Frequently Asked Questions

Everything about ISI that you wanted to know, but were too scared to ask.


The Intercollegiate Studies Institute is an educational organization whose mission is to inspire college students to discover, embrace, and advance the principles and virtues that make America free and prosperous. To prepare young people for a lifetime of leadership, ISI: teaches student members the core ideas behind the free market, the American Founding, and Western civilization; connects them with top professors and leaders in business, politics, and journalism; introduces them to like-minded students from around the country; offers leadership opportunities in on-campus ISI Societies and student-run publications; and provides unique internship and fellowship opportunities. ISI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization.

Students are the heart and soul of ISI. ISI student members receive an education rooted in the principles of liberty and Western civilization through seminars, conferences, scholarships, and ISI-sponsored student clubs and publications on campus, as well as unique internship and fellowship opportunities. ISI has opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. Visit our Students page to learn more, or contact

Thousands of professors around the country are members of ISI. Part of the appeal of membership is belonging to a national network of conservative scholars and receiving ISI publications and related discounts. But for many ISI professors, the opportunity to mentor talented, motivated students is just as appealing.

On campus, professors advise ISI Societies, which bring together intellectually curious students to discuss ideas and host lectures, debates, conferences, and other events. ISI professors also teach and mentor students at ISI seminars and conferences held around the country. Select professors can join ISI’s Speakers Bureau for the opportunity to lecture on behalf of ISI.

Visit our Professors page to learn more, or contact

ISI offers plenty of resources for people who are not students or professors but want to continue their education. ISI publishes more than 250 books, which are available for purchase at, as well as Modern Age, which the great conservative thinker Russell Kirk founded in 1957 and which remains the only serious journal for cultural conservatives. ISI’s Lecture & Journal Archive is an unmatched treasury of articles, lectures, and debates featuring everyone from William F. Buckley Jr., Russell Kirk, and Milton Friedman to Ross Douthat, Charles Murray, and Rand Paul.

Many people stay involved with ISI by making charitable, tax-deductible contributions to support the Institute’s mission. Visit our Donors page to find out how your generous donation can help ISI achieve its mission and how, through ISI’s donor clubs, you can join a network of like-minded supporters.

ISI relies completely on the support of private donors. Your generous support helps us achieve our mission. If you’re interested in making a charitable, tax-deductible gift to ISI, visit our Donors page, where you’ll find ways to give and learn about how you too can join the ISI community.

ISI gives the most talented future professors and journalists their start through its fellowship programs. Each year the Institute awards more than a dozen fellowships to outstanding graduate students preparing for a career teaching at the university level. Through the decades ISI has awarded more than five hundred graduate fellowships, with alumni of the program now teaching in the world’s most prestigious universities and making their mark as public intellectuals.

ISI’s student journalism program, the Collegiate Network, gives rising young journalists their professional start by placing them in yearlong fellowships at top publications, including USA Today, National Review, First Things, The Hill, the Daily Caller, and the Dallas Morning News.

ISI places students and recent graduates at leading publications and organizations, from The Hill and the New York Post to the American Enterprise Institute. Click here to learn about our internship program.

The Western tradition is a unique achievement, and it is our common heritage. From the inspiring poetry of Homer to the keen philosophic questioning of Socrates, from the architectural triumphs of Rome to the codification of Roman law by the Byzantine emperor Justinian, from the voice of the Hebrew prophets to the liturgy of medieval Christendom, and from the English common law to our own American constitutional order—all this is a precious achievement.

It is because we as Americans are heirs of Washington, Adams, Madison, and Jefferson that we are also heirs of Shakespeare, Dante, Plato, and Saint Augustine—for our nation’s Founders were themselves stewards of the Western patrimony. The American experiment in ordered liberty is a distinctively Western project, and the success of that experiment is put into jeopardy by the great loss of memory now evident in our institutions of higher learning. In many cases contemporary academic enthusiasms have brought students to the point where it is now our own civilization that is terra incognita—an “unknown land.”

ISI charts the way into the exotic landscape of Western civilization, hosting a series of educational programs to support the study of the unique institutions, ideas, and values of the West. ISI is working to renew the traditions of liberal learning in American higher education.

No. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute meets the Internal Revenue Service definition of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization. ISI does not attempt to influence legislation as part of its activities; nor does it participate in campaign activity for or against political candidates.

No. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute is not affiliated with one particular religious body, though the Institute relies on the moral and cultural traditions that are part of the Judeo-Christian heritage and rooted in Western civilization.

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute receives no funding or any other aid from any level of the government; it relies on the financial support of the general public—individuals, foundations, and corporations. These supporters recognize ISI’s dedication to the principles that make America free and prosperous and to building sound leadership for the nation’s future. With an established track record for efficient and effective programming—and a commitment to transparency that has earned the Institute a Gold-level rating from Guidestar—ISI ensures its donors the best value and impact for their support.

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute is located in Wilmington, Delaware.

Yes. Members are welcome to visit ISI’s national headquarters, the F. M. Kirby Campus, during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), Monday through Friday. All visits must be scheduled at least forty-eight hours in advance by calling 800-526-7022.

No. ISI is not an accredited educational institution with formal classroom instruction. But ISI helps students fill the holes in their education left by most contemporary universities. The Institute makes a lasting impression on students by giving them a firm grounding in the principles of liberty and Western civilization. One former ISI student member, Harvard alumnus Christopher Lacaria, says, “ISI gave me an education that even Harvard couldn’t.”

Books published by ISI are available wherever books are sold, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and many other stores. The University of Chicago Press distributes ISI Books. Online purchases can also be made at