Harry S. Truman Scholarship

Important Dates

Visit www.truman.gov for details.

Online application availability: Early August

Application Deadlines:
Campus deadline: Early January
National deadline: Early February

Notification of qualifying candidates: February

Notification of winning candidates: April

Scholarship Overview

A better future relies on attracting the commitment and sound judgment of bright, outstanding Americans to public service careers!

The Truman Scholarship is a highly competitive, merit-based award offered to US citizens and US nationals from the Pacific Islands who want to go to graduate school to study for a career in public service. Successful applicants will have outstanding service and leadership records, as well as an academic record that indicates the student will succeed in the graduate program of their choice.


Information for Applicants

  • Eligibility

    Applicants must be:

    • Juniors currently enrolled in a US-based accredited institution
    • US citizens or US national residents of American Samoa
    • Planning to attend graduate school for a career in public service


    Who cannot apply:

    • International students
    • Students who do not plan to pursue a career in public service


    All majors are encouraged to apply. 

    For more information about eligibility requirements, visit www.truman.gov.

  • Additional Requirements

    If you are applying to the scholarship as a junior, you should be actively taking the courses and other steps required to apply to and successfully be admitted to graduate school after obtaining your undergraduate degree.

    You must be nominated by your current institution of study (UAA) to apply. Schedule an advising appointment with the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative to learn more about how to obtain a nomination from UAA.

    An institutional endorsement is required to apply for the Truman Scholarship. The institutional endorsement is given after the candidate is evaluated by the Truman Scholarship Campus Interview Committee during the individual interview. 

    Seek advising early in the application process. Schedule an advising appointment with the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative, Prof. James Muller, at jwmuller@alaska.edu or 907-786-4740 to discuss intent to apply.

    Interview requirements:
    Campus interview: Yes
    National interview: Yes

  • Award Benefits
    • Up to $30,000 to use towards your graduate study
    • Extensive programming and mentorship opportunities
    • A directing hiring authority with the federal government
    • The chance to apply for additional matching funds from graduate school partners


    The award can be deferred, but it cannot be renewed.

  • Candidate Profile
    • Extensive record of campus and community service and leadership
    • Outstanding communication skills
    • Commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit and advocacy sectors
    • Strong academic record with likely acceptance to the graduate school of your choice
    • Well-articulated vision of how to create change in your field or area of interest
  • Application Procedure
    1. Find a faculty member willing to serve as your mentor throughout the application process. 
    2. Notify the Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative, James Muller, at jwmuller@alaska.edu or 907-786-4740 of your intent to apply the semester before you plan to apply for the award.
    3. Schedule an advising appointment with the Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative to discuss internal and external application processes and timelines.
    4. After the Faculty Representative registers you with the Truman Foundation, start completing the application.
    5. Three letters of recommendation are required. Select recommenders who know you well and can comment in great detail on your leadership abilities and potential, your commitment to a career in public service, and your intellect and prospects for continuing academic success. Recommenders may be instructors from whom you have taken upper-division courses, employers, supervisors, mentors, etc. Visit www.truman.gov for advice for recommenders. 
    6. Start drafting your responses to the short essay questions and your Policy Proposal. Be sure to keep your responses within the required character limits. The Truman Foundation website provides many helpful resources and sample responses that you are advised to consult as you draft your responses.
    7. Submit your completed application by the campus deadline.
    8. Prepare for the individual campus interview, which will take place 1-2 weeks after the campus deadline. At the end of the interview, the Truman Scholarship Campus Interview Committee will evaluate your overall merits as a candidate and the application materials submitted, and will make a decision of endorsement or non-endorsement. The committee's decision is definitive. If you are endorsed, then an institutional endorsement will be formally submitted by the Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative to the Truman Foundation.
    9. The Truman Scholarship Regional Review Panels will review submitted applications and invite selected applicants to a personal interview in Seattle sometime in March or early April. Please note that costs of travel for the interview are not paid for. Practice interview questions are available at www.truman.gov.


    About 7% of applicants receive an award.

  • Advising

    Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative:

    Prof. James Muller
    SSB 358

    Information sessions:
    There are no webinars for applicants, but detailed application information can be found at www.truman.gov.