Truman Scholarship

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards merit-based scholarships to college students who plan to pursue careers in government or in public service, and who wish to attend graduate or professional school to help prepare for their careers. Truman Scholars receive up to $30,000 for 2-3 years of graduate study toward a public service-related degree. The Foundation has supported Truman Scholars in many fields of study, including agriculture, biology, engineering, environmental management, physical and social sciences, and technology policy, as well as traditional fields such as economics, education, government, history, international relations, law, political science, public administration, nonprofit management, public health, and public policy. Truman Scholars participate in leadership development programs and have special opportunities for internships and employment with the federal government.


  • Applicants must be US citizens or US nationals.
  • Applicants must be full-time juniors. If the applicant is a resident of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa or the Northern Marianas, the applicant must be a senior.
  • Applicants must be in the upper quarter of their class.

High grades and a sufficiently strong curriculum to gain admittance to a first-rate graduate institution are required. One or more courses relating to the applicant's career interests are necessary.


Applications are submitted online through the Office of Distinguished Fellowships. The application includes:

  • Truman Scholarship application
  • Policy proposal
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Institutional nomination
  • Official transcripts

Successful Truman candidates have an extensive record of public and community service; have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills; and are committed to a career in government or elsewhere in public service, as defined by the Foundation.


The Office of Distinguished Fellowships may nominate up to four candidates; application materials are due to the Office of Distinguished Fellowships by January 25, 2019. Applications are due to the Truman Foundation in February 2019 on a TBD date.  The Truman Selection committee identifies up to 200 finalists who are interviewed in late February or early March. Sixty-five winners are announced at the end of March.


Arthur D. Casciato, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Distinguished Fellowships
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey