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Fellowship Opportunities

Juniors (current and rising)

Fellowships are merit-based awards for further academic study or research disbursed through national, and sometimes international, competitions. Some sponsors also use the term “scholarship” in the name of their awards.

The federal government, foreign governments, and private philanthropic organizations sponsor these award programs. The programs provide funding based on academic merit and other criteria to support advanced study or research in the US and abroad after completion of the bachelor‘s degree.

Fellowship Opportunities for Juniors

Some of these programs are officially coordinated by our office while others are handled by the Center for Education Abroad. Many programs do not require any formal University involvement, but students are encouraged to seek advisement from the relevant office for these competitions as well.

Programs preceded by an asterisk (*) require institutional endorsement of candidates.

  • To be considered for nomination, you will need to complete the Fellowships Preliminary Questionnaire (FPQ) by the specified spring or fall deadline, prior to submitting the official application for campus review.
  • Campus application deadlines are much earlier than the national application due dates. Check with the appropriate office at least a semester in advance if you are interested in applying for any of these awards.
  • Before you are nominated or endorsed, we will perform a conduct and academic honesty check to confirm that you are in good disciplinary and academic standing.

Please note that the campus application process begins in the spring of your junior year for some senior year competitions with early fall deadlines, e.g., Fulbright, Rhodes, Marshall, and Mitchell.

The fellowship and scholarship programs described below are open to students of junior standing. This is a selective list of national and international competitive fellowships opportunities.


* Beinecke Memorial Scholarship

The Beinecke Memorial Scholarship is for juniors who have demonstrated superior ability (minimum 3.70 GPA) in the arts, humanities, or social sciences and who wish to pursue graduate study in one of these areas. The scholarship is only open to US citizens and nationals. A history of receiving need-based aid is required to be nominated.

The scholarship awards students $34,000. There are no geographic restrictions on the use of the scholarship, and recipients are allowed to supplement the award with other scholarships, assistantships, and research grants.

* University of Rochester nomination is required, and we select just one junior for the national competition. Selection is based on:

  • Academic achievement
  • Intellectual promise
  • A 1000-word personal essay
  • Financial-need profile
  • Recommendation letters

Prospective candidates should complete the Fellowships Preliminary Application (FPQ) by the specified fall deadline in their junior year. A complete, polished draft of the official application is due in early January for the campus nomination process. See the Beinecke binder in the Fellowships Office for examples of essays by past Rochester applicants.

It is strongly recommended that a first draft be submitted for feedback in late November.

* † David L. Boren/NSEP (National Security Education Program) Undergraduate Scholarship

The David L. Boren NSEP Undergraduate Scholarship is for undergraduates who are US citizens and wish to study abroad in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean, or the Middle East.

Maximum scholarship awards are:

  • $8,000 for a summer program (special initiative for STEM students only; eight weeks minimum)
  • $10,000 for a semester
  • $20,000 for a full academic year

Academic programs must include formal study of a modern language other than English and the study of an area and culture considered critical to US national security.

Selection based on:

  • Academic achievement and potential to succeed in the proposed study abroad experience
  • Commitment to international education to fulfill academic and career goals
  • Commitment to seek work in the federal government
  • The quality and appropriateness of the proposed program

The undergraduate application process is coordinated through the Center for Education Abroad. Applications are usually due mid-January.

Critical Language Scholarship

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) is an overseas language training and cultural enrichment program in languages deemed of critical importance to the US:

  • Arabic
  • Persian
  • Azerbaijani
  • Bangla/Bengali
  • Chinese
  • Hindi
  • Indonesian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Punjabi
  • Russian
  • Turkish
  • Urdu

Open to currently enrolled students (undergraduates and graduates) in all academic disciplines who are US citizens. Undergraduate candidates must have completed at least one year of college by the program start date. Candidates must also meet language study prerequisites set for the language of interest. The application may be made for one language only.

The award covers all CLS program costs.

Selection basis includes:

  • Academic record and potential to succeed in a rigorous academic setting
  • Cultural adaptability
  • Diversity
  • Plan for continuation of language study
  • Plan for use of the language studied in a future career

Two letters of recommendation are required; one from a language instructor and one from an academic contact, preferably a professor.

The application is available online and usually due mid-November.

DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst/German Academic Exchange Service)

The programs are open to all students studying in North America. Students who are citizens of countries outside North America may also apply for certain DAAD programs. See the DAAD website for details.

There are several different DAAD programs that students may be interested in:

  • Undergraduate Scholarship: Sophomores and juniors with demonstrated interest in German and European affairs can apply for this award to support study abroad, senior thesis research, or internships in Germany. Funding is available for a minimum of four and a maximum of ten months during the German academic year, i.e. October to July. Proficiency in German is not mandatory, but applicants should have the necessary language skills for the programs they propose to undertake. The application deadline is usually January 31.
  • Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE): Sophomores and juniors majoring in a science or engineering field may apply for summer internships of six weeks to three months; placements provided by top German university research groups. Knowledge of German is not required for most positions but would be helpful for life outside the laboratory. A two-week intensive language course is available for participants with little or no German. The application deadline is in mid-January.
  • Study and Internship Program (SIP) in Germany: Sophomores and juniors majoring in an engineering, science, economics, or art/design field can apply for full semester of study at a participating German university of applied sciences followed by semester-long paid internship in a German company or research institute. Basic German skills helpful, but some courses available in English. The application deadline is usually mid-February.
* † Davis Projects for Peace

Davis Projects for Peace grants $10,000 for summer grassroots projects designed to resolve conflict and maintain peace.

Successful applicants will use their creativity to design projects and employ innovative techniques for conflict resolution, reconciliation, building understanding and breaking down barriers that cause conflict, and finding solutions for resolving conflict and maintaining peace.

The application is open to all undergraduates in all disciplines, and both individual and group projects are welcome. The project itself can take place anywhere in the world.

Nomination requirements:

  • Two-page statement (project description, expected outcomes, prospects for future impact)
  • One-page budget
  • A letter of support from collaborating organization or parties
  • One general reference from a Rochester instructor or staff supervisor per candidate

Submit application materials and a resume for each applicant via email to Belinda Redden, Director of Fellowships, at fellowships@rochester.edu. Two proposals will be selected by a campus review committee.

See the UR Davis Project campus timeline for deadline information.

* Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is for undergraduates in any field to pursue full-time international study worldwide but especially in countries outside of Western Europe and Australia. The scholarship is open to US citizens and nationals receiving a Federal Pell Grant at the time of application.

Study abroad periods may be from four weeks up to an academic year and there are a limited number of summer programs are available. Study abroad programs must be approved by the University for academic credit.

The scholarship awards up to $5,000, with an average award of $4,000.

Applications are available online and must be officially endorsed by the Center for Education Abroad. Students should apply in the academic term prior to the start date of the study abroad program: March for fall and summer study abroad or October for spring study abroad.

Glamour's Top Ten College Women Competition

Glamour's Top Ten College Women Competition is for junior and senior women in any field, of any national origin. Applicants must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (void in Quebec).

There is one grand prize of $20,000 and nine $3,000 cash prizes plus a three-day trip to New York City, opportunities to meet top female professionals, and recognition in Glamour magazine.

Applicants are evaluated on:

  • Academic excellence
  • Leadership experiences
  • Personal involvement in community and campus affairs

Applications are available online and are usually due in mid-September.

* Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is awarded to outstanding sophomore and junior students (top 25 percent of class and minimum 3.75 cumulative GPA) in mathematics, natural sciences, or engineering who are preparing for graduate study (usually PhD) and research-oriented careers in their field.

The scholarship is open to US citizens, permanent residents, or, in the case of nominees from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, US nationals.

Students who are awarded the scholarship will receive up to $7,500 a year for the remaining year(s) of undergraduate study.

* University of Rochester nomination is required for this scholarship and only four nominees will be selected. Selection will be made on the basis of:

  • Superior academic achievement
  • Research experience and scholarly potential
  • A research essay
  • Three letters of recommendation

Prospective candidates should complete the Fellowships Preliminary Application (FPQ) by the specified fall deadline.

A complete, polished draft of the official application is due in early December for the campus nomination process. It is strongly recommended that a first draft be submitted for feedback in October. You can see the Goldwater binder in the Fellowships Office for examples of application essays by past Rochester applicants. Nominees are usually selected by early January.

