Doctoral Merit Fellowship
Texas State Doctoral Merit Fellowships (Spoonamore Doctoral Merit Fellowship, Gowens Doctoral Merit Fellowship, Dreeben Doctoral Merit Fellowship, Merrick Doctoral Merit Fellowship, Celebrity Classic Scholarship) are prestigious awards intended for use in recruiting doctoral students of the highest quality to Texas State University. These fellowships can be combined with graduate assistantships or departmental scholarships to create an attractive financial aid package for top applicants; however, applicants cannot apply directly. Doctoral program directors must identify and nominate eligible applicants.
Texas State Doctoral Merit Fellowships provide $9,000 to new doctoral students for their first academic year of study (paid in early September, January, and June). Approximately 14 awards will be made each year. Fellowship offers cannot be deferred.
Fellows must meet the following requirements:
- enroll in a minimum of nine graduate-level hours in both fall and spring semesters
- enroll in six graduate-level hours in the summer
- maintain good academic standing each semester
- make acceptable progress towards the degree
In order to be eligible for the merit fellowship, applicants must have the following qualifications:
- unconditional admission to a doctoral program at Texas State University
- no current or previous enrollment in a doctoral program at Texas State University
- ranking as one of the top three applicants to their program
- highly competitive entry GPA
- highly competitive GRE (if required for admission to the program)
- evidence of awards, recognition, honors, fellowships, or other indicators of future success
- outstanding letters of recommendation
- superior statement of purpose
- research experience
Only the doctoral program director can nominate applicants for the merit fellowship. Each program can nominate up to three applicants. In order to nominate an applicant, the doctoral program director must write a one-page nomination letter suitable for a non-specialized audience and include the following information about the applicant:
- past academic success
- relevant experiences outside of the classroom
- indicators of future success and fit with the program
- rank as one of the top three applicants
An electronic copy of the letter of nomination must be sent by the deadline of February 15 to The Graduate College via our secure file transfer.
In addition to the nomination letter, the applicant's GPA, GRE score (if required by the program), letters of recommendation, resume/CV, and the statement of purpose will be provided to the fellowship committee. If the program does not require these documents for admission, the doctoral program director must tell the applicant to send the following documents via our secure file transfer by the deadline of February 15:
- statement of purpose
- resume or CV showing evidence of awards, recognition, honors, fellowships, or other indicators of future success
- three letters of recommendation (sent directly by the recommenders)
Doctoral and regular graduate faculty representing the academic colleges on campus will serve on the merit fellowship committee. The committee will make recommendations for both winners and alternates, and final decisions will be made by the dean of The Graduate College. Official award letters will be distributed to nominators shortly thereafter. Both department chairs and academic deans will also be informed of award winners. Departments must copy The Graduate College on all communication with award recipients.