Eligibility by Category
For FULBRIGHT eligibility by Category, click here.
The links in this section are categories of vital data for establishing your eligibility and suitability for different fellowships as well as a digest of important and valuable information about each fellowship.
The eligibility standards quoted here are mainly those of the fellowship foundations and not necessarily those of Smith, which are generally higher because the entry levels the foundations publicize are invariably lower than the standards of their fellows and thus are often an unrealistic indicator of the reasonable chances for winning a fellowship.
British Isles (BI) fellowships, being almost impossible to win, are treated separately.
If interested in any BI fellowship, start by submitting your answers to
stating your BI interest.
The links below are laid out from the top in roughly the order in which they most likely occur, or are considered, for each fellowship application process.
1. When to apply
2. Post-graduate or undergraduate
3. Domestic & abroad, or abroad only
4. Where in the world to use
5. GPA and related minimums
6. Citizenship requirements
7. Age, school-year, other restrictions
8. Duration of fellowship, amount of award
9. Competition odds
10. How Smithies have fared
11. Judging criteria
12. J-term graduate eligibility
13. International students applying for Gates, Rhodes
14. Level of Smith sponsorship
When to Start the Application Process:
START APPLICATION AFTER WINTER BREAK!
The most advantageous time to register for a fellowship is in the spring, starting mid February. Statistics show that those who register earlier fare far better. The deadline to register for early fall fellowships (DAAD, Gates, Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes) is the end of August. The deadline to register for late fall and early spring fellowships (Beinecke, Boren, Killam, Luce, Truman, Udall) is the end of September. Petitions to register later may be considered from students who show exceptional promise to be successful in fellowships competitions.
FIRST-YEARS: Boren, Daad Undergraduate, Killam
SOPHOMORES: Beinecke, Truman, Udall
JUNIORS: Daad, Gates Cambridge, Luce, Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes
SENIORS, GRADUATES and ALUMNAE:
Some seniors who leave applications to the fall of their senior year (i.e. did not start in the spring of their junior year) decide there is not enough time to do a decent job and or are not sure enough what they want to pursue. However, they do know they want to apply for a fellowship, but only after they graduate. All eight of the main fellowships open to seniors (Daad, Gates, Luce, Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes) are also open to alumnae, although check the relevant Eligibility Requirements link for cutoff ages and the like such as number of years past graduation. Some, such as the Luce, might even be more suited to alumnae, depending on the individual's experience and maturity or "seasoning."
Plan to use your time, between now and when you apply, constructively to boost your chances. This can make all the difference. Fellowships are heavily interested in community service and leadership, in taking the initiative to produce tangible results. Your background also usually needs to support your proposal, academically and otherwise, although each fellowship is different and specific in terms of what they seek.
Consider the timeframe if you plan to apply the year after you graduate (which is actually the fall following the spring you graduate): You will begin preparing the application in February of your senior year, it will be formally submitted in the fall of the same year you graduate, you will hear the results in the spring of the following calendar year, and you would begin the fellowship in the fall of this same year that you hear the result, thereby having had a year off between college and taking up the fellowship.
Beinecke (apply as junior)
Truman (apply as junior)
Domestic & Foreign fellowships:
Beinecke & Truman (use at U.S. or foreign university)
Udall (use anywhere for credit courses)
EAST & SOUTHEAST ASIA:
LUCE (12 countries)
MARSHALL (United Kingdom)
BOREN (87 foreign countries)
FULBRIGHT (can apply to one of about 155 foreign countries)
BEINECKE & TRUMAN (use at U.S. or foreign university)
UDALL (use anywhere for credit courses)
MITCHELL (Ireland, Northern Ireland)
Cumulative GPA and related minimum-level academic requirements
Foundations receive so many applications that their first or final cut is often based on GPA because most applicants have fabulous resumes.
After GPA, it is a matter of deciding whose resume is more dynamic.
Resume = community involvement, initiative, enterprise, and the like, especially demonstrated leadership ability.
Conversely, to make the grade and be considered, a high GPA is just the starting point, the entry-level requirement.
So it is "what more" you bring to the competition that counts.
