The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation — the federal memorial to our thirty-third president — awards 55-65 merit-based scholarships annually to college students who plan to pursue careers in government or elsewhere in public service. 

The Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 in funding to students pursuing graduate degrees in public service fields.  The Foundation also provides assistance with career advising, internship placement, graduate school admissions, and professional development. Scholars are invited to participate in a number of programs: Truman Scholar Leadership Week, The Summer Institute, The Truman Fellows Program, and the Public Service Law Conference. All candidates should be aware that the Truman Scholarship has a service requirement - selected Scholars are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a Foundation funded graduate degree program as a condition of receiving Truman funds.


Internal: Second Wednesday in January
External: Early February
Here's the link to view this year's specific deadline dates.


  • U.S. Citizens, U.S. National residents of American Samoa, or expecting their citizenship by the date of the award;
  • Currently enrolled at a US-based accredited institution and in their penultimate year of school (for candidates graduating in four years or more) or in their final year of school (for candidates graduating in three years or fewer);
  • Planning to attend graduate school in pursuit of a career in public service. The Foundation encourages time between undergraduate and graduate school, so candidates need not commit to going immediately;
  • Candidates can be: pursuing any major likely to lead to a public service career; interested in any graduate degree other than the MBA; considering either domestic or international programs for their graduate education; any age.


The application, available at The Harry S. Truman Scholarship site, consists of:

  • A completed application including short essays on leadership, service and your future path in public service;
  • A policy proposal on a subject that interests you;
  • A transcript;
  • Three letters of recommendation (one each on: leadership abilities, commitment to a career in public service and the likelihood of academic success); and
  • A letter of nomination.

Learn more at The Harry S. Truman Scholarship page, visit the Office of National Fellowships & Scholarships, or contact the faculty liaison.