Apply for a Fellowship!

Want to go to graduate school, but aren't sure how to finance it?  Listen to Taylor Webb, a BYU electrical engineering graduate, talk about his experience applying for and earning prestigious fellowships to help sponsor his PhD work at Stanford University.


Graduate Fellowships

Undergraduate students with strong academic records and an interest in MS or PhD degrees typically apply during their senior year for prestigious national fellowships that provide $100,000 or more in financial support for further schooling in graduate school. Fellowships provide support for graduate school and are different from scholarships that support undergraduate education. Winning a prestigious national fellowship is one of the highest marks of distinction that a BYU student can achieve, and paves the way to a wide range of opportunities as a leader in the field of science and technology.


Here are things that students can do at various levels in the program to follow a trajectory that leads to success in applying for and obtaining a graduate fellowship:

Freshman Consider becoming involved in the BYU Honors Program as a way to gain enriching experiences that will prepare you to apply for fellowships and succeed in graduate school.
Sophomore Strong academic performance is essential. Cumulative GPAs in the range of 3.5 to 3.8 or higher are required to be competitive for most fellowships.
Junior Become involved in undergraduate research in one of the research groups in your department. This helps immensely in two important ways: research experience is invaluable in preparing the research plan that is required for most fellowship applications, and it helps you build a relationship with a faculty mentor who can help you with your application. Students can learn about undergraduate research experiences by talking with professors or by contacting the department fellowship coordinator.
Senior Application deadlines for many fellowships are in November. In the summer before the Fall semester of your senior year, obtain detailed application and deadline information for fellowships that you can apply for (see below for a list). With the help of a faculty mentor, prepare applications for any of the fellowships you are interested in. Once you have prepared one application, applying for additional fellowships is much easier. 


Fellowships to Apply For

Fellowships that engineering and technology students at BYU apply for include: 

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship 

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship awards over one thousand fellowships to outstanding students pursuing research-based master's or doctoral degrees in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Physics, Psychology, and Social Sciences. The fellowship provides three years of financial support, including an annual $30,000 stipend and $10,500 education allowance.

National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship 

This fellowship provides funding for students to earn a doctoral degree in science or engineering in order to increase the number and quality of our nation's scientists and engineers. Fellowships provide funds to cover full tuition, required fees, a stipend of $31,000 for the first year, and minimum insurance coverage.

NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship 

The goal of NSTRF is to provide the nation with a pipeline of highly skilled engineers and technologists to improve America's technological competitiveness. NASA Space Technology Fellows will perform innovative space technology research while building the skills necessary to become future technological leaders. Selected candidates will perform graduate student research both on their respective campuses and at NASA Centers and, in the future, also at nonprofit U.S. Research and Development (R&D) laboratories.

NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Graduate Fellowship Program (NGFP) provides ambitious graduate students interested in a career in nuclear security with a full-time, salaried fellowship sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Fellows learn about a range of nuclear technology applications while helping shape nuclear and nonproliferation policy and decision making. The fellowship provides a $52,000/year salary, $4,000 hiring incentive, tuition reimbursement, health care benefits, and paid vacation/holidays.

Other Fellowships

There are 20-30 others that are also available, including other science and technology targeted fellowships, as well as general fellowships such as Marshall, Rhodes, and Fullbright. Some fellowships are extremely competitive and only award 10-15 per year, whereas others like the NSF GRFP are still competitive yet as many as 20% of students who apply can receive funding. The BYU National Scholarships, Fellowships, and Programs office has a comprehensive list of fellowships targeted to engineering disciplines as well as students in any major.


For More Information

Contact Your Department Fellowship Expert:
Chemical Engineering John Harb john_harb@byu.edu
Civil Engineering Michael Scott michael.scott@byu.edu
Electrical and Computer Engineering Karl Warnick warnick@ee.byu.edu
Mechanical Engineering David Fullwood dfullwood@byu.edu
School of Technology Richard Helps richard_helps@byu.edu