Graduate Diversity Fellowship

Graduate Diversity Fellowships are presented to graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, with a preference for underrepresented minorities (Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander), first generation students, students with disabilities (who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended), and women in science, engineering, and mathematics fields (including computer science, economics, engineering, math and applied math, and physics).

Students must have completed at least one full semester of graduate study at the University of Iowa to be eligible. This initiative continues to aid in building and sustaining an inclusive graduate community at the University of Iowa and is essential to enhancing the quality of the intellectual environment for all of our students and faculty. We strongly encourage students to seek graduate assistantships and to apply for other graduate fellowship mechanisms that come with more financial support and longer commitments of support.

Priority will be given to UI students with little or no previous funding from the Graduate College and a lack of available funding from the student’s department. As with all Graduate College scholarships and fellowships, The Graduate College considers academic performance and progress, student plans for how to maximize the fellowship/tuition support, and letters of recommendation. Graduate Diversity Fellowships can impact financial aid packages. Please consult the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Graduate Diversity Fellowships are intended for students who need a semester to focus full time on their studies. If awarded a Graduate Diversity Fellowship, students are expected to devote approximately 20 hours per week beyond what is required for the course credits on research and/or projects.


Graduate Diversity Fellowships provide both tuition support and a stipend.  The fellowship will provide a one semester $10,700 stipend plus a tuition and 50% mandatory fees scholarship for up to 6 credits based on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences resident rates. (Students registered in the College of Education receive resident tuition adjusted according to COE guidelines). Students are responsible for the remaining mandatory fees and any course fees.

These fellowships cannot be used in combination with any other source of support (e.g., fellowship/scholarship, grant, graduate assistantships, or employment outside the University of Iowa) since the fellowships are meant to provide protected time for the student to advance their studies.  Failure to report additional employment can be considered in future applications/nominations/continued Graduate College funding for both the student and the department. For more information or to ask for a possible one-time exception to extra work hours, contact the Graduate College.

Minimum Requirements

To be eligible:

  • All scholars must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Students must have completed at least one full semester of graduate study at the University of Iowa. If students are in their first semester, they are not eligible to apply.
  • Doctoral students must be within five years of entry into their graduate programs.
  • Master’s students must be within two years of entry (three years if master's program is three years)
  • Graduate Diversity Fellowship support shall not exceed two semesters total from the Graduate College.
  • Students must be currently enrolled and enrolled in the semester/summer they are awarded the fellowship.
  • Students are ineligible if appointed to a 25% or greater research or teaching assistantship. Any employment must be reported to Associate Dean Campo with a request for a possible one-time exception.

Students must submit their part of the application materials to their department at least two weeks prior to the Graduate College deadline. Students should check with their department as soon as possible for departmental deadlines as well as inform them they intend to apply. Applications submitted by the student (and not someone in the department such as the DGS, DEO or grad coordinator) will be voided and not considered.  

Student materials (single spaced, 12 pt. type, 1" margins):

  • A brief paragraph highlighting accomplishments since undertaking graduate study at the University of Iowa (maximum 250 words).
  • A one-page research outline/project outline and plan of study written in lay language (to be understood by the public). It should address the significance and purpose of the research/project and how this opportunity will impact the nominee's subsequent degree plans and professional goals. The project does not have to be on campus, but if it is with a community organization, please address whether or not there is a stipend/pay from that organization available. Do not include references. Be sure the scope is a minimum of 20 hours per week beyond the requirements of your course credits (you are not being paid just to take classes).
  • A one-page C.V. of the nominee's educational and professional experience, honors and awards, and publications.
  • Transcript (unofficial acceptable)

Two Letters of Support

  • One letter from the nominee's advisor addressing a) a defined plan for close mentorship of the student during this semester and b) the student’s readiness to undertake the research/project plan.
  • One letter from the Director of Graduate Studies. This letter should include information about whether or not there are other funds available to support the student, and if so, why a semester of fellowship support is needed at this point in the student’s program of study.

If the research/project proposed will involve a community partner or a faculty member other than the student’s advisor, a letter of support from that individual should also be included. 

Applications should be submitted online.


Submission deadlines for Spring 2024 will be announced soon.

Additional Information

Please direct any questions to Graduate Administrative Affairs Coordinator Katie Bottorff (467-4307) or Associate Dean Shelly Campo (335-2136) or via email at