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Scholarships & Fellowships

There are several scholarships that can assist with paying for graduate studies, teaching, and/or research abroad.

These are typically awarded to academically distinguished individuals who are U.S. citizens. Read more about each scholarship below, and if you have questions, please contact Shelley Fairbairn (, the designated faculty member available to assist students with their applications.

Fulbright U.S. Student Scholarship

More and more Drake students are applying for scholarships and fellowships to study, research, or work abroad after they graduate. One of the most prestigious post-graduate scholarships available is the Fulbright Scholarship.

The program awards around 1,500 student grants every year, based on a student’s application and what the needs of the country are. Drake has produced many Fulbright scholars in the past eleven years and has been named a “Top Producing” university among Master’s granting institutions eight times since 2006.

Students are identified as potential Fulbright scholars if they maintain a relatively high GPA and/or excel in the upper levels of their grade. Specific selection criteria can be found here

I‌n order to be endorsed by Drake University, Fulbright requires that candidates meet with a faculty committee, which discusses and assesses each application. Applicants are rated, but not ranked. Faculty committees are recruited each Fall through an open call for volunteers and with the idea of representing the different schools and the diversity at Drake. Any interested faculty member should contact Dr. Shelley Fairbairn ( 

Applicants can choose to teach English or undertake academic research in their host country. Examples of past projects funded by Fulbright Scholarship grants to Drake students include studying the impact of women politicians in the Moroccan Parliament, multinational business practices in Mexico, and the experiences of Muslim women in the Philippines who had worked in the Middle East. Assistantships in teaching English have ranged from Azerbaijan to Indonesia to South Korea to Thailand.

From Eleanor Zeff, Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations, “Having Fulbright scholars from Drake is a great reputation booster. These students serve as ambassadors, so people hear about Drake and see that our students are nationally competitive.”

“This challenge of living and working in a place that is so culturally different from the United States has been a wonderful experience.”—Lauren Derebey (South Korea ’05)

More information can be found at the official Fulbright website or on the official Facebook page. Specific questions can be directed to Dr. Shelley Fairbairn at .

The Drake campus deadline for submitting applications will be in September 2023, with the national online deadline for all components of the application, October 12, 2023.

Interested candidates should complete this Google Form. Please complete prior to meeting with Dr. Shelley Fairbairn.


Rhodes Scholarship

The Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world.

Each year 32 young Americans are selected as Rhodes Scholars, through a decentralized process representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Applicants from more than 300 American colleges and universities have been selected as Rhodes Scholars.

Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead. The Rhodes Trust, a British charity established to honor the will and bequest of Cecil J. Rhodes, provides full financial support for Rhodes Scholars to pursue a degree or degrees at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. The first American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904.

Rhodes Selection Criteria

The selection criteria, as found in the Will of Cecil Rhodes, govern selection across all Rhodes constituencies. They are:

  • literary and scholastic attainments energy to use one's talents to the full truth
  • courage
  • devotion to duty
  • sympathy for and protection of the weak
  • kindliness
  • unselfishness and fellowship
  • moral force of character
  • instincts to lead
  • to take an interest in one's fellow beings

In general, committees will select applicants of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service.

Learn More

The Rhodes Trust warmly welcomes applications from talented young women and men of diverse backgrounds. Selection of Rhodes Scholars is made without regard to gender, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, colour, religion, social background, caste, or disability.

Eligibility criteria for the Rhodes Scholarship

The following eligibility criteria apply to all applicants for the Rhodes Scholarships:

Citizenship & residency: Each applicant must fulfil the citizenship and residency requirements of the Rhodes constituency for which they are applying. Please check the detailed information carefully via the country links.

Age: Age limits vary between constituencies and range from a minimum age limit of 18 to a maximum of 28 by 1 October of the year following selection. In most constituencies, the age limit is 24 or 25. Please check carefully the specific age requirements for your constituency before applying.  Successful candidates will arrive in Oxford the October following the selection process.  The Scholarship may not normally be deferred.

Education: All applicants must have achieved academic standing sufficiently advanced to assure completion of a bachelor's degree by the October following election. Academic standing must be sufficiently high to ensure admission to the University of Oxford, which has very competitive entry requirements, and to give confidence that Rhodes Scholars will perform to a high academic standard in Oxford. Individual constituencies may specify a 1st or equivalent. Please check the detailed requirements via the country links.  Some constituencies require an undergraduate degree to have been taken within the constituency of application.

For more information about The Rhodes Scholarship, please contact Shelley Fairbairn at

Marshall Scholarship

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study.

As future leaders, with a lasting understanding of British society, Marshall Scholars strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions. Marshall Scholars are talented, independent and wide-ranging, and their time as Scholars enhances their intellectual and personal growth. Their direct engagement with Britain through its best academic programmes contributes to their ultimate personal success.

