Application Process

Applications for the Emerge 2021 Class are closed.

The application process for the 2022 Class will be available in September 2021.

Who Should Apply?

Emerge Pennsylvania seeks Democratic self-identified women who are planning to run for elected office in the next 2-5 years.

Emerge PA is for women who have run for office before and won or lost, as well as for women who have not run for office yet. We train women who are running for all types of offices up and down the ballot including state senate, mayor, county councils, town councils, city councils, state representative, school board, county row offices, judges, and US Congress.

We are looking for women who are committed to effective political leadership and who have:

  • Evidence of political leadership experience or potential, and meaningful involvement in workplace or community;
  • Interest in running for political office;
  • Ability and desire to build effective networks;
  • Ability to articulate a personal political vision;
  • Commitment to full participation and attendance requirements of the training.
  • Applicants must be self-identified women who are Democrats and who reside in the state of Pennsylvania.

Emerge Pennsylvania will select 25 women from across the state who meet the above criteria and who we believe to have the potential to be political leaders.

Emerge embraces diversity and encourages applications from all women regardless of age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, marital status, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, socio-economic status or physical ability. Our mission to build the bench of Democratic women ready to run for office acknowledges both systemic and historic barriers to running for office as well as the barriers women impose on themselves.

To be considered for the Emerge Pennsylvania training program, applicants must complete a written application. Written applications will be evaluated by a selection committee and qualified applicants will be invited to a virtual interview.

Time Commitment

The success of the Emerge Pennsylvania program depends upon each program member’s commitment to the entire 6-month candidate training program. We expect full participation in each training session.

You will learn best practices in fundraising, networking, and coalition building, honing your message, writing a field plan and stump speech, how to seek endorsements, public speaking, dealing with the media and the press and much more! All of these skills will make you a better and more polished candidate, giving you an edge!

Our training curriculum is comprehensive and includes a focus on building one of the most important candidate skills – the ability and confidence to fundraise. To help program members develop their fundraising skills, each program member is required to raise a minimum of $250 for Emerge Pennsylvania during the training program. The program offers ample opportunities and support for participants to fulfill the fundraising requirement. The program is committed to helping Democratic women become excellent fundraisers and raising funds for the organization is one of the best—and most fun—ways to build this skill.

Application Fee

Your non-refundable application fee of $35.00 must be paid for your application to be considered. You are responsible for ensuring that your application is complete. Click here to pay the application fee online, or mail a check to Emerge Pennsylvania, P.O. Box 60078, Philadelphia, PA 19102.


Tuition for the six-month program is $750. There is an additional $250 obligation to be fundraised for a total write/raise obligation of $1,000. This money offsets but does not nearly cover the cost of Emerge Pennsylvania’s out-of-pocket costs for providing the training sessions.

Financial need should not be a barrier to participating in our program. To that end:

  • We provide the opportunity to spread payments out throughout the length of the program by setting up a payment plan. We accept checks and credit cards.
  • Participants are encouraged to consider fundraising to help cover the cost of their tuition. Asking friends, family members, colleagues or like-minded political folks is a great way to raise smaller amounts of money that add up! We will advise you on how to do this and its a great first step in your training. Many Emerge Pennsylvania alumnae have had terrific success fundraising their tuition.
  • After consideration of the first two options, we invite participants to apply for tuition assistance.

If financial concerns are holding you back from completing your application, please reach out to Executive Director Rebecca McNichol at Financial need should not be a barrier to applying to the program.