Nationally Competitive Scholarships

WHAT DOES “NATIONALLY COMPETITIVE” MEAN?

When we say that a scholarship is "nationally competitive," it means that applicants from colleges and universities all across the United States are applying for the award. In fact, for some of these great opportunities there are applicants from around the world as well, which makes these "internationally competitive." This typically means there is an increased level of competitiveness for these awards, as more people are eligible to apply, and applicants everywhere get the kind of dedicated advisement that OEF exists to provide.

In addition, these awards tend to require a substantial amount of preparatory work. While many may perceive that some of the best known awards, such as the Rhodes Scholarship, often go to students attending elite private institutions, this is nowhere near the whole story. UIC, along with many other state universities, has candidates who win these prestigious awards on a regular basis, and UIC students are competitive applicants for them each and every year. Please see our UIC Award Winners page for recent scholarship recipients from UIC!

Below is a listing of external fellowship opportunities that OEF typically works on with students. Some of these require nomination by UIC; these are noted below, with details about how you can secure UIC's nomination. Other great opportunities that do not require nomination are also available. Browse these amazing awards to find out which ones are a good match for you.

The following scholarships have two deadlines: one preliminary, in the spring (April) of student’s junior year; and one final, in the fall (August) of student’s senior year:

 

August:

Gates Cambridge Scholarship  One of the most prestigious scholarships in the world, this provides full tuition plus a generous living stipend for the graduate degree program of your choice at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.  NB: There is one competition for US citizens and a separate one for all other nationalities (except UK citizens); OEF will advise students for both.

Marshall Scholarship  (NOMINATION REQUIRED; APPLY THROUGH OEF ONLY) One of the most prestigious scholarships in the US, the Marshall funds one or two years of graduate study at a British university. Award includes full tuition, living allowance, book grant, thesis grant, research grant, and travel allowance.

Mitchell Scholarship (NOMINATION REQUIRED; APPLY THROUGH OEF ONLY) One of the most prestigious scholarships in the US, the Mitchell funds one year of graduate study or research at a university in Ireland. Award includes full tuition, accommodations, living expenses, and an international travel stipend.

Rhodes Scholarship  (NOMINATION REQUIRED; APPLY THROUGH OEF ONLY) One of the most prestigious scholarships in the world, the Rhodes provides full funding for graduate study (or a second bachelor's degree) at the University of Oxford in the UK. NB: The US Rhodes, for US citizens, is most well known here, although now, as of 2018, citizens of all nations may compete for the Rhodes, as long as they meet the overall selection criteria and the eligibility criteria appropriate to their country of citizenship. Contact OEF as soon as possible if you wish to inquire about a Rhodes nomination.

 

September:

Fulbright US Student Program Grant  (NOMINATION REQUIRED; APPLY THROUGH OEF ONLY) Provides full funding for US citizens for one academic year abroad for research/study in one of over 140 countries worldwide OR teaching English as a foreign language in one of over 70 countries worldwide.

Javits Fellowship- (NOT BEING OFFERED THIS YEAR) one-year, renewable stipend for students in a social sciences, humanities, or the arts graduate program leading to the terminal degree in the field

 

October:

DAAD Study Scholarship- for undergraduates, recent graduates and current graduate students to study abroad in Germany

Gilman Scholarships for Spring Semester- (MUST BE A PELL GRANT RECIPIENT) awards up to $5,000 for study abroad with the possibility of an additional $3,000 to study a critical language

Truman Scholarship  (NOMINATION REQUIRED; APPLY THROUGH OEF ONLY) for current undergraduate students who demonstrate achievement in leadership, academics and public service who want a career related to public service.

 

November:

Critical Languages Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes Provides all-expenses-paid funding for intensive overseas summer language institutes in 14 critical languages.

Ford Foundation Fellowships    (CONTACT OEF IF INTERESTED) meant to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students; Alaska Natives (Aleut, Eskimo and other Indigenous People of Alaska); African Americans; Mexican Americans or Chicanos(as); Native American Indians; Native Pacific Islanders (Hawaiian/Polynesian/Micronesian); and Puerto Ricans

Goldwater Scholarship (NOMINATION REQUIRED; APPLY THROUGH OEF ONLY) Awards up to $7,500 annually to support undergraduate study leading to research careers in mathematics, natural science, or engineering. Open to sophomores and juniors in STEM fields.

Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowships       for graduating seniors and current graduate students going on to pursue PhD studies in the biological, physical or engineering sciences

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Provides a 3-year annual stipend of $32,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct your own graduate research at any accredited US institution of graduate education you choose. Applicants may be graduating college seniors or first-year graduate students pursuing doctoral degrees in physical and life sciences, mathematics, engineering, and social sciences.

