Truman Scholarship

Check Award Deadline

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards merit-based scholarships to college students who plan to pursue careers in government or elsewhere in public service. Scholars are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a Foundation-funded graduate degree program as a condition of receiving funding.

Award: Truman Scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate or professional school, participate in leadership development activities, and have special opportunities for internships and employment with the federal government. The foundation selects approximately 60 Scholars each year.

Criteria: The Foundation seeks future “change agents” who aspire to leadership positions in federal, state, or local governments or in the not-for-profit and education sectors where they can influence public policies and change public programs. Criteria for selecting Truman Scholars are mainly (1) extensive records of public and community service, (2) commitment to careers in government or elsewhere in the public sector, (3) desire to influence public policies or education programs, and (4) outstanding leadership potential and communication skills.

(The Foundation defines public service as employment in government at any level, uniformed services, public interest organizations, nongovernmental research and/or educational organizations, public and private schools, and public service-oriented nonprofit organizations.)



Each nominee for the Truman Scholarship must be:
  • a full-time junior-level student at a four-year institution pursuing a bachelor’s degree during the academic year of application
  • nominated by the Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative at his or her institution
  • in the upper quarter of his or her class
  • a United States citizen or a United States national from American Samoa. Resident aliens (green card holders) are not eligible

How to apply for UNC endorsement

  • Review the Truman Scholarship Timeline
  • Email ODS ( a copy of your CV or resume and indicate that you are interested in applying for the Truman Scholarship 
    • An ODS team member will create your online account foyou and you will receive an email prompting you to begin the online application; do not enter your application to the Truman portal yet
  • Request Three (3) Letters of Recommendation 
    • Use the Recommender Name Submission Form to request letters. (Do not input recommender names into the Truman application at this stage.) 
    • *The Truman Scholarship has specific requirements concerning who can write your lettersplease review those requirements on the website before selecting recommenders* 
  • Apply for UNC Endorsement with the Application for UNC Endorsement Form 
    • Prepare and upload a single PDF that includes (in this order) 
      • Your CV 
      • The completed Truman Application downloaded from the online portal
      • All relevant transcripts

Resources for applicants