How that is judged depends on each fellowship's emphasis and the mission of the foundation that makes the investment in its fellows.
Latitude is sometimes applied to students majoring in the hard sciences and math, the belief being that it is harder to score high marks in the hard sciences.
Also, hard science applicants are rarer in some fellowship competitions and therefore are more sought-after by foundations seeking a good mix of disciplines.
Ultimately it is about your apparent potential to contribute to society as a future leader in the broadest sense of leadership.
An innovator, for instance, can be a leader, as can a columnist.
Noble character, not intellectualism alone, can count as much as grade level.
Nevertheless, foundations do seek the best and brightest, and the bottom-line cumulative GPA average and related minimum-level academic requirements that the foundations advertise for the various fellowships are as follows with one campus caveat, which is that the entry-level required by Smith to apply through the college may be higher than that published by the foundation because, realistically, to win some fellowships, a much higher GPA is required to stand a reasonable chance of success:
Beinecke 3.8 plus superior academics
Boren 3.5, suitably relevant background
Daad 3.6 minimum, high academic caliber, virtual German fluency
Gates "On track to gain a first-class or high second-class with honours bachelors degree.
A high-enough GPA to gain admission to a top graduate school in the United States." = 3.8 minimum.
Luce 3.8, outstanding academic achievement in major
Marshall minimum 3.9 (A-), service.
Mitchell 3.9 minimum, intellectual distinction
Rhodes 3.9 minimum, intellectual distinction, leadership
- 3.9-plus, top 25% of class
- 2 years in 2 public-service arenas.
- Sustained participation in two or more of the following: Campus activities, Community activities, Partisan politics and campaigns, Government internships or employment, Public or nonprofit board or commission
- Typically, sustained participation is demonstrated by a two-year commitment, although not necessarily as a member of one organization, as it could be sustained commitment to a particular cause. It is not a strict eligibility issue but rather how compelling a candidate's case is, how confident the selection committee is that this person has demonstrated leadership, service, and a commitment to a career in public service.
Udall 3.8 minimum to survive first cut
U.S. citizens, including those holding dual citizenship, only:
Marshall (includes U.S. - U.K. citizenship)
U.S. citizens & permanent residents only:
U.S. citizens & citizens of many British Commonwealth and a few other countries, such as Germany:
U.S. citizens & citizens of all other countries excluding the U.K.:
Only grant-aided juniors in application year, any age, arts, humanities, social sciences.
Only first-years, sophomores and juniors in application year, any age.
Graduating seniors in application year, any age, German fluency or alumnae up to two years after graduating.
Only sophomores in application year, any age. Must be used in conjunction with Smith's JYA Hamburg program. International students from Smith may apply.
Only graduating seniors in application year, or graduates starting new degree, any age.
Only first-years, sophomores and juniors in application year, any age. Mainly for Junior Year Abroad.
Only seniors graduating by late August of fellowship year, or recent graduates, all under 30 years old on September 1st of application year.
Only graduating seniors or alums who graduated after April two years prior to application year but before October 1 of the scholarship year (the year after the application year), i.e. 3 years prior to the year the scholarship is first used, any age.
Only graduating seniors in application year, or graduates, at least 18 but not yet 30 years old on October 1 of application year.
Only graduating seniors in application year, or graduates, at least 18 but not yet 24 years old on October 1 of application year.
Only juniors in application year, any age, planning public service career graduate studies.
Only sophomores and juniors in application year, environment-related, any age.
These figures are offered only as a guide and should not be taken as absolutes. While many figures are exact, some are estimates, other approximations.
Beinecke $32,000 in total. Each scholar receives $2,000 at the end of senior year plus $30,000 toward the first year of graduate school. The award must be used within five years of graduation.
Boren $20,000 is the maximum amount awarded. Each fellow receives a maximum of $10,000 per semester for up to two semesters.
DAAD Fellows to Germany $11,000 total is awarded for up to 10 months (October-July). The award is split up into several categories: € 677.46 monthly stipend, plus onetime € 255.65 study & research subsidy, € 869.19 to € 1,022.58 airfare lump sum, € 153.38 for excess baggage charges and train travel within Germany, plus health, accident and liability insurance with a German insurer, scholar pays about € 10.23-a-month premium.
