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Prospective Fellows


The ICM Fellows Application opens on January 2, 2024. Learn more about the application process and the eligibility requirements in the “Admissions” and “Steps to ICM Fellowship” tabs below. Or, join us for the informational sessions with Fellows staff, current students, and alumni below.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to with any questions!

Can’t make it to a live informational session? Check out the recorded session from early 2023 below. Please note, some of the dates in this informational video may change yearly. The best place to find the most current information on the ICM Fellows application process is under the “Admissions” tab below.

Please note, some of the dates in this informational video may change yearly. The best place to find the most current information on the ICM Fellows application process is under the “Admissions” tab below.

The ICM Fellows Program welcomes applicants who will achieve the Certified Court Executive credential by June 2024. Applications for the 54th Fellows class beginning in May 2024 will be accepted on a rolling basis from January 2, 2024 through March 15, 2024.

Admissions materials are reviewed by Fellows staff, with formal invitations extended to the selected candidates. Please note all members of the 54th class will be required to attend an in-person residency in Williamsburg, VA on June 23-28, 2024. Travel and lodging assistance may be available. Questions about the program or the admissions process should be addressed to ICM Fellows.

View the 54th class draft schedule for 2024-2025

Required Application Materials

  • Completed ICM Fellows online application
  • Applicants must upload the following materials to the application:
    • A typed cover letter explaining why you wish to pursue certification as an Institute for Court Management Fellow. How Fellows study relates to your major duties, responsibilities, and career goals should be summarized. Explain what you hope to get from undertaking this rigorous course of study. This statement helps assess your interest and motivation for fellowship study and helps gauge the fit between what the program offers and what you hope to receive from it.
    • A résumé that provides evidence of work experience and academic achievement.
    • A letter of recommendation from a direct supervisor or presiding judge that indicates you discussed all the Fellows program requirements with them and they authorize and support your participation.
    • A 500-1,500 word essay response to the following questions. It may follow any style format but should be typed and double-spaced.
    • Download Essay Prompt [PDF]

Becoming an ICM Fellow is a process of continual professional development that includes four phases. Participants can expect to complete the Fellows coursework within approximately one year, May through June, with commencement typically scheduled for August of the graduating year.

The ideal Fellows candidates are court professionals who have received the Certified Court Executive designation from ICM and wish to deepen their understanding of court governance and leadership. They want to understand the connection between leadership and data-driven decision-making and are willing to cement this understanding through a novel applied research project. They have a question they want to answer, an assumption they want to test, and a problem they want to understand better. They want to create a judicial system that works for everyone.

Phase 1:

The first step to acquiring the ICM Fellows diploma is completing the Certified Court Executive designation before the June residency.

Phase 2:

The second Fellows program phase is The Coursework phase from May through September. The Coursework phase consists of virtual classes, readings, small group work, and a 1-week residency during which participants will gather at the NCSC headquarters in Virginia. The residency will include activities, experiences, and opportunities that will help participants learn more about the NCSC; enhance their research, speaking, writing, and leadership skills; develop their paper project topic; and strengthen bonds with their cohort. ICM may offer some travel assistance for the residency.

Phase 3:

The third Fellows program phase is the Court Project phase. This phase requires participants to complete an independent research-based court improvement project with the assistance of a project advisor. This includes data collection, analysis, and synthesis resulting in a written report submitted to the ICM Fellows Dean for approval. Candidates are assigned a project advisor to serve as a resource and guide for the court project. Approved reports are equivalent in quality to a master's degree thesis and must include an abstract, introduction, literature review, methods, findings, conclusions and recommendations, appendices, and references.  Completed reports add to the growing court administration literature and are archived in the NCSC Library and eCollection.

Phase 4:

The final step to becoming an ICM Fellow is the Presentation phase.  Participants must present their project virtually to a panel of court administration experts, answer questions about their project, and receive feedback from the panel. Participants have one month to prepare for their presentation through virtual classes and practice sessions.


Coursework Phase: $1,500

Court Project Phase: $1,500

Presentation Phase: $1,000

Total: $4,000

Scholarship Opportunities

ICM Fellows candidates may be eligible for scholarship assistance from one of the following sources. Please note some scholarships are competitive, and membership may be required by sponsoring organizations. To inquire about a scholarship opportunity, please contact  ICM Fellows.

Additionally, ICM may offer travel assistance for the residency in Williamsburg.