NAPLP Program

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The Native American Political Leadership Program (NAPLP) at the George Washington University provides academic scholarships with funding from AT&T for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students to experience an introduction to the nation’s capital and opportunities to study the public policy decision-making process, governmental functions and politics in a democratic society. 

Buff decorative lineProgram at a Glance

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Study Applied Politics

NAPLP is a full scholarship program for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian graduate and undergraduate students to study applied politics. 

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Semester Long

The semester-long program is offered through George Washington University, located in Washington, D.C. 

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Internship Opportunities

Students also have internship opportunities in places such as a congressional office, national tribal organization or a federal agency.

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New Knowledge 

NAPLP students gain fresh perspectives, knowledge and skills about the political process and community organizing. They feel better prepared for leadership roles in their communities, nationally or globally.

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Deadline: October 14, 2020

Spring 2021 Program Dates:
January 11 - April 30, 2021

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NAPLP is open to undergraduate and graduate students, including those who have completed their undergraduate degree but have not yet enrolled in a graduate program. 

Students take two core courses and may take an elective course and live in on-campus housing on GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus.  Students also have the opportunity to have an internship in places such as a congressional office, national tribal organization or a federal agency and to develop lasting connections with a cohort of Native American students from across the country. Students have extensive opportunities to interact with decision-makers in national policy and with leaders of Native American advocacy organizations.  

NAPLP students are required to enroll in two core courses, both of which can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit. 

Core Courses

  • PMGT 4101: Electoral & Legislative Processes
    “Elections and Congress” is intended as an introduction to the United States Congress. It will explore several themes including how Congress has evolved over time, both in its internal institutional organization as well as in its relationship to the other branches of the federal government; how individual members of Congress operate within this changing institutional landscape; and the “macro-trends” concerning polarization that have emerged over the past several decades.  
  • PMGT 4192: Tutorial in American Politics and Elections
    “Nation to Nation: Native Politics from Courtrooms to Communities” provides an overview of the historic and current intergovernmental relationships between Indigenous people and the United States government and explores how federal Indian policy is formed.  Students work in small groups to develop strategic plans for organizing around key issues that affect Native American communities.

NAPLP funding was made possible from generous contributions from AT&T and grants from the AT&T Foundation.

  • NAPLP scholarships are awarded to students based on academic ability, leadership potential, and an interest in politics.
  • Students from all tribes and from every part of the United States are welcome to apply.
  • There is no application fee for applying to NAPLP.

What does the NAPLP scholarship cover?

  • Tuition and fees for two core classes (up to 6 credits hours total)
  • Housing in a GW dormitory
  • A stipend for books and living expenses, paid in two installments
  • Airfare to and from Washington, DC (one round-trip ticket)

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All NAPLP Scholars complete an internship in Washington, D.C. Our team works with each scholar to identify opportunities that match their personal and professional goals and interests. For 15 years, NAPLP has partnered with Congress, federal agencies, tribal organizations, and the private sector to place students in meaningful internships related to tribal policy and politics.

Past Internship Sites 



Scholars work with faculty members who have first-hand knowledge and industry experience in applied politics, tribal affairs, law, public health, environmental justice, and beyond.

Courses also feature regular guest speakers from across Washington, D.C. who share their experiences with students while discussing current events and other relevant topics.

Faculty Bios 


Milanovich Fellowship

NAPLP applicants can also apply for the distinguished Richard M. Milanovich Fellowship. If selected, Fellows will attend a special week-long seminar consisting of briefings with key policy makers, issue advocates, and community leaders in Washington, D.C. The fellowship honors the late Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indian Tribal Chairman Richard M. Milanovich.

Learn More

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Current Students & Alumni

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NAPLP Summer 2018 students in Washington, D.C. 

The Native American Political Leadership Program runs twice a year in the spring and summer semesters. Our NAPLP Scholars are accomplished, inquisitive students who seek to maximize their internship experiences and networking opportunities while in the nation's capital. After completing the program, our NAPLP alumni use their newfound perspectives and work experience to become highly engaged community advocates, political leaders, public health professionals, advisors, professors, and more.    

Student Profiles