DAAD Undergraduate Scholar $10,000 total is awarded for up to 10 months (October-July). The award is split into several categories: € 615 monthly stipend, € 869.20 to € 1,022.58 airfare lump sum, € 150 for extra baggage expenses, € 150 and € 260 for books and start-up costs, and health insurance coverage, scholar pays about € 10.23-a-month premium.
Gates $84,000 three-year estimate covers full cost of studying or conducting research while living in Cambridge for up to four years of study and/or research.
Goldman Sachs Global Leader $3,000 awarded.
Goldman Sachs Global Leadership Institute Delegate covers all costs.
Goldwater $15,000: $7,500 a year for up to two years.
Humanity in Action covers full cost of travel, accommodations, and the Humanity in Action (HIA) educational programs for the month of June.
Killam $15,000 is the maximum amount awarded for a year of study. Each scholar receives $10,000 for a year of study, $5000 for one semester plus a probable $5000 "High Cost Allowance".
Luce fellowship stipends are awarded monthly to scholars for one year.
Marshall $56,000 estimated for two years: $28,000 per year for up to three years, typically two.
Mitchell $30,000 estimate provides tuition and housing for one year, plus a travel stipend and $11,000 for living expenses.
Rhodes Approximately $28,000 per year for one to three years. The award covers the cost of study and/or research at Oxford University as well as $1,100 or more for living expenses per month. Rhodes Scholars may be eligible for D.Phil. funding after completing a one-year M.Sc. or M.St. in the same field, or after a two-year M.Phil. or M.Sc. by research where the D.Phil. dissertation is an expansion of the masters' research, as long as the department indicates that the doctoral work can be completed within three years of matriculation.
Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar: Three types of scholarships
Academic-Year Ambassadorial Scholarships $25,000 covers round-trip transportation, tuition, fees, room and board expenses, and some educational supplies for one academic year.
Multi-Year Ambassadorial Scholarships $37,500: $12,500 per year for two to three years is to be applied toward the costs of a degree program in another country.
Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarships $15,000 average: $12,000 or $19,000 covers round-trip transportation, language training expenses, and homestay living arrangements for three or six month, respectively.
Rotary World Peace Scholarship includes funding for tuition and fees, room and board, transportation, contingency expenses, and summer funding for 21 months.
Soros $38,000: $20,000 maintenance grant plus one-half of U.S. graduate school tuition estimated at $18,000.
Truman $26,000 in total. The scholarship is broken down between senior year of college ($2,000) and the first two years of graduate school ($12,000 a year x 2 = 24,000).
Udall $5,000 toward college tuition. Can also be used toward for-credit summer program.
Woodrow Wilson $40,000 a year, annually renewable.
Approximate Chance of Award: The Odds for Each Competition
- Beinecke: 22% or 1 in 4.5 chance for the one Smith nominee
- Boren: 24% or 1 in 4 chance
- Daad: low odds, good chance. Ask Don Andrew: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Gates: 8.4% chance in 2002 or 1 in 12. About 500 applicants, 130 interviews and 42 awards in 2002-2003
- Luce: +/- 11% or 1 in 9 chance for the up to two Smith nominees
- Marshall: 4% or 1 in 25
- Mitchell: 5% or 1 in 20 (245 apps in 03 for 12 spots from 20 finalists = 4.89%)
- Rhodes: 3.25% or 1 in 25
- Truman: +/- 11% or 1 in 9 chance for the up to four Smith nominees
- Udall: 17% or 1 in 6 chance for the up to six Smith nominees
With fellowships requiring Smith nomination, there is first a competition on campus to be nominated. With only one nomination, the Beinecke is the hardest but the odds vary from year to year. For the Luce and Truman, nomination chances are usually 50% or more once accepted as eligible to enter program. With up to six nominees, Udall nomination has been a virtual certainty for all qualified candidates.
