Student Information

Kellogg Board Fellows

Interested in serving on the board of a nonprofit?

Kellogg Board Fellows is an experiential learning program in which a Kellogg student (“Fellow”) is matched with a Chicago-area nonprofit to serve as an ex-officio board member, while simultaneously completing a meaningful strategic project addressing a critical board need.

In addition to gaining real-world experience through board service, Fellows study nonprofit board governance through two courses taught at Kellogg. Coursework consists of lectures on nonprofit governance, guest speakers, and breakout sessions. This academic experience ensures Fellows are trained in board governance and can add value to their boards throughout their fellowship. 

Fifty Fellows are selected each year through a peer-reviewed, competitive, merit-based application process.

Program Components

  • Complete two courses taught at Kellogg: Nonprofit Board Governance (1st Year, Winter Quarter) and Advanced Board Governance 
  • (2nd year)
  • Frequent guest lectures from influential nonprofit and corporate leaders
Board Service
  • Fellows attend all board meetings and participate as ex-officio board members for [15] months
  • Fellows complete strategic project addressing a critical board need
  • Attend board-member functions such as galas and retreats
  • Work with a board mentor and the executive director/CEO throughout your fellowship
  • Learn from your peers’ experiences
  • Participate in social and service events throughout the year as cohort
Program Timeline

Kellogg Board Fellows is a two-year commitment with students accepted to the program in October of their first year and serving on their respective boards through May of their second year.

Application Process

Approximately 50 Fellows are selected each year through a competitive, student-led application process beginning in September of a student’s first year at Kellogg. The two-part application process includes a written section and is followed by a group case interview (by invitation only). Fellows are notified of their acceptance by mid-October of their first year.

Incoming first-year students should plan to attend an information session at the beginning of the school year to learn more about the application process and timing.


Fellows must be students enrolled in the 2-year MBA program at the Kellogg School of Management or JD-MBAs in their first year at Kellogg.

Fellows may not participate in exchange programs (study abroad or joint degree programs with other universities).

During their fellowship, Fellows will:
  • Maintain strict confidentiality with regard to topics discussed at board and committee meetings, and any information shared with them in person or writing that is intended for board members only
  • Attend no less than 75% of board and relevant committee meetings and/or call in to meetings if in-person attendance is impossible
  • Attend as many board-level events (e.g. retreats, galas, public programs) as possible;
  • Complete Kellogg Public-Private Interface (KPPI) courses 453-5 (Nonprofit Board Governance) and 471 (Advanced Board Governance)
  • Engage in regular communication with his or her mentor and the organization’s executive director/CEO
  • Notify his or her mentor and staff contact of any scheduling conflicts or changes in availability for meetings
  • Work with the executive director/CEO and mentor to identify a project that will benefit the board and advance the mission of the organization and then commit to a timetable of deliverables
  • Notify the Kellogg Board Fellows program manager of any conflicts or concerns
  • No prior nonprofit experience required, but a passion for board service and civic leadership is.
To learn more about the application process, please contact