University Fellowships Office

212 Boucke Building, 863-8199

The University Fellowships Office (UFO) assists qualified Penn State students with the process of competing for prestigious scholarships, fellowships, and awards. Penn State students are encouraged to utilize the many resources and opportunities available through the UFO, including individual meetings, advising and counseling during the initial searches for scholarships and fellowships, as well as assistance with the application process. Penn State students fare very well. In previous years, awards garnered by students have included Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell and Gates Cambridge Scholarships, Fulbright Grants, Astronaut Scholarship and National Science Foundation Fellowships, to name a few.

Major National/International Scholarships and Fellowships


Each year, Penn State can nominate up to four outstanding sophomores and/or juniors majoring in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering and who plan to pursue graduate studies that includes research.   Approximately three hundred Goldwater research scholarships are awarded each year. Goldwater scholars' eligible expenses that would be covered include tuition, fees, books, and room and board - the scholarship provides a maximum of $7,500 annually. Those interested in applying must be a sophomore or junior, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, be in the upper quarter of his/her class, and a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.


Even though Penn State can only nominate one candidate for the Beinecke Scholarship, student applicants who demonstrate superior academic intelligence, are U.S. citizens, have demonstrated financial need, and are college juniors, are invited to apply through the UFO. Twenty scholarships worth $34,000 are awarded annually to students, who plan to attend graduate school and study in the arts, humanities, or social sciences fields. The scholarship is not applicable for law or medical schools.


These awards provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin American, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. Boren Scholars study less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili.

Boren Scholarships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Applicants should identify how their study abroad program, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to U.S. national security, broadly defined. NSEP draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.


Each year the Endowment offers 8-10 one-year fellowships to uniquely qualified graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past academic year. They are selected from a pool of nominees from close to 400 colleges. Carnegie Junior Fellows work as research assistants to the Endowment's senior associates to produce commentary and analysis addressing the most important foreign policy issues of the day and the regions they affect.


Approximately 40 Gates Cambridge Scholarships are awarded in the United States each year. The scholarship covers the full cost of study at Cambridge (for a maximum of four years).   The award covers all approved university and college tuition fees, a maintenance allowance, and a further discretionary allowance for study-related activities, in addition to airfare. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of an applicant's intellectual ability, their ability to contribute to the world by providing services to their communities and applying their talents and knowledge to improve the lives of others. Those interested must be pursuing graduate research and/or study at Cambridge in their selected academic discipline.


The Mitchell Scholarship supports one year of graduate study for twelve U.S. citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 in any discipline offered at an institution of higher learning in Ireland or Northern Ireland. The Mitchell Scholarship provides tuition, housing, a living expense stipend, and international travel support. Mitchell scholarships are awarded annually to students who exhibit superior levels of academic achievement, leadership, and extensive community service.


The Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants of up to $5,000 for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad. Undergraduate students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding are eligible to apply.  

Such international study is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. International experience is critically important in the educational and career development of American students, but also requires a substantial financial investment.   The Gilman scholarship aims to support students who have been traditionally under-represented in study abroad, including but not limited to, students with high financial need, community college students, students in under-represented fields such as the sciences and engineering, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds, and students with disabilities.   The program aims to encourage students to choose non-traditional study abroad destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.


Seventy-five scholarships are awarded to juniors who have demonstrated an outstanding capacity for public service, including: academics, leadership, and community service. Those interested in applying must be U.S. citizens, intent upon pursuing a graduate degree, and have participated in leadership activities and community service organizations. The scholarships cover expenses for the senior year and the first year of graduate school--up to $30,000.


Marshall Scholarships award two years of graduate study and/or research at any university or business school in the United Kingdom. Forty scholarships are awarded annually to intellectually distinguished Americans providing opportunities to gain appreciation of contemporary Britain and strengthen the relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments, and institutions. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition, books, approved travel (in connection with studies), and living costs. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, graduates under the age of 26 by the start of their stay in the U.K. and have an exemplary academic record. Additionally, applicants should have demonstrated strong academic performance, leadership potential, and have obtained no lower than a 3.7 GPA.


NSF Fellowships offer three years of support for graduate study and research to approximately 1,100 outstanding graduate students in the mathematical, physical, biological, engineering, and social sciences. Selected NSF Fellows receive a stipend of approximately $30,000 per year and an annual cost-of-education allowance of $10,500 paid to the NSF Fellow's institution in lieu of full tuition and fees. The fellowship is a three year long grant. Additionally, the fellowship offers a one-time international research travel allowance for fellows who plan to study and conduct research full-time at a foreign site for at least three continuous months.


The Rhodes scholarship is for two years though may be held for one year only; applications for a third year are considered during the course of the 2nd year. graduate study in any academic field at Oxford University. Thirty-two scholarships are awarded annually to student scholars who exhibit character exemplifying a blend of intellectual, moral and physical leadership, integrity, and energy. Applicants must be U.S. citizens graduating with an undergraduate degree prior to the beginning of their Rhodes scholarship and are under age of 24. The scholarship covers tuition and academic expenses, along with an allowance to cover round-trip air fares and personal expenses while at Oxford.


Udall Scholarships are awarded to undergraduate students who have demonstrated an involvement and commitment to careers related to the environment, including policy, engineering, science, education, urban planning and renewal, business, health, justice, and economics. The Udall Foundation the Foundation expects to award 80 scholarships and 50 honorable mentions on the basis of merit to sophomore and junior level college students. Scholarships are offered in any of following three categories: 1) students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to the environment; 2) Native American and Alaska Native students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to tribal public policy; and 3) Native American and Alaska Native students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to Native health care.   Udall Scholarships (valued at $5,000) are available to sophomores and juniors who have a minimum 3.0 GPA, are full-time students, and U.S. citizens.


Fulbright Grants offer year long, funded experiences in a country of choice for study, research, or teaching in any field. Penn State student applying for Fulbright Grants must be graduating seniors, who have completed a minimum of a bachelor's degree at the start of the grant, and graduate students. Approximately 7,500 grants are awarded each year providing opportunities for Fulbright Grantees to study, teach, or conduct research in more than 155 countries.