From Easiest to Toughest to Clinch
- Daad: low odds, good chance. Ask Don Andrew: email@example.com.
- Boren: 24% or 1 in 4
- Beinecke: 22% or 1 in 4½ chance for the one Smith nominee
- Udall: 17% or 1 in 6 chance for the six (or maybe more) Smith nominees
- Luce: 11% or 1 in 9 chance for the up to two Smith nominees
- Truman: 11% or 1 in 9 chance for the up to four Smith nominees
- Gates: 8.4% or 1 in 12
- Marshall: 4% or 1 in 25
- Mitchell: 4% or 1 in 25
- Rhodes: 3.25% or 1 in 25
It is prudent for seniors wishing to apply for high-odds fellowships (Gates, Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes) seriously to consider also applying for the Fulbright from
Even though easier to win, the Fulbright carries immense prestige through its high name recognition. The Fulbright is an ideal gap year for those planning to go on to graduate school and can be used as a springboard to top universities and high-odds fellowships the following year. Much material prepared for one fellowship application can usually be modified to fit another. It is recommended that graduating applicants work also with the Career Development Office so that fellowship applications form part of an overall postgraduate planning strategy. The fellowships liaison at the CDO is Jane Sommer firstname.lastname@example.org 585-2582.
It is suggested that sophomores and juniors applying for fellowships also work with the CDO in order to have alternate vision strategies in place that may include applying for more fellowships!
Much Material Prepared For One Fellowship Application Can Often Be Modified To Fit Another.
How Smithies Have Fared in the National Competitions: By Year
For up-to-date information see
The following statistics cover the 12 main fellowship competitions for which the Smith fellowships program has provided applicant support (Beinecke, Boren, Daad, Gates-Cambridge, Luce, Marshall, Mellon, Mitchell, Rhodes, Truman, Udall): 2003
17 Fellows (as compared to 4 each in 2000 & 2001, and 8 in 2002, i.e. 4 times the 4 fellows in both 2000 and 2001, and more than double the 8 fellows in 2002).
Smith's 27% winning odds are 1.7 times better than the 16% national average chance of winning. An average of 1 in 3.7 applicants won fellowships (27% success rate), which is 3 times 2001's success rate of 9%.
Bonus: 3 Cambridge University acceptances from 4 Gates-Cambridge applications
8 Fellows = double 2001's 4 fellows.
An average of 1 in 3.75 applicants won fellowships. This is a 26% success rate, almost 3 times success rate of 2001.
Figures above cover the two years since the new Fellowships Program began. Figures below cover the years before the Fellowships Coordinator was hired.
45 Applications (estimate) = 9% success rate
48 Applications (estimate) = 8% success rate
1953 - 1999
Up to 47-year history = 2.3 fellows per year average
How Smith Students Have Fared in the National Competitions: By Fellowship
- Beinecke: One nominee allowed every year. One fellow in the 2 years 2002-2003.
- Boren: 2 fellows (+ 1 alternate) out of 7 applicants in 2003 = 29%
- Daad: 4 fellows out of 5 applicants in the 2 years 2002-2003 = 80%
- Gates-Cambridge: 0 Gates fellows out of 5 applicants in the 2 years 2002-2003 = 0%
3 students accepted by Cambridge (+ 1 finalist) out of 4 applicants in 2003 = 75%
- Luce: 0 fellows out of 3 nominees in the 2 years 2002-2003
- Marshall: 0 fellows (+ 2 finalists) out of 5 applicants in the 2 years 2002-2003
- Mellon: 3 fellows (+ 1 finalist) out of 11 applicants in the 2 years 2002-2003 = 27%.
2.5 times better than the 11% national average.
This fellowship has been discontinued.
- Mitchell: 0 fellows out of 3 applicants in the 2 years 2002-2003
- Rhodes: 0 fellows (+ 1 state & national finalist) out of 3 applicants in the 2 years 2002-2003
- Truman: 1 fellow (+ 3 finalists) out of 7 applicants in the 2 years 2002-2003 = 14%.
1.3 times better than the 11% national average.
- Udall: 1 fellow out of 5 applicants in 2003 = 20%.
