Harry S. Truman Scholarship

Information Sessions: NISO Week Sept 18-21, 2023

Campus Deadline: November 14, 2023; January 4, 2024

Fields of Study: Any - for students who plan to pursue a graduate degree and a career in public service

Funding for: Senior year and graduate school

Begin Application: Junior year

Website: www.truman.gov


Truman scholars are movers and shakers, agents of change, students who are committed to changing the world and serving the public. The Truman Foundation awards 60-65 scholarships annually to college juniors who wish to pursue graduate school in preparation for careers in public service. The scholarship includes up to $30,000 toward graduate studies, leadership training, and a 10-week Washington, D.C. Summer Institute following graduation. The Foundation defines public service as government employment at any level, uniformed services, public interest organizations, nongovernmental research and/or education organizations, public and private schools, and public service-oriented nonprofit organizations - in short, those organizations and agencies whose primary purposes are to help needy or disadvantaged persons or to protect the environment.

Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizen or U.S. national
  • Current junior (defined as one in their penultimate year a.k.a. year 3 of 4 - if graduting in 3 years, can apply during year 3). Consult NISO as early as possible if you have questions/concens about how this timeline would apply to you.
  • Planning to pursue an advanced degree: Master's degree, doctorate, or professional degree such as a law degree or a Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Social Work, Master of Education, Master of Public Policy, or Master of International Affairs
  • Will pursue a career in which you will serve as a "change agent," for example, improving the ways that government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or educational institutions serve the public

Candidate Profile

  • Record of sustained service to community as demonstrated by participation in extracurricular activities, volunteer work, internships, etc
  • Demonstrated skills as an effective leader, advocate, and/or activist (i.e., an "agent of change")
  • Intellectual rigor and a strong academic record that illustrate preparedness for graduate study
  • Clear plans to pursue a career in public service
  • Well-developed and pragmatic Policy Proposal essay that addresses a specific problem

Application Components

  • Online application form which includes several short essay questions that detail one's leadership, committment to public service now, and chart out a path to a defined career in public service focused on a specific societal issue
  • Policy Proposal essay
  • Three letters of recommendation, each addressing a particular area:
    • Leadership abilities and potential
    • Commitment to and desire for a career in public service
    • Intellect and ability to succeed in graduate school
  • Certified transcript(s)

Application Procedure

All applicants MUST be nominated by their college or university in order to apply for the Truman Scholarship. As such, Purdue applicants are reviewed by an internal committee and up to four nominees are sent forward to the Truman Foundation for consideration. We encourage interested students to attend the information session in September as that is the kick-off to the application process.

Detailed campus application information is provided directly to applicants once they declare their intention to apply.