Graduate Dean's Awards

Students in classroom with professor

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.

See this year's list of award recipients.

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

Nominations will close once six fellowships have been awarded.

  • March 1
  • April 2

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 20, and recipients will have until May 15 to accept admission.

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.


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). 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

  • March 1
  • April 2
  • Sept 15

We anticipate funding approximately 50 merit scholarships.

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 March 1 nomination cycle should be announced by March 30, and recipients will have until April 15 to accept admission.
  • Merit scholarship offers for the April 2 nomination cycle should be announced by April 20, and recipients will have until May 15 to accept admission.
  • Merit scholarship offers for the September 15 nomination cycle should be announced by October 5. These awards will be made to enrolled students who meet the eligibility requirements.

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 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 the potential for success in graduate school.
  • 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