Frequently Asked Questions

What is ISI?

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute is a 501c(3) non-profit, educational organization whose mission is to inspire college students to discover, embrace, and advance the principles and virtues that make America free and prosperous. Through its various programming and publishing elements, ISI annually reaches hundreds of thousands of individuals who are interested in the core ideas behind the free market, the American Founding, and Western civilization that are rarely taught in the classroom.

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Is ISI affiliated with any political party?

No. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute meets the Internal Revenue Service definition of a 501c(3) non-profit 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.

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Is ISI affiliated with any particular religion?

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.

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Where does ISI get its financial support?

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute receives its funding from a variety of sources, including private charitable trusts and individual gifts. These supporters recognize ISI’s dedication and success in reforming and improving higher education and building sound leadership for the nation’s future. With an established track record for efficient and effective programming, ISI ensures its donors the best value and impact for their support.

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Where is ISI located?

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute is located in Wilmington, Delaware.

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Can members visit ISI?

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 48 hours in advance by calling (800) 526-7022.

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Does ISI offer any college credit for participation in its programs?

No. ISI is not an accredited educational institution with formal classroom instruction. Instead, ISI is characterized as a “para-university,” working alongside colleges to point students to the heart of higher education – engaging the world of ideas. As one former ISI member observed, “I received my diploma from the university, but obtained my education from ISI.”

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Where can I purchase ISI Books?

ISI Books are available for purchase through a variety of retail outlets. These include Barnes & Noble Booksellers and The University of Chicago Press distributes ISI Books. Online purchases can also be made at

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What sort of fellowship programs does ISI sponsor?

Over the past forty years, ISI has awarded more than 500 graduate fellowships to outstanding students preparing for a career in teaching at the university level. Between 10–16 fellowships are awarded annually.

Annually ISI selects 50 outstanding undergraduates to participate in the Honors Program. This fellowship includes a weeklong summer conference, ongoing mentoring relationship in a chosen field, a library of ISI books, and invites to several ISI conferences, including a special career development seminar.

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Does ISI have an internship program?

Although no annual internship program exists, occasional short-term employment opportunities are available dependent on the needs of the Institute. Announcements of such openings are made exclusively through the membership network.

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What is the Western Tradition?

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 of 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. Indeed, 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.”

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute is working to chart the way into the exotic landscape of Western Civilization. ISI hosts a series of educational programs to support at every level the study of the unique institutions, ideas, and values of the West and to work for reform in our universities. Within these initiatives, ISI is working to renew the traditions of liberal learning in American higher education.

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