Marshall Scholarship Website 

Applications for the 2021 competition will be available in late spring 2020. The Drake campus deadline for submitting applications will be in September 2020 (precise date to be announced). 

Contact Shelley Fairbairn ( for more information.

Mitchell Scholarship

The George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program, named to honor former US Senator George Mitchell's pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service.

Up to twelve Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Applicants are judged on three criteria:

  • Scholarship,
  • Leadership, and
  • A sustained commitment to community and public service.

The Mitchell Scholarship Program provides tuition, accommodation, and a stipend for living expenses and travel. 

The Mitchell Scholarship Website

The George J. Mitchell Scholarship is a nationally competitive award sponsored by the US-Ireland Alliance. Named in honor of the former U.S. Senator's pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, the Mitchell is designed to introduce and connect upcoming generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering scholarship, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service.

Applications for the 2020-21 competition will be available in April 2020. The Drake campus deadline for submitting applications will be in early September 2020. 

Contact Shelley Fairbairn ( for more information. 

Truman Scholarship

As the living memorial to our thirty-third President, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation supports the graduate education of outstanding young people committed to public service leadership. Since its creation in 1975, the Foundation has supported almost 3,000 Truman Scholars who are making a difference in all corners of the nation and around the globe. 

Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, be in the top quarter of their class, and be committed to careers in government or the non-profit sector.

Who is eligible to apply?

Drake University students interested in a career in public service and leadership, and who are juniors, are invited to apply for the Truman Scholarship.

Legal Requirements (must be met)

  • At the time I apply, I will be a full-time student pursuing a bachelor's degree with junior-level academic standing; I have senior-level standing in my third year of college enrollment; or I am a senior and a resident of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or a Pacific Island. Note: Students who have completed their bachelor's degree or are already attending graduate school are not eligible for the Truman Scholarship.
  • I am a U.S. citizen (or a U.S. national from a Pacific Island) or I expect to receive my citizenship by the date the Scholarship will be awarded.

Career and Graduate Study Interests

  • I hope to be a "change agent," in time, improving the ways that government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or educational institutions serve the public.
  • There are conditions in our society or the environment, which trouble me.
  • I want to work in government, education, the nonprofit sector, or the public interest/advocacy sector to improve these conditions.
  • I am comfortable committing to work in public service for three of the first seven years after I complete a Foundation-funded graduate degree.
  • I would like to get a master's degree, a doctorate, or a professional degree such as a law degree or a Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Social Work, Master of Education, Master of Public Policy, or Master of International Affairs.

Drake University can nominate up to four individuals. 

Review the general requirements for the Truman Scholarship here.

Different institutions have different guidelines for obtaining an institutional nomination.  Some schools have a rigorous application process that can begin as early as the sophomore year.  Other schools require early completion of the application or an interview.  The Truman Foundation allows the institution to determine which practice works best for them.  It is a good idea to check with your Faculty Representative early to find out about your institution's requirements.

Interested juniors should contact Professor Fairbairn ( in early fall to begin the application process.

JET Program

The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program is a competitive employment opportunity that allows young professionals to live and work in cities, towns, and villages throughout Japan. Being a JET is an opportunity to work and to represent the United States as cultural ambassadors to Japan. Most participants serve as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) and work in public and private schools throughout Japan; some work as Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) as interpreters/translators. 

The JET Program began in 1987 as a way to improve exposure to international culture and language throughout Japan. Since then, thousands of young university graduates from around the world have participated on the JET Program.

With its successful history and its support from the Japanese government, the JET Program remains one of the leading language and cultural exchange programs in the world.

Participants are appointed by a contracting organization for a one-year period. The cost of transportation from the participants' country of origin to Japan, as well as remuneration, is funded by taxpayers of the contracting organization where the participant is employed. Because participants serve as civil servants of their contracting organizations they are required to uphold appropriate behavior. Withdrawal from the program after placement assignment or early termination of appointment shold be avoided as it greatly inconveniences contracting organizations.

JET Program Website

We strongly encourage individuals who are interested in applying for the JET Program to read the information available on the Application Process

If you have questions about the JET Program, please contact Mary McCarthy at

Boren Fellowship

Boren Fellowships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Applicants should identify how their projects, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to U.S. national security, broadly defined.  NSEP draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.

If you are interested in world affairs, cultures, or languages; if you have international research interests; or if you are interested in international internships, a Boren Fellowship may be able to provide the funding neccesary to complete your education.

Boren Fellowships Website

Applications for the 2024-25 competition will be available in late August 2023. Potential applicants should contact Professor Leroux in late August or September for further information.

Drake students and graduates interested in post-graduate scholarships should contact:
Dr. Shelley Fairbairn
Associate Professor 
Coordinator, Post-graduate Scholarships

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