Humane Studies Fellowship

The Humane Studies Fellowship is for juniors, seniors, and graduate students of any nationality "embarking on liberty-advancing careers in ideas." Students must have a clearly demonstrated interest in the classical liberal/libertarian tradition of individual rights and free-market economies. This fellowship is open to candidates from various fields of study.

The fellowship awards $2,000 to $15,000, which can be used at any degree-granting institution in the US or abroad.

Selection is based on:

  • Academic performance
  • Relevant admission test scores (GRE, LSAT, SAT, etc.)
  • Demonstrated interest in classical liberal ideas
  • Potential to contribute to "the advancement of a free society"

The application can be downloaded and must be postmarked no later than January 31. Approximately 100 fellowships are awarded each year.

Humanity in Action Foundation Fellowship

The international human rights education and internship program sponsored by the Humanity in Action Foundation is "devoted to the study and betterment of human rights and specifically the relationship between majority and minority populations." Students from any national background of sophomore through senior standing may apply.

Students chosen from the US travel to Washington, DC for orientation and then to a participating European country for a four-week European core program of seminars, workshops, site visits, and meetings with figures from various fields, such as academia, government, journalism, and human rights organizations. Fellows engage in outreach programs to their peers and local communities during the academic year following the summer program in Europe.

Selection is based on:

  • Leadership potential
  • Academic achievement
  • Interest in minority issues
  • Concern for human rights
  • Willingness to engage in intellectually and socially rigorous work in group settings
  • Maturity
  • Self-reliance

The foundation pays expenses for European travel and accommodations.

The application deadline is in early January. See the program website for more detailed information, application forms, and exact filing deadline.

Josephine de Kármán Fellowship

The Josephine de Kármán Fellowship is for juniors of any national origin pursuing studies in any discipline. Special consideration is given to qualified applicants in the humanities.

The $14,000 fellowship must fund the senior year of undergraduate study in the US. Selection criteria includes evidence of exceptional ability and seriousness of purpose.

The application requires a 250-300-word statement of intellectual interest and two letters of recommendation. Applications are available online and are usually due in late January.

Approximately 10 fellowships are awarded each spring.

McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

The McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is for sophomores and juniors to pursue summer or academic-year research projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The program is open to US citizens and permanent residents who are (1) members of an underrepresented minority group (African American, Hispanic, or Native American) or (2) low-income, first-generation college students. The aim is to encourage these students to pursue doctoral degrees.

Student must have a minimum cumulative and major GPA of 2.8.

The program offers an academic-year option ($1,200 stipend) or a full-time summer option ($3,600 stipend, room, board, and travel expenses). Participants gain experience presenting their research and receive guidance on graduate-school application process.

Application deadlines are in early December for the academic-year program and early February for the summer program.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship Program is for students committed to pursuing health-related research careers in biomedical, behavioral, or social science fields. The program is open to US citizens, nationals, or qualified permanent residents with a documented history of significant financial need. First-years through juniors may apply with first priority given to junior applicants.

Scholarships are worth up to $20,000 per year. Other benefits include:

  • 10-week paid summer internship at NIH
  • Professional mentoring
  • Scientific seminars
  • Employment after completion of graduate school

A minimum 3.50 GPA is required.

To aid in the preparation of a competitive application, prospective candidates are encouraged to complete the campus Fellowships Preliminary Questionnaire (FPQ) in the fall (by December 1) and present a draft of the application essays to the Fellowships Office for critical feedback by January 5.

The national deadline is usually in late January.

New York Women in Communications, Inc. (NYWICI) Foundation Scholarship

The New York Women in Communications, Inc. Foundation Scholarship is for undergraduate and graduate students majoring in a communications-related field and aspiring to a career in this area. Students must be US citizens and permanent residents of NY, NJ, CT, or PA.

The scholarship awards range from $2,500 to $10,000.

Selection criteria include:

  • Academic excellence (minimum 3.2 GPA)
  • Financial need
  • Leadership
  • Campus and community service
  • Honors
  • Involvement in communications-related activities

To apply students must submit:

  • Personal essay
  • Statement of goals and aspirations
  • Two reference letters

Applications are available online and are usually due in late January.

Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship

The Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship is for juniors in any academic field with strong interest in public and/or international affairs and a desire to prepare for professional roles in the field by pursuing a master's degree. The program targets students from historically under-represented groups, but also welcomes applications from any individual who can demonstrate commitment to PPIA's diversity goals. All PPIA participating universities accept applications from US citizens and permanent residents; Princeton and Carnegie Mellon will also accept applications from international students.

