General Information

Why Apply

Why apply for competitive national fellowships when the odds, per The Hunger Games, may not be ever in your favor? The Office of Fellowship Advising works to make sure that the application process for national fellowships is part of the educational mission of the College. Regardless of the outcome of your application, if you take the process seriously and work hard to create a strong application, you are guaranteed a number of positive outcomes:

  • Insight into your educational and career goals. In addition to spurring you to begin researching graduate programs and career trajectories, past applicants have found that the fellowship process has made them aware of opportunities they may have overlooked and helped them determine the best path to achieving goals.
  • Connections with faculty. Although asking for recommendations can seem stressful, doing so can be a way to seek more mentorship from faculty. Once they write a letter for one fellowship, it is fairly easy for them to submit additional recommendations for other fellowships or graduate programs.
  • Knowledge of how to be a strong applicant. Beyond Dartmouth, you will face many different application processes: for graduate school, jobs, grants, and other fellowships. After you apply for a national fellowship, you will have learned valuable skills about how to present yourself and write about your background and skills. You may also have the opportunity to develop interview skills.

About Fellowships Requiring Endorsement

Many fellowships require that you be endorsed by your college or university before you can apply. At Dartmouth, endorsement decisions are made by the Committee on Graduate Fellowships, which is composed of faculty from across the college. If you are interested in applying for a fellowship that requires endorsement, you must ensure all application materials, including letters of recommendation, have been submitted to the Office of Fellowship Advising by the campus deadline, which generally falls at least a month before the final national deadline. The committee members then read applications from interested students and alumni, conduct interviews (for some fellowships), and then decide which applicants the College will endorse.

The “Application Information” section for each of the fellowships on our website gives details on the dates of campus deadlines and materials that will need to be submitted. In addition to preparing materials, you should plan to meet with the relevant fellowship advisor well before materials are due. If you are endorsed for a fellowship, the fellowship advisors will work with you to prepare final materials for the final (national) deadline for the fellowship.

In addition to the campus deadline, some fellowships (Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, and Fulbright) also have preliminary application deadlines While the preliminary application deadline is a “soft” deadline (unlike the campus deadline), we expect that you commit to the application process around this date and let us know you have done so by completing the online registration. The purpose of the preliminary application deadline is to give you the opportunity to receive feedback and work closely with an advisor. You should plan to submit draft materials for review within a week or two of the preliminary deadline.