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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 practice section and the ideation section. You 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 practice 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. This section provides 12 hours of asynchronous and synchronous instruction and interaction in September. It is aimed 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. Program dates will be finalized in May. Participants who complete the ideation section successfully and are interested in continuing to pursue a political career might be assigned to the practice section either in the same year or the next year.

The Campaign Planning Section

Pre-immersion weekly online sessions

We will hold online weekly sessions from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT on October 6, October 13, October 20 and October 27 (all Thursdays).   

On-campus sessions

We will hold program sessions both in person and online from 4 p.m., Wednesday, November 2 to the evening of Friday, November 4. Participants are encouraged to attend the program in person. Housing and meals will be provided by the program.  Participants should also feel free to choose to attend the program online.

Online immersion training

We will hold five half-day online sessions from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 10, Friday, November 11, Monday, November 14, Tuesday,  November 15, and Wednesday, November 16.  

Participant campaign plan presentations and program summary

Participant campaign plan presentations and program summary will take place online from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 14, and Thursday, December 15. 

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 men and women 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, 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 his or her 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 your application.

The online application for 2022 is closed.

Program Information Session

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?

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 intensive training takes place on the SU main campus.

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.

What is the application deadline? How and when will applicants be notified of the status of their application? The 2022 application is closed. Finalists have been notified. Applications for 2023 will be accepted beginning in April 2023.

How competitive is admission to the program? In 2022, we received applications from over 90 candidates for a class of 25-30 for each of the two program groups in the fall.

Executive Education Department
219 Maxwell Hall