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Graduate School

Presidential Fellowship

Presidential Fellows are part of an engaged community of scholars pursuing doctoral and MFA degrees across a wide range of academic disciplines. As a Fellow, you would receive additional funding, professional development, and community designed to enhance the value of your graduate studies.

The Award

Open to prospective graduate students in any doctoral or MFA program, the fellowship provides a stipend in addition to that which is offered by the academic department.  Renewal of the stipend each semester is contingent upon participation in professional development seminars and adequate progress towards degree completion.

Doctoral Fellows

$40,000 over four years

MFA Fellows

$25,000 over five semesters 


Nominees must...

  • Have been admitted to a doctoral or MFA program for the Fall 2021 semester. 

Submitting a Nomination

Graduate Directors must nominate prospective Fellows after they have been admitted to their graduate program.

Graduate Directors must submit a nomination letter on behalf of the nominee. The letter must be specific in stating the funding package from the program, including percentage of tuition to be abated, stipend, and duration. As the Presidential Fellowship is a four-year award, academic programs must provide four years of funding to Presidential Fellows (five semesters if the nominee is entering an MFA program). Email a PDF of the nomination letter to Wright Culpepper at with ‘Presidential Fellowship Nomination Letter’ in the subject line. The Fellowships and Scholarships Committee of Graduate Council will review the nominee’s entire Graduate School application as part of the selection process. The Graduate Director is not responsible for providing any other documents, academic history information, GRE scores, etc. Programs may submit a maximum of two nominations. If submitting two nominations, the nominations must be ranked ‘1’ or ‘2’. Both nominations must be made in the same round.

The program must provide the fellow with whichever is greater:

  • 50% tuition and fee abatement plus an $8,000 annual stipend OR
  • The standard level of funding for a graduate assistant in the academic unit 

Nomination Deadlines

  • Round 1: January 15
  • Round 2:  February 5
  • Round 3: March 5

How Nominations Work

Selections for the Fall 2021 cohort will be made throughout the Spring 2021 semester. There will be three nomination deadlines with the intent of accommodating the wide range of application deadlines across our doctoral and MFA programs.

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