1.2 times better than the 17% national average
Competition Criteria in Judging Candidates: How the foundations evaluate and rate candidates, what they seek in candidates & how you are judged, plus other vital criteria considered by the foundations.
Before beginning to launch into completing an application (writing essays and answering questions) first define how you need to satisfy the foundations in terms of exactly what they are looking for and how you will be judged and rated.
You need to start by analyzing the end event, and using that as your guide about how to begin, proceed and where to aim. Do not include information that is irrelevant to the foundation. Not only will it be ignored, it will obscure or bury the points about you that they do want to know. This is their game, so to win, stick to their rules. Don't invent your own.
Part of analyzing the end result is to study on the foundation website the biographies and profiles of past winners. These insights into the foundation end-games will also reveal the kinds of people each foundation is seeking. Don't be intimidated by some of the superbly accomplished fellows you read about, but equally be realistic in your own self-assessment. If in doubt, check with Don Andrew for an objective evaluation of your chances. By emailing him a registration, resume and transcript, he will be able to advise you if you are eligible and whether you should apply.
DETAILED REQUIREMENTS FOR EACH FELLOWSHIP CAN BE FOUND AT EACH FELLOWSHIP'S PAGE HERE: https://www.smith.edu/fellowships/smith.php
Beinecke Applications open to students who are second-semester juniors in the fall before the following spring term when applications are finally due and they will be first-semester seniors graduating the following January. Consult Beinecke website for rule application to current year &/or email foundation.
Boren Applications open to all first-years, sophomores and juniors for use the following year, regardless of graduation time, except first-years can use the fellowship for the first time only as sophomores, and juniors applying to use the fellowship in senior year must complete this use before their graduation whenever that is. Confirm this information on the NSEP website before deciding whether to proceed &/or email foundation.
Daad Applications open to seniors graduating the same January that applications are finally due. Winners announced the following March. First use of fellowship will be about the beginning of the following German fall term in the same calendar year as the announcement. Check website &/or email foundation for rule variations, changes before ruling yourself in or out.
Gates Applications open to seniors graduating the January following the October or November that applications are finally due. Winners announced the following May to August. First use of fellowship will be at the beginning of the following Cambridge fall term in the same calendar year as the announcement. Check website &/or email foundation for rule variations and changes before ruling yourself in or out.
Luce Applications open to seniors graduating the January following the December that applications are finally due. Winners announced following March. First use of fellowship will be about the beginning of the following fall term in the same calendar year as the announcement. Check website &/or email foundation for rule variations, changes before ruling yourself in or out.
Marshall Applications open to seniors graduating the January following the October that applications are finally due. Winners announced November, December following the October closing date. First use of fellowship will be at the beginning of the next British fall semester in the following calendar year. Check website &/or email foundation for rule variations, changes before ruling yourself in or out.
Mitchell Applications open to seniors graduating the January following the October that applications are finally due. Winners announced upon university acceptance of finalists selected in the November following the October closing date. First use of fellowship will be at the beginning of the next Irish fall semester in the calendar year following the application year. Check website &/or email foundation for rule variations and changes before ruling yourself in or out.
Rhodes Applications open to seniors graduating the January following the October that applications are finally due. Winners announced the December following the October closing date. First use of fellowship will be at the beginning of the next Oxford fall semester in the following calendar year. Check website &/or email foundation for rule variations and changes before ruling yourself in or out.
Truman Applications open to students who are second-term juniors in the fall before the following January when applications are finally due and who will graduate January of the next calendar year. Also open to students in third year of collegiate study, who will graduate in the May following the January closing date. Consult Truman website &/or email foundation for rule application to current year.
Udall Applications open to students who are sophomores and juniors during the spring semester of the final application closing date (in February) for use the following year. Sophomore here means two more years study from beginning of next academic year. Junior here means one more year study from beginning of next academic year. Therefore a "J term" sophomore is eligible within the "junior" stipulations but a "J term" junior cannot apply because she does not have before graduation one more full year of study from the beginning of the next academic year. Check website &/or email foundation for rule variations, changes before ruling yourself in or out.
