Quick Facts 
Contact Information

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is a highly competitive, merit-based award offered for graduate study in preparation for a career in government, the non-profit sector, or elsewhere in public service. The scholarship recognizes students for their outstanding potential as leaders in public service and their commitment to a life of service. Scholarships of $30,000 are awarded to approximately 75-80 students, selected by state of residence. 

Applications must be made through MIT, which can nominate up to four students. You should review the Truman Foundation website, and then consult with the MIT contacts for more information.

Quick Facts

Harry S. Truman Scholarship

  • Field of Study: Government, non-profit sector, or public service
  • Type: Graduate
  • Place of Study: Any graduate or professional school
  • Award: $30,000
  • MIT Deadline: November 19
  • National Deadline: February 5

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national
  • Attend an accredited U.S. college or university
  • Have a grade point average of at least a B and be in the upper quarter of your junior class
  • Exception: Residents of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Northern Marianas must be in their senior year

Selection Criteria

  • An extensive record of campus and community service
  • Commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit and advocacy sectors
  • Communication skills, leadership potential, and a high probability of becoming a change agent
  • A strong academic record with likely acceptance by a first-rate graduate school

The selection committees use six equally weighted factors in selecting candidates for interviews:

  • Public service record
  • Leadership record
  • Graduate study proposal
  • Policy proposal
  • Quality of presentation and writing
  • Academic record and likelihood of acceptance by the graduate or professional school identified in the application


(See official site for details and forms.)

Complete applications for the MIT selection process include the following materials:

  • Application form
  • Policy proposal of 500 words or less
  • Three letters of recommendation, one each to discuss your leadership qualities, commitment to public service, and academic record.
  • Official MIT transcript

If you are selected to represent MIT, you will have an opportunity to revise some of the above materials. The following additional material will be provided by the MIT contact.

  • Nomination letter from MIT


MIT Process

Spring and Summer            

  • As soon as possible, interested students should review the official Truman Foundation web site and read the For Candidates and For Faculty Reps sections, especially Candidate Q&A and Guidance to Candidates.


  • Applications are available from the official scholarship site.


  • Attend a Truman Scholarship information session.
  • Consult with Distinguished Fellowships, E39-305, which advises candidates about their viability and application.


  • Deadline to obtain application materials.


  • Deadline to submit applications to MIT Distinguished Fellowships:
Truman Scholarship
Kimberly Benard
Distinguished Fellowships

Late November            

  • Applications are reviewed by the MIT Truman Selection Committee.
  • Candidates selected for MIT interviews.


  • Student interviews with MIT Truman Selection Committee. Following interviews, the committee selects up to four MIT nominees and notifies all candidates of their status.


  • Truman nominees revise their application materials with assistance from members of the committee.

February 3            

  • All nomination materials are due to the national Truman Foundation.

National Process 


  • Truman Foundation Committee reviews all nominations and selects 200 as Truman Scholarship finalists in the original screening and an additional 30 in the appeals process (names and all interview-related information are posted on the official site).
  • Finalists from MIT prepare for their interviews with assistance from the MIT Truman Selection Committee.
  • Deadline for the foundation to receive finalist interview confirmation forms.


  • Regional selection panels conduct interviews of the finalists and elect the Truman Scholars.          
  • Personal letters of notification are sent to the finalists. Truman Scholars are posted on web.

Contact Information

MIT Representatives           

Professor Anne McCants
MIT Room E51-175


Kimberly Benard
Assistant Director, Distinguished Fellowships
MIT Room E39-305

General Information

Truman Scholarship Foundation
712 Jackson Place, NW
Washington , DC 20006
Telephone: 202-395-4831
Truman website: