Graduate Merit Fellowship

Texas State Graduate Merit Fellowships (Spoonamore Graduate Merit Fellowship, Gowens Graduate Merit Fellowship, Dreeben Graduate Merit Fellowship, Merrick Graduate Merit Fellowship, Celebrity Classic Scholarship) are prestigious awards intended for use in recruiting master’s 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. Graduate advisors must identify and nominate eligible applicants.

Award Details

Texas State Graduate Merit Fellowships provide $3,000 to new master’s students for their first academic year of study (paid in early September, January, and June). Approximately 35 awards will be made each year. Fellowship offers cannot be deferred.

Enrollment Requirements

Fellows must meet the following requirements:

  • enroll in a minimum of six hours in both fall and spring semesters
  • enroll in three graduate-level hours in the summer
  • maintain good academic standing each semester
  • make acceptable progress towards the degree.    

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for the merit fellowship, applicants must have the following qualifications:

  • unconditional admission to a master's program at Texas State University
  • no current or previous enrollment in a master's program at Texas State University
  • ranking as one of the top three applicants to their program
  • highly competitive entry GPA
  • highly competitive GRE or GMAT (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

Nomination Procedures

Only the graduate advisor can nominate applicants for the merit fellowship. Each program can nominate up to three applicants. In order to nominate an applicant, the graduate advisor 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 March 15 to The Graduate College via our secure file transfer.

In addition to the nomination letter, the applicant's GPA, GRE or GMAT 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 graduate advisor must tell the applicant to send the following documents via our secure file transfer by the deadline of March 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)

Selection Process

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.