Have conversations with the past by studying original documents.

“I’ve learned to write a lot better than I ever thought I could.”

Jackson Yenor
Jackson Yenor, Ashbrook Scholar

The Ashbrook Scholarship is an annual and renewable scholarship to Ashland University, awarded solely on merit to the most promising students majoring or minoring in Political Science, Political Economy, or History. But it’s so much more than that.

There is a sense of honor attached to being called an “Ashbrook Scholar” because it is earned through dedication and a true passion for the subject. In the course of their four years at Ashland University, Ashbrook Scholars come from across the nation to undertake a rigorous program that expands and enlightens their understanding of American history and government.

Interested, but want to learn more?

Fill in your email address, and we will send you a viewbook with even more information about the Ashbrook Scholar Program.

"Learning from primary sources, coupled with discussion-based classes, is so important because it leaves nothing between you and the original ideas of the author. Primary sources force you to think for yourself and really understand an issue clearly, unmuddled by time or opinion. They are a lot more interesting to read than a textbook, too!" — Sabrina '20

Approaching political life from the ground up.

The study of political life is an essential part of becoming a free person, and a proper education for citizens in American history and politics is fundamental to the continued success of American constitutional government. In order to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, Americans must understand the principles upon which lasting self-government depends.

Political Science, Political Economy, and History students at Ashland University learn how to read and think critically in a liberal arts curriculum with some of the finest faculty in the nation.


Ashbrook Scholars have the benefit of studying with the Ashland University Department of History and Political Science, which has earned a reputation as one of the best in the nation because of what is taught (that is, a curriculum emphasizing Western Civilization and the American Founding), how it is taught (conversationally with great books and original documents), and who is teaching.

Jeffrey Sikkenga

Executive Director of the Ashbrook Center, Professor of Political Science

Courses Offered: Democracy in America, Constitutional Powers, Constitutional Rights, Machiavelli, Politics and Religion, Human Being and Citizen

Christopher Burkett

Director of the Ashbrook Scholar Program, Associate Professor of Political Science

Courses Offered: Understanding Politics, Democracy in America, Early American Political Thought, Late American Political Thought, The American Founding

Course of Study

The courses offered in Ashland University’s Department of History and Political Science are designed to broaden and deepen a student’s understanding of political life and develop the intellectual faculties of inquiry, analysis, and critical judgment through the study of history and politics. Ashbrook Scholars take courses and seminars in political theory, American politics, Constitutional law, international relations, political economy, history, and literature — in short, the liberal arts. They become acquainted with the best of contemporary literature, but also focus their studies on many of the great works of Western Civilization and America — works that they read directly, not through secondary sources. The reading of original historical texts and documents allows students to engage in conversations across time with the great statesmen and thinkers of American and world history.

The following is a partial list of the works you will study during your time as an Ashbrook Scholar:


Works Studied

Plato, Republic, Apology of Socrates
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics
Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War
Xenophon, The Education of Cyrus
Machiavelli, The Prince
Shakespeare, Henry V, Othello, King Lear
Hobbes, Leviathan
Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws
Locke, Two Treatises of Civil Government
The Declaration of Independence
The Constitution of the United States of America
Paine, Common Sense
Madison, Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787
Publius, The Federalist Papers
Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Twain, Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Lincoln, Lyceum Speech, Gettysburg Address, Second Inaugural Address
Coolidge, Foundations of the Republic
Churchill, My Early Life, The Gathering Storm

Frederick Douglass


The Ashbrook Center hosts a number of speakers annually as part of the Ashbrook Scholar Program. Two to three times every semester, through its Major Issues Lecture Series, Ashbrook sponsors a luncheon lecture in which the Ashbrook Scholars and the public meet some of today’s most renowned public figures and academics. At all Ashbrook events, Ashbrook Scholars are encouraged to ask tough questions and get straight answers during a private, hour-long, off-the-record seminar with the speaker after the public lecture.