Fellowship FYI

The mission of the Truman Scholarship Foundation is:

  • To find and recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service; and
  • To provide them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training, and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service.

    Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation

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Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation

The scholarship funds outstanding leaders who have strong records of public or community service and who plan careers in governmental, non-profit, or educational organizations. As long as your GPA is about a 3.5, a demonstrated record of significant leadership and public service are likely to weigh as heavily as scholastic excellence. Do not underestimate the importance of academic and intellectual achievement, however.

Eligibility Limitations:
U.S. citizens who are college juniors of high academic standing and who plan careers in public service. U.S. nationals from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are also eligible, as are those from Puerto Rico. At a minimum, you must be in the upper quarter of your junior class, except for residents of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa or the Northern Marianas who must be in their senior class. Brandeis University is limited to 4 nominations per year but may not necessarily endorse the maximum number of candidates each year.


Graduate Study in the United States. MPA/MPP, JD, MEd, MIA, MPH and master's or doctorate degrees in fields in which most graduates go into public service preferred.

Scholars receive ~$2,000 in their senior year and ~$30,000 for graduate school studies.

Application Requirements:
For the campus deadline, you should submit a complete copy of your Truman application (all essays, policy proposal, & your transcript), as well as three letters of recommendation (letters can be emailed directly to monaghan@brandeis.edu). Candidates will be selected for the campus interview, and then our committee will nominate up to 4 Brandeis nominees for the national competition. All applicants must be be registered by the Director of Fellowships on the Truman site in order to have access to the online application. 

Draft Application Deadline (for draft review):
November 1, 2018

Campus Deadline:
November 30, 2018

Final Deadline (for our Official Nominees):

February 5, 2019

Notification of Finalists:
February 2019. Finalists are then interviewed at regional panels and winners are announced April 2019.

Who applies nationwide?
Approximately 700 students are nominated each year, and about 220 receive interviews. 75-80 Truman Scholars are ultimately chosen.

Typical Essay Questions:
The Truman application is one of the most extensive documents of its kind. Fortunately, the Foundation also actively supports Truman candidates with guidance and suggestions for completing the personal statement and policy proposal. Two pages you will find helpful are: How to Become a Truman Scholar and Advice & Guidance on application completion.


Recent Brandeis University Winners:
Congratulations to Jonathan Goldman '19, who was selected as a Truman Finalist in 2017-2018! Jessye Kass '13 and Marisa Turesky '13 were also selected as Truman Finalists in 2011-2012. Brooke Rosenbauer '08 is our most recent Truman winner; other Truman winners from Brandeis include Toby Harris '05, Jonathan Sclarsic '03, Lisa Cloutier '02, Wendi Adelson '01, and Stephen Rabin '00. Paul Balik '10, Daniel Millenson '08, and Josh Rosenthal '07 were all Truman Finalists.