The program includes full tuition and stipend for the Junior Summer Institute (JSI) at a participating university, GRE preparation, partial funding for graduate school, internships, and other professional development opportunities.

Applications are available online and are usually due November 1.

SMART Scholarship for Service Program (Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation)

The SMART Scholarship for Service Program is for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields who have demonstrated ability and special aptitude for excelling in their fields. Applicants should have a strong interest in theoretical and applied research as well as interest in working for the Department of Defense as civilian research scientists and engineers. Only US citizens may apply.

To apply students must have:

  • A minimum 3.0/4.0 cumulative GPA required.
  • Two letters of recommendation

The award includes full tuition and eligible expenses, an annual cash award of at least $25,000, summer internships, and post-graduation employment opportunities in the Department of Defense laboratories and agencies.

The application is available online and is usually due in early October.

* Harry S. Truman Scholarship

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is for outstanding juniors (top 25 percent of class and minimum 3.60 cumulative GPA) in any field who are change agents, plan to pursue a career in government or elsewhere in public service, and wish to attend graduate or professional school to help prepare for their career. The scholarship is open to US citizens and nationals.

Students from all majors may apply, but some coursework in political science, policy studies, or social analysis is strongly recommended.

The scholarship awards $30,000 for graduate study. Other benefits include a week of seminars and networking with prominent public servants at the Truman Library, graduate-school and professional mentoring, as well as internship opportunities.

* University of Rochester nomination is required, and up to four juniors may be nominated.

Scholars are selected on the basis of:

  • Academic achievement
  • Exceptional leadership
  • Community service
  • Participation in local or national elective politics, or advocacy work
  • A policy proposal
  • Three letters of recommendation

Prospective candidates should complete the Fellowships Preliminary Questionnaire (FPQ) by the specified fall deadline of their junior year. A complete, polished draft application for the campus nomination process is due in early November for review by the campus committee. The nomination process includes a campus interview. A first draft must be submitted for feedback in late October. See the Truman binder in the Fellowships Office for examples of application essays and policy proposals by past Rochester applicants.

Tylenol Scholarship Program

The Tylenol Scholarship Program is for students majoring in an area that may lead to a health-related career. Ten scholarships worth $10,000, and 30 scholarships worth $5,000 are awarded each year.

Selection is based on academic achievement and leadership in community and school activities. Applications are available online and usually due in late April.

* Udall Scholarship

The Udall Scholarship is for full-time sophomores and juniors in any major (1) with a strong demonstrated commitment to environmental issues OR (2) who are Native American/Alaska Native and also committed to Native American healthcare OR tribal public policy. The scholarship is open to US citizens, permanent residents, and US nationals.

Students can be awarded up to $5,000 for tuition, room and board, or other educational expenses. Students who win as sophomores may re-apply in their junior year.

Students who apply should have a minimum 3.55 cumulative GPA.

* University of Rochester nomination is required and up to six nominees may be selected.

Selection based on:

  • Academic achievement and honors
  • Record of leadership and service
  • Relevant work experience
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A critical essay discussing Congressman Morris K. Udall's or Secretary Stewart L. Udall's public policy work and its relation to the applicant's interests and career goals

Prospective candidates should complete the Fellowships Preliminary Application (FPQ) by the specified fall deadline. A complete, polished draft of the application for the campus nomination process is due in early January. It is strongly recommended that a first draft be submitted for feedback by mid-November. See Udall binder in the Fellowships Office for examples of application essays by past Rochester applicants.

Approximately 75 Udall Scholars are selected each spring.

USA Today's All-USA College Academic Team

USA Today's All-USA College Academic Team is for undergraduates of at least sophomore standing who are legal residents of the US or DC (excluding Puerto Rico) and who have distinguished themselves through high academic achievement, creativity, unusual service to others, and effective leadership.

Winners will receive a $2,500 cash award, with only 20 cash awards made each year.

Application requires an essay on most outstanding intellectual endeavor, which can be in scholarly research, the creative or performing arts, community service, or public affairs. Applications are available online and are usually due late November.

Students will normally be nominated by a professor.