Arts & Sciences launches Dean’s Distinguished Graduate Fellowship program

The new competitive fellowship program aims to enhance recruitment and recognition of outstanding incoming graduate students.

The Dean’s Distinguished Graduate Fellowships in Arts & Sciences will support exceptional incoming PhD and MFA students who show promise for exceptional academic distinction, have a demonstrated interest in advancing the public good, and will contribute to the diversity and intellectual vitality of the university community. The program, which will be piloted this academic year, aims to help academic departments make compelling offers of admission to their best applicants.

“Recruiting outstanding graduate candidates to Arts & Sciences is crucial because their curiosity, creativity, and dedication are integral to the research enterprise of our school,” said Feng Sheng Hu, dean of Arts & Sciences. “This program is the first of many new initiatives aimed at strengthening our graduate programs.”  

The fellowships, an outgrowth of the 2021 Strategic Plan, provide fellows a stipend of approximately $8,000 (in addition to their Arts & Sciences fellowship or research assistantship) for each year of funding support the student receives at WashU. In addition, fellows will participate in dedicated Arts & Sciences programming, including workshops and training to hone multiple skillsets for their future careers. A summer supplement stipend will support professional development or research activities. 

“Our goal with this program is to encourage and support these stellar students to realize their full potential and excel in their scholarship," said Sophia Hayes, interim vice dean of graduate education in Arts & Sciences. "We want to nurture their strengths, help them reach their aspirations, and ultimately make a difference for the communities they wish to serve.”

The fellowship will also help foster community among and across cohorts of fellows through professional development opportunities, community-building programs, and connections with fellows from other university programs, such as the Olin and Chancellor’s fellowships.  

“We envision that the Dean’s Distinguished Graduate Fellows will benefit from a cohort experience that will allow them to forge strong connections across their fields of study,” said William Acree, dean’s fellow for graduate education initiatives. “We know that scholarly community is truly critical to research distinction.”

Departments and programs in Arts & Sciences can nominate up to two applicants who are recommended for admission to be considered for this fellowship program. Nominations should be submitted by a member of the unit's Graduate Admissions Committee. Additional information and nomination instructions are available on the Arts & Sciences Office of Graduate Studies website.