Graduate School Information

Timeline for Graduate School Applications

  • Summer before junior year

    • Familiarize yourself with the graduate school application process
    • Involve yourself in graduate level research
    • Begin talking to professors and graduate students about their careers
    • Start noticing the university affiliation of scholars who interest you
    • Learn about fellowships

  • Junior year
    • Align your MMUF/WCURF research project with your grad school interests
    • Get to know professors who will be able to write your recommendations
    • Talk to those professors about your interests
    • Consider applying for junior year fellowships: Truman, Beinecke, summer travel fellowships, etc.
    • Take a practice GRE test
    • Begin to research graduate programs
    • Apply to IRT or Project 1000
    • Visit one or two potential graduate programs
    • Talk to graduate students in similar fields
    • Discuss with mentor a senior honors thesis


  • Summer before senior year

    • Write a draft of your personal statement
    • Refine your list of graduate programs
    • Make contact with professors and graduate students in programs of interest
    • Apply to Financial Aid for GRE fee waiver if applicable
    • Study for and take the GRE
    • Research fellowships and plan to apply for Williams and national fellowships
    • Choose a writing sample for those programs that request one


  • Senior year – fall

    • Finalize list of graduate programs
    • Take GRE subject tests if required
    • Show your personal statement to faculty mentors and attend OSAP workshops
    • Duke Grad school visitation - October
    • Ask faculty for letters of recommendation (at least two should be from your field)
    • Apply for national fellowships
    • Make a timeline of deadlines
    • Apply for fee waivers if eligible and not in IRT or Project 1000; ask Financial Aid office for letter
    • Order your transcripts from study abroad programs and Williams
    • Meet all deadlines
    • Check with graduate admissions offices that your applications are complete

GRE Information

Fellowships, Scholarships, Awards & Grants

  • List of Available Resources

    • The American Political Science Association sponsors the Minority Student Fellows Program for African American, Latino, and Native American political science students entering graduate school. www.apsanet.org/Minority
    • The National Science Foundation provides Graduate Research Fellowships, including Minority Graduate Research Fellowships. www.her.nsf.gov/HER/DGE/gnf.htm or [email protected].
    • The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) have established Doctoral Scholars Programs and the Compact for Faculty Diversity Program to prepare new minority faculty. Contact WICHE at [email protected], or the NEBHE at [email protected], or the SREB at [email protected].
    • The Ford Foundation funds fellowships for minorities for study in research-based doctoral programs, providing a substantial stipend for three years. www2.nas.edu/fo or [email protected].
    • The American Indian Graduate School administers graduate fellowships for American Indian and Alaska Native students from federally-recognized tribes. www.aigc.com.
    • The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) was funded in 1975 to help Hispanic-American college students complete their education. The scholarships are available on a competitive basis to community college, undergraduate four-year college, and graduate students of Hispanic background. Awards generally range from $1000 to $3000. Email [email protected] or www.hsf.net
    • Ford Motor Company Fellows Program is designed for Latino Graduate/Professional School students who are seeking to become familiarized with the congressional legislative process. www.naleo.org. Questions call Artie Blanco 323-720-1932.
    • Shell Legislative Internship Program (SLIP) is designed for college juniors and seniors who are seeking to become familiarized with municipal or state legislative processes. www.naleo.org. Questions call Artie Blance 323-720-1932.
    • The American Sociological Association Minority Fellowships Program is for students beginning or continuing study in sociology. Email [email protected] or www.asanet.org.
    • The National Physical Science Consortium (NPSC) Fellowships in the Physical Sciences awards fellowships for graduate study at a participating NPSC institution. Email [email protected] or www.nmsu.edu/~npsc.
    • The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Predoctoral Fellowship Program is for study in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Contact program at 800-457-4420 or www.cic.uiuc.edu.
    • The Graduate Education for Minorities (GEM) Ph.D. Program in Science awards fellowships for graduate study in science or engineering at participating institutions. Email [email protected] or www.nd.edu/~gem.
    • The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program supports students in the applied physical sciences. Candidates may be seniors or students who have already commenced graduate study. Email [email protected] or www.hertzfndn.org.
    • The Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship in Biological Sciences is intended for students at or near the beginning of their graduate study in the biological sciences. www.fellowships.nas.edu.
    • The Department of Defense National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program (NDSEG) is intended for US citizens at or near the beginning of graduate study for doctoral degrees in science and engineering. Email [email protected] or www.battelle.org/ndseg
    • The National Forum for Black Public Administrators is awarding a $5,000 scholarship to an African-American graduate or undergraduate student (junior) interested in pursuing a career in public service. Applications must be postmarked by February 21 and sent to: NFBPA Programs, 777 North Capitol Street, NE - Suite 807, Washington, DC 20002. Please contact [email protected] with any questions. www.naspaa.org.
    • American Association of University Women offers a myriad of awards and grants for undergraduate, graduate and professional women. www.aauw.org.

Financing Resources

  • Books

    • Financing Graduate School (Princeton, NJ: Peterson's Guides, 1996). By Patricia McWade, includes tips for financial planning, study abroad, and sources of aid for minorities.
    • Barron's Complete College Financing, Third Edition (New York: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1997). This includes a concise listing of major funding sources for graduate school programs.
    • Getting What You Came for: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Master's or Ph.D (New York: Noonday Press (Farrar Straus, & Giroux), 1997), by Robert L. Peters, includes a section on financial aid that concentrates on obtaining departmental aid and how schools assess a student's financial needs.
    • The Graduate Student's Complete Scholarship Book (Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 1998), by Student Services, LLC, lists more than 2000 grants and scholarships for graduate study.
    • The Real Guide to Grad School (New York, NY: Lingua Franca, 1997). Information on the history, current issues, programs and specialties offered, where you should consider going, the job market, resources (journals and websites) of twenty-three disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. View excerpts or order online. www.linguafranca.com.
    • Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Student's Guide to Colleges, Universities and Graduate Schools (New York: NYU Press, 1994) by Jan-Mitchell Sherrill is helpful in planning for graduate school. www.qrd.org or www.indian.edu/~glbtpol/.