Truman: Public Service Leadership

Truman Scholarship for Public Service Leadership

Read more about UT’s 2014 Truman Scholarship national finalist, Fadi Saleh.  Read more about  UT’s 2013 Truman Scholarship national finalists, Eric Dixon and Lindsay Lee.

  • Truman UT Campus Application Deadline: November 28, 2016
  • National Application Deadline: February 7, 2017

Campus Application Process: To initiate the UT campus application process for the Truman Scholarship you must contact Andrew Seidler.  Following a meeting with Andrew, you will have access to the Truman online application, at which time you will begin to enter all of the relevant and required information for the national process (see below).  All application materials required by the national process are required for the campus process.  All essays and letters of recommendation are due on November 30, 2015.  Please submit unofficial transcripts/academic history to Andrew Seidler, Greve Hall 317,  by the campus deadline.

Campus Interviews and Endorsement:  All UT campus applicants will undergo a campus review and selection interview process.  The UT Truman faculty review committee will nominate only a select number of UT students to forward for national review.  Students cannot apply directly to the Truman Foundation.


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