How Eligible International Students Apply for the Gates and/or Rhodes
Gates applications are organized by program and global region:
- Applicants who have already studied, or are currently studying in Cambridge
- Applicants for Affiliated Study* from every country of the world
- Applicants for postgraduate** study from the USA
- Applicants for postgraduate** study from countries of the European Union, excluding the U.K.
- Applicants for postgraduate** study from Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
- Applicants for postgraduate** study from India
- Applicants for postgraduate** study from the rest of the world
* i.e. a second undergraduate degree
** i.e. one-year postgraduate courses or research leading to the degree of PhD
Rhodes International Students may also apply for the Rhodes Scholarship in their home country provided that country is included in the approximately 20 jurisdictions that the scholarship is offered. A limited number of scholarships are allotted to each country.
Country/Number of Scholarships
- Australia 9
- Bangladesh 1
- Bermuda 1
- Canada 11
- Commonwealth Caribbean* 2
- Germany 4
- Hong Kong 1
- India 6
- Jamaica 1
- Kenya 1
- Malaysia 1
- New Zealand 3
- Pakistan 1
- South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, and Swaziland 10
- Singapore 1
- Uganda 1
- Zambia 1
- Zimbabwe 2
* The countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean are Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago.
International Students must contact the Rhodes representative in their home country as their very first step in order to find out the rules and regulations of the Rhodes competition in their particular country. Some countries, such as India, permit only students studying at universities in India to compete. However, rules change, so always check first before making any assumptions. At least several countries permit their citizens studying in the United States to compete in the Rhodes competition in their own country.
Required Level of Smith College Sponsorship from Most to Least Limited
- Nominee Allocation
Beinecke ONE only
Luce up to TWO
Truman up to FOUR
Udall up to SIX
- Official Endorsement
- Endorsed Evaluation
- Unofficial Endorsement
- Rated Evaluation
Reapplying for Fellowships: Fellowships that can be applied to again: (1) after not winning (2) after already winning
Beinecke: Can apply junior year only.
Boren: Freshman or sophomore award recipients may apply for a second award for a longer period of study (semester or academic year) to be used during junior or senior year.
DAAD: Can win only once. Can apply again only after not winning.
Gates: Can win only once. Can apply again only after not winning.
Goldman: Sachs Global Leader Can apply sophomore year only.
Goldwater: Sophomores who do not win two-year award can be nominated again as juniors for one-year senior award.
Humanity in Action: Can apply again only after not winning.
Luce: Can win only once. Can apply again only after not winning.
Marshall: Can win only once. Can apply again only after not winning.
Mitchell: Can win only once. Can apply again only after not winning.
Rhodes: Can win only once. Can apply again only after not winning.
Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar: Can apply again only after not winning.
Rotary World Peace Scholarship: Can apply again only after not winning.
Soros: Can apply again only after not winning.
Truman: Can apply junior year only.
Udall: Sophomores who do or do not win can be nominated again as juniors. Juniors may not be renominated.
Woodrow Wilson: As the award is contingent upon acceptance into the school, it is a matter of applying again to the school with another request for the fellowship. Once admission to the school has been gained and the fellowship won, since the fellowship is for one year at a time, it can be applied for each year.
Status on Deferring Fellowships
Confirm your specific situation directly with sponsoring foundation or fellowship administrators.
Beinecke: May be deferred for one year only.
Boren: May defer up to a year but not beyond graduation.
Daad: Decided on a case-by-case basis.
Gates: Possible in exceptional circumstances. Student contacts Trust directly.
Luce: Cannot normally be deferred. Internships are arranged.
Marshall: Cannot be deferred. The way the funding is set up precludes this.
Mitchell: Cannot normally be deferred. Special circumstances may apply.
Rhodes: Cannot normally be deferred. Extreme circumstances may apply.
Truman: The $2000 for senior year can be used only as an undergraduate. The $24,000 for graduate study can be deferred for up to four years following graduation, sometimes five years with special permission.
Udall: Cannot normally be deferred since these are funds awarded to help pay for school or credit programs.