Hillsdale College Launches Grad School in Washington, D.C.

A photo of Hillsdale College's Central Hall, credit PJ Media, Tyler O'Neil.

Hillsdale College, a premier conservative Christian college in southern Michigan, has launched a graduate school of government in Washington, D.C. The college announced the new school on Constitution Day.


“Today, the connection between liberty and learning is widely forgotten, and their mutual support has grown tenuous,” Larry P. Arnn, president of Hillsdale, said in a statement. “Repairing the breach is a task both urgent and noble.”

The Steve and Amy Van Andel Graduate School of Government offers a Master of Arts in Government, combining the study of political thought, American founding principles, and statesmanship, the college explained.

“Our students will study politics as a human activity oriented toward justice—a series of choices that require prudence to achieve the best attainable results,” Matthew Spalding, the new dean of the Steve and Amy Van Andel Graduate School of Government, said in a statement. “Only by knowing the good for which we aim can we then know where we are, what to do, and how to do it.”

Located on Capitol Hill, the program aims to equip students to bring the principles and practices they will study to their work in government, law, media, and non-profits. Local Hillsdale faculty such as Matthew Spalding, Matthew Mehan, and Michael Anton will teach alongside others from Hillsdale’s main campus, such as Arnn, Ronald J. Pestritto, and Paul Rahe.


The graduate degree will require a total of 36 credit hours in three core areas: political thought and culture, American politics, and statecraft. Classes will be held on evenings and weekends during fall, spring, and summer semesters. Significant scholarships, including up to full tuition, are available. The program has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and licensed to operate in Washington, D.C. by the Higher Education Licensure Commission.

Hillsdale is famous for refusing federal funds — including student loan programs — in order to maintain its independence from the federal government. The school has advertised on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program, and it sends its Imprimis speech digest to more than 4.5 million subscribers. Hillsdale students study the Western and American heritage and the Constitution. The school is dedicated to training up students who will apply the Founding Fathers’ vision in modern America.

A Hillsdale graduate myself, I can attest to the rigorous education and dynamic social and religious life at the college. The D.C. presence is also quite robust.


Hillsdale has long had a presence in the nation’s capital. The college opened its Allan P. Kirby Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship on September 17, 2010 — exactly nine years before the launch of the graduate school. The formal inaugural class is set to begin in January 2020. Potential students may visit dc.hllsdale.edu or email [email protected].

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.


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