The University of Iowa

Underrepresented Minority Thesis Fellowship for Masters and DMA Students

This fellowship program provides an opportunity for minority masters and DMA students (US citizens or permanent residents who are Black or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders) to benefit from a final semester of protected and supported time to focus on completing their scholarly research activities and the writing of their master’s thesis (MA, MS, and MFA) or DMA thesis. A one-time fellowship award will be given for $10,000.

This award cannot be used in combination with any other source of support (e.g., fellowship/scholarship, grant, graduate assistantship, employment outside the University).

It is expected that students, their mentors, and Director of Graduate Studies will have met and concluded that the students are close to finishing their thesis work and will complete during the semester the fellowship is provided. It is anticipated students are into the writing process and able to provide an abstract at the time of application.

The Graduate College provides a $10,000 stipend for one academic semester. The fellowship includes a tuition scholarship for two credit hours, 50 percent of the mandatory fees, and a contribution towards their health and dental insurance. Students will be responsible for the remainder of their mandatory and course fees as well as any additional required credit hours.

Please consult the Office of Student Financial Aid regarding how the award may affect financial aid packages.

Departments may nominate up to 2 students per academic year, and applications must be submitted via Workflow by someone in their department (DGS, advisor, Grad Coordinator.  Nominations for spring 2021 awards are due October 29, 2020.

Application Process

Because this is a final semester fellowship, a student may be nominated only once, when there is a high likelihood of completion within one semester of the fellowship period. The number of fellowships is limited and awards are highly competitive.

  • This fellowship cannot be used in combination with any other source of financial support (e.g., fellowship/scholarship, grant, graduate assistantship, job at another institution/employer). The point of the fellowship is to provide dedicated time for you to work full-time on your degree completion requirements.

Nomination Requirements

Online nominations must include the following items as separate PDF files:

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

  • An abstract describing the MA, MS, MFA, or DMA thesis. The abstract must be written in lay, language and the value of the research to the student's field (to be understood by the public) terms that addresses the purpose of the research, how the research will be carried out, and the value of the research to the student's field. Do not include references.
  • A two-page document containing 1) a descriptive list of chapters and 2) a timetable with major deliverables for completion of the thesis (e.g., completion dates for each chapter).
  • A one-page CV of educational and professional experience, honors and awards, and publications.
  • A transcript/grade report (unofficial acceptable)

Two letters of support

  • One letter from the nominee's thesis advisor that includes:
    • How long the student has been working on the degree
    • Confirmation the student has an approved thesis topic by the application deadline
    • The student's qualifications for carrying out this research
    • How much work has already been accomplished on the thesis
    • The value of the research topic to the specific field
    • The likelihood that the degree will be completed in Fall 2020.
  • One letter of support from a committee member, DGS, DEO, or other faculty member familiar with the student's thesis work.

Applications must be submitted online by the student’s department. Students must submit their part of the application materials to their department at least two weeks prior to the Graduate College deadline. Check with your department as soon as possible for their deadlines as well as inform them that you intended 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. 

Please call or email questions

  • Executive Director of Operations Donna Welter (335-2145) or Associate Dean Shelly Campo (335-2136) or via email at grad-fellowships@uiowa.edu)