Syracuse University

Center for Fellowship & Scholarship Advising

Truman Scholarship

Truman Scholarship

About the Truman Scholarship

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is a premier national scholarship awarded to college juniors with demonstrated leadership potential who want to pursue a career in public service. Truman Scholars are future “change agents” who demonstrate the passion, intellect, and leadership potential that in time should enable them to improve the ways that public entities – be they government agencies, nonprofit organizations, public and private educational institutions, or advocacy organizations – serve the public good. The scholarship provides up to $30,000 in funding to students pursuing graduate degrees leading to career in public service, including education, social service or social work, public advocacy law, the Foreign Service, non-profit management, public health, politics, and any other field that serves the public through government or non-profit careers.

The Truman Foundation also provides its scholars assistance with career counseling, internship placement, graduate school admissions, and professional development. Scholars are invited to participate in a number of programs: Truman Scholar Leadership Week, The Summer Institute, The Truman Fellows Program, and the Public Service Law Conference.

Location of award, if applicable: US academic institution

Eligible applicants:

– must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national by the date the scholarship will be awarded
– have junior-level academic standing, or senior-level standing in the 3rd year of college
– want to attend graduate school
– have participated extensively in two or more of the following activities: student government, campus-based extracurricular activities, community service-related activities not organized by my school or sorority/fraternity, government internships, advocacy or interest groups, partisan or non-partisan political activities and campaigns, or military/ROTC
– are eager to commit to work in public service for 3 of the first 7 years after graduate study (including government, education, the nonprofit sector, or the public interest/advocacy sector)

University endorsement required?


Citizenship requirement:

Must be U.S. citizen

The Truman Scholarship application process:

Due to the competitive nature of the Truman scholarship, prospective applicants need to start preparing as early as their sophomore year. Review the information on the scholarship website to gain a better understanding of the scholarship requirements, eligibility, application process and timeline, and to determine if it is a good fit for your academic background, experiences and career goals.

Seek opportunities to take on leadership and public service roles. Consider taking PAF 101: Introduction to the Analysis of Public Policy, a fantastic course which patterns its final assignment on part of the Truman application.

Contact CFSA and your mentor(s) to discuss your interest and plans to apply for the scholarship.

Syracuse University may nominate up to four students to apply for the scholarship.

Prospective applicants should submit their preliminary applications to CFSA by Dec 10 to be reviewed by a committee of faculty representatives for nomination.

Nominated applicants are expected to work with CFSA through the rest of the application process.

Application components include:
– the completed application form, including strong examples of public service activity and leadership
– the policy paper
– three strong letters of recommendation

The national application deadline is in early February but SU’s internal deadline for the final application is January 30.

Interested? Contact CFSA for more information on how to get started!

Advising contact:

Jolynn Parker  Email: More Information:

Enter any terms you are interested, such as “Government” or “Biotechnology”,