

Molly Mae Potter 2020 VPPCE Participant, U.S. Air Force Veteran

Client Solutions Group, Security Governance and Oversight, Dell Technologies

Molly Mae Potter

What You Will Experience

  • Hybrid in-person and online instruction and dynamic interaction 
  • A unique experience to strengthen your relationship with your cohort, alumni, instructors and friends of the program 
  • An immersion training 
  • Ongoing access to continuing learning opportunities for all VPPCE alums

The ultimate deliverable for this program is a refined campaign plan for each program participant.

Program Structure

The program offers two sections: the campaign planning section and the ideation section. Participants will be assigned to the section we believe better serves your goals and interests as stated in your application. Participants who succeed in the ideation section will be offered an opportunity to join a campaign planning section within a year or two. 

The Ideation Section

The ideation section is designed for veterans and individuals with military connections who have demonstrated a strong interest in politics but are in the early stage of exploring a political career. The goal is to help participants develop a better understanding of their motivations and commitment to public office as well as what offices might interest and fit them.

The Ideation section provides 12 hours of asynchronous and synchronous instruction and interaction. The synchronous sessions will be delivered online at 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16; Wednesday, July 17; and Thursday, July 18, 2024. Participants will be provided asynchronous content before July 5, 2023. Those who complete the ideation section successfully and are interested in continuing to pursue a political career might be assigned to the curriculum planning section either in the same year or the next year.


The Campaign Planning Section

The campaign planning section will mostly be delivered online. Participants are required to attend all live sessions, submit a stump speech video, and present a campaign plan. The 2024 program schedule is as follows:

Weekly Online Sessions

Ten weekly online sessions will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesdays from Sept. 11 to Nov. 20, except on Oct. 16 when the immersion sessions will be held.

On-Campus Immersion Sessions

On-campus immersion sessions will be held from 5 p.m., Wednesday, October 16 to 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18.
Participants are highly encouraged to attend the program in person. Housing and meals will be provided
by the program. However, participants should also feel free to choose to attend the program virtually.

Participant Campaign Plan Presentations and Program Summary

The participant campaign plan presentations and program summary will take place online from 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14 and Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2025.

Please note that the program schedule is subject to change.

The instruction and assistance provided by Steve and Nick and the VPPCE instructors helped me shape my campaign message, helping me get elected to my town council. Their assistance was invaluable, and the message they helped me draft was so impactful that people came up to me and told me that helped sway their vote in my favor.”

Louis (Lou) Luba ’93 J.D./M.P.A. 2019 VPPCE Participant, U.S. Coast Guard Veteran

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney, Town of Tolland (CT) Councilmember

Lou Luba


A selective, rigorous and intense educational initiative, our program represents a unique opportunity for those who have sacrificed for our freedom, or their family members, to take an important step toward continuing their commitment to public service through elected office. The program offers intensive training for veteran and military family members with career interests in politics.

All veterans and their family members are eligible to apply. Successful candidates must be able to demonstrate a strong potential for a future career in politics and are interested in running for public office or getting involved in political campaigns.  


A completed application package will include the following:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Resume (uploaded through the online application)
  3. Proof of military service (DD214 Member 4; or, VA statement of service showing character of service. For active duty: a statement of service or record brief)

Selection will be based on the ‘whole-person’ concept, with a particular focus on an assessment of each candidate’s potential to excel not only in the program, but also upon graduation, in their chosen area of leadership in public office. References and interviews may be requested of finalists. We strive to select a cohort for the program that reflects diverse experiences and perspectives.

There are two required uploads in the online application portal necessary for successful completion of this application. While you will be able to to save your resume and application, please make sure that you are prepared to submit all materials shortly after beginning your application. You will only have 30 days to access your in-progress application after the first time you save it.

The online application for 2024 is now closed

VetNet Webinar

Together, we engage participants in subjects such as the mechanics and management of campaigning, fundraising strategies, building campaign platforms (policies and institutional reform), messaging, public communications, identifying mentors and leveraging resources available to veterans, among others.

Critical in all of this is providing participants the opportunity for self-assessment and reflection. What knowledge, experience and personal character do you bring to your candidacy? What are your areas for growth? What political offices are a good fit for you?

We invite you to an engaging webinar focused on the Veterans Program for Politics and Civic Engagement (VPPCE). In this session, Steve Lux, the Director of Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Executive Education will provide an overview of the VPPCE program.

April 17 | 1p.m. EDT | Zoom

Vetnet Graphic Webinar April 17 1 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will there be live instruction?
Instruction will be offered in a hybrid format that consists of asynchronous (on-demand) and synchronous (live video conference) materials available through a web-based learning management platform.

What is the cost of the program to students?
Expenses related to program participation (e.g., attendance, lodging and meals) will be covered by the program through the generous support of JPMorgan Chase & Co, Syracuse University and other sponsors. Candidates admitted to the program will assume costs associated with transportation to Syracuse, New York, if they choose to attend the on-campus immersion sessions in person.

Do I earn credit through Syracuse University, and do I receive a certificate or diploma on completion?
There will be a certificate providing documentation of attendance and the opportunity to secure a non-credit transcript detailing the course completed by Syracuse University.

When is the application deadline for the 2024 program?
May 31, 2024.

How and when will applicants be notified of the status of their application?
Finalists for both sections will be notified via email by June 19, 2024.

How many participants are expected to be admitted to the program?
A class of 25 to 30 will be admitted into each of the two sections in 2024.

How have the alumni benefited from the program?
More than 200 participants have completed the program since its inception. The vast majority of the VPPCE alums have been more actively engaged politically and civically; many of them have run for office, or are running and organizing campaigns at the federal, state and local levels; and quite a few have succeeded in their bids for state and local offices. 

Executive Education Department
219 Maxwell Hall