Prestigious fellowships information

At Marquette, we're interested not only in your growth during college, but we're also interested in helping you continue to excel after you graduate — like applying for the top prestigious fellowships at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Fellowships such as the Rhodes, Marshall and Fulbright provide opportunities for advanced study all over the globe. Others such as the Goldwater and Truman fund the final years of undergraduate and part of graduate education.

Each of the fellowships is advised by a Marquette university faculty representative who is well-acquainted with the expectations of the national selection committees and application process. These fellowship advisers are eager to help you as you begin to chart your postgraduate course. Take advantage of the help they offer to achieve your dreams!

General qualifications: Most fellowships require a GPA of 3.5 or higher and evidence of excellence in realms ranging from leadership to undergraduate research to community service. The specific qualifications for each fellowship differ. The Rhodes looks for well-rounded excellence, for example, while the Truman seeks applicants who will devote themselves to careers serving the public.

Review the undergraduate studies and graduate studies quick reference guides to determine the general nature of each fellowship, then determine which best match your interests and abilities. When you've done this, you are ready make an appointment with the university representative for that fellowship to discuss the application process.

Five first steps:

1. Plan ahead: Early preparation is essential. Though all of these fellowships are highly competitive, they are well within the reach of Marquette students, provided that you begin to prepare well ahead of time.

It is never too early to begin thinking about applying for prestigious fellowships. To be truly competitive, you should meet with the university faculty representative at least a full semester before the national deadline to begin preparing your application. Many fellowships, in fact, have internal university screening processes with deadlines well in advance of the national deadlines. Successful applicants are those who have laid a path for themselves as early as their sophomore year, so don't wait too long to get things under way.

2. Get to know your professors: When it comes time to request letters of recommendation, you will need to be well-known by several faculty members who can speak to your academic and personal strengths. Get to know your professors and let them get to know you so that, when the time comes, you have a full roster of possible recommenders.

3. Engage in undergraduate research: Evidence of strong research skills is often required by national fellowship committees. The regular work you do in the classroom will not be enough to make you stand out among other applicants. Engage in undergraduate research projects such as lab work, independent study or a senior thesis to boost your research qualifications.

4. Maintain your language skills: Many prestigious fellowships offer the opportunity to study abroad and require some language background. Even if you have tested out of the university language requirement, consider taking advanced courses to develop fluency in a foreign language.

5. Consider studying abroad: Studying abroad opens your mind to the beauty and complexity of cultures different from your own. This type of knowledge and experience can be an asset during the fellowship application and interview process.