Udall Scholarship

The Udall Scholarship is a merit award for second- and third-year students who have demonstrated a commitment to issues related to American Indian nations or to the environment. It provides leadership, public service, internship, and networking opportunities, in addition to up to $7,000 for eligible academic expenses.

Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit to two groups of students:

  • Those engaged in environmental issues through perspectives of (but not limited to) policy, engineering, science, education, urban planning and renewal, business, health, justice, and economics
  • Those with American Indian or Alaska Natives backgrounds who engaged in tribal policy or Native health care

Award: Udall Scholars will receive up to $7,000 for educational expenses, attend a Scholar Orientation in summer, and join a national network of young leaders and change makers.

Criteria: (1) Commitment to the environment, health care, or tribal public policy; (2) Academic achievements; (3) Nominee’s personal essay; (4) Personal characteristics as revealed by such evidence as volunteerism and testimonials in letters of reference.

Applicants must be endorsed by the Office of Distinguished Scholarships in order to apply for the Udall Scholarship. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact ODS to learn more about the application process.

Application deadlines

ODS internal deadline for endorsement: Friday, January 15, 2021 (5:00 pm ET)

Scholarship final deadline: Monday, March 1, 2021


You can apply for the scholarship if you:

  • Are a sophomore or junior-level college student at a two-year or four-year accredited institution of higher education in the United States, pursuing a bachelor’s or associate’s degree at the time of application
  • Will be pursuing a bachelor’s degree full-time during the next academic year
  • Are a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. permanent resident

Applicants interested in tribal policy and Native health care must satisfy one of the following:

  • You are enrolled in a state or federally recognized tribe or band
  • One or more of your parents or grandparents was an enrolled member of a state or federally recognized tribe or band
  • You are a permanent U.S. resident or U.S. citizen who is a member of the First Nations of Canada

How to apply for UNC endorsement

  • Personal Information form
  • Completed online Udall Scholarship application
  • Essay
  • All relevant transcripts
  • Photograph
  • 3 Letters of recommendation

Resources for applicants


Recent Udall Scholarship Recipients and Honorable Mentions: Elayna Locklear ’20, Brooke Bauman ’21 (HM), Elena Polanco ’19 (HM), Joseph Locklear ’17 (Scholarship & HM)