Master’s Degree Fellowships

The master’s fellowship supports TCU faculty accepted to or enrolled in a master’s degree program with a two-year award to complete their coursework and requirements for graduation. The College Fund established this fellowship program to increase and retain the number of faculty with master’s degrees at 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities (TCUs).

The College Fund offers two master’s fellowships.

    • The College Fund Master’s Fellowship supports faculty seeking a master’s degree in any field of study.
    • The Mellon Master’s Fellowship supports study toward a master’s degree in the humanities or humanistic social sciences, such as anthropology, history, Native American studies, sociology, and linguistics.

Both fellowships provide up to $25,000 in funding over two years.

Application deadline: Applications for the College Fund Master’s Fellowship will be accepted between March 1 and April 14, 2023. Applicants whose degrees fall under the humanities fields can apply immediately for the Mellon Master’s Fellowship through April 14, 2023. See Application Deadline section below for more information.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

    • Be a current TCU faculty member, or a staff member who does not currently teach but has been asked to teach in the near future. For fellowships, the definition of faculty member includes full- and part-time permanent faculty, as well as adjunct instructors (including TCU staff and administrators) who teach at least one course regularly.
    • Be admitted to or enrolled in an accredited master’s degree program.
    • Have a plan to complete their degree within two (2) years of starting the fellowship.
    • Obtain approval from their TCU administrators to take sufficient leave time to complete all requirements of the fellowship within two years. (A full sabbatical is not required; however, fellows must have appropriate release time or flexibility to ensure successful completion of their program.)

Requirements for Accepted Awards

Individuals who are awarded funds will be required to do the following:

    • Agree to continue teaching at a TCU for at least two (2) years after graduation.
    • Attend a two-day fellowship orientation program, if offered.
    • Authorize regular progress reports and contact between the master’s degree-granting university and the College Fund’s Faculty Development Program Officer.
    • Learn from and collaborate with peers and mentors in the master’s fellowship program.
    • Complete their master’s degree within two (2) years of starting the fellowship.
    • Maintain regular contact with the College Fund’s Faculty Development Program Officer for the two years during and two years after completion of the master’s degree.

Application Checklist

Applicants must submit the following documents and information to receive full consideration during the committee review process. Please read the instructions for each document in the application portal before applying.

    • Application form
    • Personal statement (600-1,000 words)
    • CV/resume
    • Two letters of reference: One from the TCU president or chief academic officer; one additional professional reference
    • Proof of admission to an accredited master’s program OR transcript of courses if already enrolled
    • Academic plan
    • Detailed budget

Selection Process

The College Fund and external reviewers will assess the quality of applications using the following criteria:

    • Potential of applicant to make significant and long-term contributions to their tribal college through teaching, research, and service.
    • Competence and writing ability as demonstrated in the personal statement.
    • Clarity and completeness of application materials.
    • Potential to succeed in graduate study and complete a master’s degree.
    • Demonstrated commitment of applicant to American Indian higher education.
    • Quality of references and level of support from the applicant’s TCU administrator.

Application Deadline

College Fund Master’s Fellowship – Applications for this fellowship will be accepted between March 1 and April 14, 2023. The fellowship start date (summer vs. fall semester 2023) will depend on each person’s program. All application materials and recommendation letters must be uploaded and submitted by 5:00 pm PT on Friday, April 14, 2023. Late application materials and letters cannot be accepted.

Mellon Master’s Fellowship – We are accepting applications on a rolling basis through April 14, 2023. The fellowship start date will be tailored to each person’s program and typically begin the following semester. Applicants to the Mellon Fellowship who are unsuccessful will be put in the pool for the College Fund Fellowship. Please contact Heidi Normandin at if you plan to apply for this fellowship.

Click on the link below to be taken to our application portal. After creating an account (or logging in to your existing account), you will find further information about each required document and instructions for the people writing your recommendation letters. We look forward to receiving your application!

If you have any questions or technical difficulties, contact Heidi Normandin, Faculty Development Program Officer, at