A graduate school fellowship is a financial award given to students entering graduate school. It is designed to help students cover academic and personal expenses while working on advanced degrees.

Who Gives Fellowships

Graduate school fellowships are offered by the U.S. government, individual graduate schools, non-profit organizations and private corporations.

Who Qualifies

The qualifications for graduate school fellowships vary, based on the individual program. Almost all are merit-based and require a minimum grade point average and standardized test scores.


Most graduate school fellowships are specific to an individual area of study, such as marine biology or urban planning. Other graduate school fellowships are designed to help women, minorities, immigrants or those with disabilities.

Other Kinds of Fellowships

Some graduate school fellowships provide a stipend in exchange for working at an academic internship in your field or serving as an adjunct professor at your school.

How to Apply

Most graduate school fellowships require you to submit an essay explaining why you are qualified for the fellowship and your academic and career plans. You will also need to submit copies of your college transcripts and letters of recommendation.

When to Apply

You may apply for most graduate school fellowships as soon as you gain admission to a master’s or doctoral program.

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