Graduate Dean's fellowships and merit scholarships

The Graduate School will award a combination of fellowships and merit scholarships each academic year to an elite selection of master's and doctoral students who show the potential to make substantive contributions to their discipline. Review the nomination procedures and eligibility requirements for each type of award below.

Graduate Dean's fellowships

The Graduate Dean's fellowships are limited to incoming domestic and international doctoral students in any approved University of Nevada, Reno doctoral program (Ph.D. or doctorate). There is a maximum of six, one-year fellowships in the amount of $35,000 per academic year ($17,500 per semester). The fellowship also qualifies non-Nevada residents for a waiver of out-of-state tuition.

  • Nomination deadlines

    Nomination deadlines

    • For the first nomination period, we will begin reviewing nominations on Monday, February 8, 2021 and continue reviewing nominations through Monday, March 1, 2021. We hope to begin announcing awards in late February.
    • For the second nomination period, we will begin reviewing nominations on Monday, March 15, 2021 and continue reviewing nominations through Monday, April 12, 2021. We hope to begin announcing awards in late April.
    • Fall nomination – September 20, 2021
  • Eligibility requirements

    Eligibility requirements

    • The applicant must be a fully admitted, incoming domestic or international student who has been offered admission to a degree-granting doctoral program (Ph.D. or doctorate) at the University of Nevada, Reno at the time of nomination.
    • The applicant must meet the minimum requirements for admission to a doctoral degree-granting program at the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School, either as a domestic or international student.
    • Fellows must maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid throughout the period of the fellowship and must enroll in nine or more units per semester.
    • During the period of the Graduate Dean's Fellowship award, the student cannot hold other fellowships or a Graduate Dean's Merit Scholarship.
    • Fellows also cannot hold a position of employment with the University or elsewhere during the fall and spring semesters of the fellowship award. Summer employment during the months of June and July at the end of the fellowship is permitted.
    • Fellowship offers for the March 1 nomination cycle should be announced by March 19, and recipients will have until April 15 to accept admission.
    • Fellowship offers for the April 2 nomination cycle should be announced by April 19, and recipients will have until May 14 to accept admission.
  • Nomination procedures

    Nomination procedures

    • Each graduate program is allowed to submit a maximum of two nominations.
    • Nominations must be submitted by the graduate program's director, as currently recognized by the Graduate School.
    • Nomination decisions should be based on a holistic review or the consideration of a broad range of applicant qualities. Criteria used in the holistic review include GPA, letters of recommendation, personal/research statements, research/work experience, standardized test scores, fit with program faculty, contributions of the applicant to diversity and inclusion and potential of the applicant to make substantive contributions to their discipline.
    • Nominations will be made via submission of a 1 to 2-page (800 words or less) nomination statement submitted using the link below. The nomination statement should provide a summary of the student's educational background, academic performance, accomplishments and potential for success in graduate school and beyond. The statement must also include a plan to support the fellow for a minimum of two additional years on a full-time graduate teaching assistantship and/or graduate research assistantship.

    NOMINATE A STUDENT FOR A GRADUATE DEAN'S FELLOWSHIP AWARD

    View past award recipients

  • Selection criteria

    Selection criteria

    Selections will be made based on the following required fields on the nomination form:

    1. Academic achievements: Provide a summary of academic performance, accomplishments and potential for success at the University. Include a discussion of the nominee’s undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) GPA, quality of undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) institution, standardized test scores, fit with program faculty, and potential for success in the graduate program.
    2. Research/work experience and scholarly activities: Outline any previous research, scholarship or relevant work activities undertaken by the student. If formal research has not been carried out, please describe any activities believed to have prepared the nominee to be successful in research (e.g., coursework research, an internship or summer research program). List any publications and presentations for the last five years, including the role of the student (if known) in these scholarly activities.
    3. Broader impacts: Discuss the nominee’s capacity to broaden participation of underrepresented groups, broaden the dissemination of scientific, technological and scholarly understanding, and provide benefits to society and the campus community.

    The graduate program director will also be asked to:

    1. Confirm that a plan has been developed to support the Graduate Dean's Fellow for at least two additional years on a graduate assistantship; and that this plan has been developed in consultation with the department chair and/or college dean.
    2. Outline their plan of support.

