Truman Scholarship

Truman Scholars are future ‘change agents’ who have the desire, intellect, and leadership potential that in time will likely enable them to improve the way that public entities such as including government agencies and non-profit organizations serve the public. Between 50 and 65 Truman Scholars are selected annually as juniors to receive a total of $30,000 for graduate studies. Applicants must have a strong academic and service record and plan to pursue a graduate program geared toward public service.

The Truman Scholarship 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.  

The Truman Scholars Foundation gives priority to master’s and doctorate programs in: public administration, public policy analysis, public health, international relations, government, economics, social services delivery, education and human resource development, and conservation and environmental protection. Students who plan to pursue medical or law degrees must make a convincing case that they do so for purposes of public service.

Applicants should be aware that the Truman Scholarship has a newly instituted service requirement. Truman Scholars selected since 2005 and afterward are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a Truman Scholars Foundation-funded graduate degree program as a condition of receiving Truman funds. Truman Scholars who do not meet this service requirement, or who fail to provide timely proof to the Foundation of such employment, will be required to repay funds received along with interest. The Foundation will have an appeals process for special circumstances.

Visit the official Truman Scholarship website here.

Nomination and Application Information for SDSU Students

Legal Requirements:

  •  At the time of application, students must be a full-time student pursuing a bachelor's degree with junior-level academic standing (receiving a bachelor's degree between December 2021 and August 2022); senior-level standing in third year of college enrollment (receiving a bachelor's degree during the 2020-2021 academic year); or a senior and a resident of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or a Pacific Island.
  • Students graduating in three or fewer years are eligible in their final year of study.  
  • Students who are participating in a five year program are eligible to apply if they are graduating between December of the application year and August of the following year. 
  • Note: Students who are already attending graduate school are not eligible for the Truman Scholarship.
  • U.S. citizen (or a U.S. national from a Pacific Island) or I expect to receive my citizenship by the date the Scholarship will be awarded.

Other Eligibility Requirements:

  • Endorsement by the SDSU National Scholarships and Fellowships office
  • Expecting to receive the bachelor's degree between December 2021 and August 2022
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5
  • Commitment to a career in public service
  • Strong record of leadership, public and community service
  • Able to attend the Truman Scholars Leadership Week
  • Complete online application
  • Must be available for an interview, if shortlisted. Interview date(s): TBA
    Note: SDSU may nominate up to four applicants.

Campus Application Materials 

Please submit the following materials by 4pm on November 1, 2020
  • A completed SDSU Truman Scholarship Candidate Application
  • A current resume or CV (two pages is acceptable. Include public service and leadership activities in high school as well as college)
  • A current transcript (unnofficial is acceptable) 
  • One letter of recommendation, preferably from a professor

2020 - 2021 Dates and Deadlines

SDSU Internal Application Deadline

Friday, November 1, 2020 (PST 4:00 PM)

SDSU Endorsement Interviews

Week of November 2020

SDSU Endorsement Notifications Sent to Students

Week of November 2020

Endorsed Candidates Application and Proposal Drafts Due

Monday, January 2021

SDSU Truman Application Due for Endorsed Candidates (Including all Letters of Recommendations)

Monday, January 2021

Truman Foundation Final Deadline

February 2021

SDSU Contact

[email protected] 

if interested in this scholarship

Weber Honors Students
Schedule with Dr. Martha Enciso via email