Soros Fellowship for New Americans   Provides tuition and stipend assistance of up to $90,000 in support of graduate study in the US in any professional field or scholarly discipline.  Open to students who qualify as a "New American": e.g. hold a Green Card, or be a naturalized citizen, or be the child of immigrant parents (see Soros website for the fine print).

U.S. Department of State Summer Internship Program   all majors, placements in Washington, DC, and at embassies and consulates abroad for summer; continuing undergraduate and graduate students only

 

December:

Carnegie Endowment Junior Fellows Program (NOMINATION REQUIRED; APPLY THROUGH OEF ONLY) international affairs, one year research fellowship in Washington, DC at the Carnegie Endowment

Hispanic Scholarship Fund      various fields, awards and deadlines; for Hispanic students in high school, community college, or at a four-year university

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships      graduate fellowships in math, ocean, physical, biological and engineering sciences

NSEP Boren Scholarship     (ENDORSEMENT REQUIRED; APPLY THROUGH OEF ONLY) for current undergraduate students pursuing a study abroad program outside of Western Europe, Australia or New Zealand who are studying a language and a topic critical to national security

 

January:

Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship for undergraduate seniors planning to attend a graduate program in international relations and want a career in the Foreign Service

Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship        for graduating seniors going on to graduate programs in international affairs or relations, planning on career in the Foreign Service

Udall Scholarship     (NOMINATION REQUIRED; APPLY THROUGH OEF ONLY) for current undergraduate students studying environmental science, public policy or Native American Indian health policy

 

February:

Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship  for undergraduate juniors planning a career in the Foreign Service, funding to support senior year and first year of graduate work in international affairs

 

March:

Fulbright UK Summer Institutes            a 3-to-6-week summer program at a world-class UK university or cultural institution; immersive academic, cultural and social experience for freshman or sophomore American students who wish to deepen their knowledge of the United Kingdom and its diverse population whilst developing their communication, research and presentation skills

Gilman Scholarships for Fall, Academic Year and Summer Programs    (MUST BE A PELL GRANT RECIPIENT) awards up to $5,000 for study abroad with the possibility of an additional $3,000 to study a critical language

James Madison Scholarship    for graduating seniors in college or current teaching professionals planning to obtain their master's degree in social science or history education

JW Saxe Prize award for undergraduate or graduate students for supplemental funding in taking a low-pay or no-pay public service internship or position

Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowships    (UIC STUDENTS APPLY THROUGH THE HONORS COLLEGE) for graduating college seniors who are members of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society going on to graduate or professional school immediately after undergrad

 

April:

Gates-Cambridge Scholarship One of the most prestigious scholarships in the world, this provides full tuition plus a generous living stipend for the graduate degree program of your choice at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. NB: There is one competition for US citizens and a separate one for all other nationalities (except UK citizens); OEF will advise students for both.

Marshall Scholarship   (NOMINATION REQUIRED; APPLY THROUGH OEF ONLY) One of the most prestigious scholarships in the US, the Marshall funds one or two years of graduate study at a British university. Award includes full tuition, living allowance, book grant, thesis grant, research grant, and travel allowance.

Mitchell Scholarship   (NOMINATION REQUIRED; APPLY THROUGH OEF ONLY) One of the most prestigious scholarships in the US, the Mitchell funds one year of graduate study or research at a university in Ireland. Award includes full tuition, accommodations, living expenses, and an international travel stipend.

Rhodes Scholarship   (NOMINATION REQUIRED; APPLY THROUGH OEF ONLY) One of the most prestigious scholarships in the world, the Rhodes provides full funding for graduate study (or a second bachelor's degree) at the University of Oxford in the UK.   NB: The US Rhodes, for US citizens, is most well known here, although now, as of 2018, citizens of all nations may compete for the Rhodes, as long as they meet the overall selection criteria and the eligibility criteria appropriate to their country of citizenship. Contact OEF as soon as possible if you wish to inquire about a Rhodes nomination.

McKelvie Scholarship (April Only)       for undergraduate or graduate students whose career plans include public service positions within state or federal government

 

May:

Cirilo McSween (New York Life) $2,500 Scholarship    business majors, sponsored by the Rainbow-PUSH Coalition

Ora Lee Sanders $1,000 Scholarship        any field, sponsored by the Rainbow-PUSH Coalition

 

June:

Check back or visit UIC SnAP! for more opportunities!

 

July:

Check back or visit UIC SnAP! for more opportunities!

 

Variable deadline:

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Graduate Partnership Program         for U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have completed bachelors' degrees and now would like to pursue a PhD in biomedical sciences

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship        (NOT BEING OFFERED THIS YEAR) for students who have completed a bachelor's degree to spend one year pursuing graduate study or study abroad in a country that has a sponsoring Rotary Club

USA TODAY All-USA College Academic Team  recognition for outstanding juniors and seniors at four-year universities in the United States