Truman: Public Service Leadership

Truman Scholarship for Public Service Leadership

Read more about UT’s 2013 Truman Scholarship national finalists, Eric Dixon and Lindsay Lee.

  • Truman UT Campus Application Deadline: December 9, 2013
  • National Application Deadline: February 4, 2014

The Truman Scholarship is a prestigious US program which awards 60 to 65 scholarships annually to fund students pursuing graduate degrees in public service fields. The program provides up to $30,000 for graduate study, as well as leadership training, graduate school counseling, and internship opportunities. Scholars are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following the funding. Applicants must be in their junior year, should be in the top quarter of their class, and should be committed to a career in public service.

The Truman Scholarship is arguably one of the most well-recognized and competitive opportunities available to US students. In particular, it is challenging because it requires significant commitment to public service and the ability to contend with drafting public policy from students who are just mid-way through their undergraduate career.  In addition to an exceptional academic record, competitive Truman candidates should already be involved in service at the national and international level.  While campus and local community involvement is worthy, Truman applicants are expected the challenge themselves by extending their experience beyond their comfort zone and engaging in the national and international conversation around their areas of interest. Truman’s long-standing idiom has been that they seek to identify and support “agents of change.” Therefore, a strong Truman applicant will have a CV and personal story that gives evidence to their commitment and action toward becoming just such an instigator of reach change.

The Truman Scholarship application requires:

  • A series of extended short-answer questions
  • A detailed description of a policy problem and a reasonable, clearly articulated policy proposal
  • Four letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts and a complete online application
  • UT letter of endorsement following campus interview and selection as campus nominee

Of note: The Truman Scholarship Program requires national interviews. If a UT nominee is invited to interview, the ONSF facilitates mock-interviews to ensure as much preparation as possible in advance of the national interviews, which can be intense and rigorous in nature.  You can read more about preparing for interviews by visiting our Interview Preparation page.

Additional Resources