Graduate Dean's merit scholarships

Graduate Dean's merit scholarships are open to both domestic and international master's and doctoral students in any approved University of Nevada, Reno graduate program (Ph.D., doctorate, MFA or master's). For spring nomination deadlines, only incoming graduate students are eligible. For the fall nomination deadline, both incoming and currently enrolled graduate students are eligible, but preference will be given to incoming students in doctoral programs. The amount of the one-year scholarship is $10,000 ($5,000 per semester) for new admits or $5,000 ($2,500 per semester) for continuing grad students per academic year.

  • Nomination deadlines

    Nomination deadlines

    • For the first nomination period, we will begin reviewing nominations on Monday, February 8, 2021 and continue reviewing nominations through Monday, March 1, 2021. We hope to begin announcing awards in late February.
    • For the second nomination period, we will begin reviewing nominations on Monday, March 15, 2021 and continue reviewing nominations through Friday, April 9, 2021. We hope to begin announcing awards in late March.
    • Fall nomination – September 20, 2021

    We anticipate funding approximately 50 merit scholarships.

  • Eligibility requirements

    Eligibility requirements

    • The applicant must be either: (1) a fully admitted, incoming domestic or international student who has been offered admission to a degree-granting doctoral or master's program (Ph.D., doctorate, MFA or master's) at the University of Nevada, Reno at the time of nomination, or (2) a fully admitted currently enrolled domestic or international student in a degree-granting doctoral or master's program (Ph.D., doctorate, MFA or master's) at the University of Nevada, Reno.
    • For incoming students, the applicant must meet the minimum requirements for admission to a doctoral or master's degree-granting program at the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School, either as a domestic or international student.
    • Scholarship recipients must meet the requirements for satisfactory academic progress for financial aid.
    • Scholarship recipients must enroll in 6 or more units during the fall and spring semesters.
    • Graduate assistantship status is not a criterion for the scholarship, and both graduate assistants and non-graduate assistants are eligible.
    • Full-time University faculty (> 0.50 FTE) are ineligible for the scholarship.
    • Budget is in $2,500 increments and represents the 50% of non-need access funds available for the year, less the amount budgeted in the Graduate Dean's Fellowship. Budget estimates for the future year are not available prior to the spring fee distribution which the controller’s office completes in late March annually.
    • Merit scholarship offers for the February 8 nomination cycle should begin being announced by late February, and recipients will have until April 15 to accept admission.
    • Merit scholarship offers for the March 15 nomination cycle should begin being be announced by late March, and recipients will have until May 15 to accept admission.
    • Merit scholarship offers for the September 20 nomination cycle should be announced by the middle or end of October. These awards will be made to enrolled students who meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Nomination procedures

    Nomination procedures

    • Each graduate program is allowed to submit a maximum of four nominations.
    • Nominations must be submitted by the graduate program's director, as currently recognized by the Graduate School.
    • Nominations for currently enrolled students should be based on the student's demonstrated ability to perform at the highest level in their discipline and their contribution to the Strategic Plan goals of the University.
    • Nomination decisions for incoming students should be based on a holistic review or the consideration of a broad range of applicant qualities. Criteria used in the holistic review include GPA, letters of recommendation, personal/research statements, research/work experience, standardized test scores, fit with program faculty, contributions of the applicant to diversity and inclusion and potential of the applicant to make substantive contributions to their discipline.
    • Nominations will be made via an online form (linked below) covering three areas; academic achievement, research experience, and broader impacts. The nomination statements should provide a summary of the student's educational background, academic performance, accomplishments, and the potential for success in graduate school in 800 words or less total.
    • Preference will be given to incoming students in doctoral programs, although award decisions will reflect the need to balance the overall Strategic Plan goals of the University.

    NOMINATE A STUDENT FOR A GRADUATE DEAN'S MERIT SCHOLARSHIP AWARD

    View past award recipients

  • Selection criteria

    Selection criteria

    Selections will be made based on the following required fields on the nomination form:

    1. Academic achievements: Provide a summary of academic performance, accomplishments and potential for success at the University. Include discussion of nominee’s undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) GPA, quality of undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) institution, standardized test scores, fit with program faculty, and potential for success in the graduate program.
    2. Research/work experience and scholarly activities: Outline any previous research, scholarship or relevant work activities undertaken by the student. If formal research has not been carried out, please describe any activities believed to have prepared the nominee to be successful in research (e.g., coursework research, an internship or summer research program). List any publications and presentations for the last five years, including the role the student (if known) in these scholarly activities.
    3. Broader impacts: Discuss the nominee’s capacity to broaden participation of underrepresented groups, broaden the dissemination of scientific, technological and scholarly understanding, and provide benefits to society and the campus community.