Prestigious Awards

The mission of the Prestigious Award Program at Mercyhurst University is two-fold: The primary goal of the program is to assist exceptional Mercyhurst students in writing competitive applications. These applications are for some of the most prestigious national and international awards in contemporary undergraduate and graduate scholarship such as: the Boren Scholarship, Goldwater Scholarship, Fulbright Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, and a variety of others. While some are for research and study here and abroad as undergraduates, most supported awards are for international graduate study at some of the world’s top universities. The second goal of the program supports the first. By identifying exceptional students early through faculty recommendations and the University Honors Program, students can be mentored from their early years at Mercyhurst to work toward applying for these prestigious scholarships. 

2021 Fulbright Scholarship Winner

John P. “Jack” Kelly 
Award Advisor: Dr. Justin Ross, Honors Program

2020 Fulbright Scholarship Winner

Maya Bauer 
Award Advisor: Dr. Justin Ross, Honors Program

2018 Fulbright Scholarship Winner

Cole Lowe 
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Marnie Sullivan, English Department

Scholarships for Undergraduate Study
    • Award: up to $5,000
    • Eligibility: U.S. citizens, undergraduate, receiving a Federal Pell Grant, be in the process of or accepted for a study abroad program, the study abroad program is a minimum of four weeks in length.
    • Projects Funded: The Gilman Scholarship offers grants for U.S. citizen, undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies in a diverse array of countries. Such international exchange is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.
    • Learn more on the Gilman Scholarship Program website.
    • Award: $7,500 per year to cover eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books, room and board. Up to two years (current sophomores) or 1 year (current juniors).
    • Eligibility: U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or Permanent residents, STEM majors, sophomores & juniors. To be competitive for the award students should have a 3.8 GPA or higher and should be actively involved in research.
    • Projects Funded: Students with promise to pursue careers in STEM research are awarded funds to complete their junior and/or senior years of undergraduate studies. Students who plan to study medicine are only eligible if they plan to pursue a research career rather than a career as a medical doctor in private practice.
    • Learn more on the Goldwater Scholarship website. 
    • Award: Up to $5,000 for tuition, room and board, or other educational expenses. Four-day Udall Scholars Orientation in the summer to meet with other Scholars, elected officials, environmental and tribal leaders. All Scholars are required to attend this event. Travel from the Scholar's home or school, lodging, and meals will be provided by the Foundation.
    • Eligibility: U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or Permanent residents, any major, sophomores & juniors. Committed to a career related to the environment OR if you are an Alaskan Native or Native American, be committed to a career in tribal public policy or Native American health care.
    • Projects Funded: The Udall scholarship is awarded to students interested in environmental issues and majoring in a related subject, or it is also awarded to Native American/Alaskan Native students interested in healthcare or tribal policy.
    • Learn more on the Udall Foundation website. 
    • Award: Covers travel, tuition/research expenses and living expenses up to $20,000 (for undergraduate study abroad).
    • Eligibility: U.S. citizens, all majors, sophomores and juniors.
    • Projects Funded: The NSEP funds study or research projects for undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world deemed important to U.S. national security and are underrepresented in study abroad (e.g., Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin American, and the Middle East) with the aim to foster cultural understanding, promote language training in non-traditional languages, and strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness and cooperation with these countries.
    • Learn more on the Boren Awards website. 
    • Award: Covers tuition, room and board, books, stipend for 5-week summer institute, conference attendance and presentation.
    • Eligibility: U.S. citizens, "racial/ethnic groups that are significantly underrepresented" in the United States or an interest in broadening participation in political science by students from underrepresented minority populations, political science or related major, completing junior year, have an interest in graduate school in political science.
    • Projects Funded: Five-week academically intensive summer program (at Duke University) designed to simulate the graduate school experience, provide mentoring, improve analytical writing and quantitative skills. Two transferable credit courses are earned. 
    • Learn more on the APSA website.
Scholarships for Graduate Study
    • Award: Up to $30,000 for graduate study in a public service-related degree. Additional experiences are available such as a summer institute in Washington, DC.
    • Eligibility: U.S. citizen, United States national from American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. All majors.
    • Projects Funded: Scholarships to attend graduate schools in preparation for careers in government, non-profit organizations, or public service. For students that have already established a strong record of service and who possess leadership skills. Many fields of study are possible. Recipients must work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of the graduate degree.
    • Learn more on the Truman Scholarships website.
    • Award: Covers tuition and fees at the University of Oxford for two-three years of graduate study, plus a stipend for living expenses. Covers the costs of travel to and from Oxford. Scholars may apply for a fourth year of tuition.
    • Eligibility: U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old but not yet 24 years of age, all majors, senior at the time of Mercyhurst University nomination.
    • Projects Funded: Graduate study (masters and doctoral degrees) for outstanding students at the University of Oxford—all disciplines. Scholars may not apply for the MBA in the first year, but after completing a different (one-year) master’s degree, are allowed to pursue a one-year MBA degree.
    • Learn more on the Rhodes Trust website. 
    • Award: Covers travel, language or orientation expenses, medical insurance, and living expenses
    • Eligibility: U.S. citizen, all majors, seniors (at the time of application), must hold a B.S./B.A. degree by the time of the award. Interest in teaching English abroad.
    • Projects Funded: Fulbright grants fund teaching assistantships and study/research projects for recent college graduates. The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant programs place grantees in schools overseas to supplement local English language instruction and to provide a native speaker presence in the classrooms. The Fulbright Study/Research Award is the traditional award opportunity where a candidate designs a proposal for a specific country.
    • Learn more on the Fulbright website. 
    • Award: Fosters U.S.-Ireland relations, intellectual achievement, leadership, and commitment to public service. Scholars are chosen for one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and North Ireland (a list of potential schools is provided on the website). Applicants are judged on academic excellence, leadership, and a sustained commitment to community service.
    • Eligibility: U.S. citizens, 18-30 years old, all majors, seniors at the time of nomination. Demonstrated commitment to community service.
      Projects Funded: Graduate study for one year at a selection of schools in Ireland (chosen by candidate and approved by the scholarship committee)—all disciplines.
    • Learn more on the U.S.-Ireland Alliance website.
    • Award: Full two-year scholarship for graduate study valued at approximately $50,000 at St. John's College, Cambridge University.
    • Eligibility: Candidates must be among the first in their families to graduate from college. Must pursue study in one of the following areas at St. John's College: Archaeology and Anthropology, Classics, Economics, English, Geography, History, History of Art, Modern and Medieval Languages, Music, Philosophy, or Social and Political Sciences.
    • Projects Funded: Two year program (equivalent to a master's program in the United States), fully funded. Competition only open to academically exceptional graduating seniors from limited economic backgrounds that are among the first in their families to graduate from college (or who did not benefit from a parents' higher education).
    • Learn more on the Council of Independent Colleges website. 
    • Award: Tuition, fees, and room and board.
    • Eligibility: Citizen of any country outside the United Kingdom. “The programme aims to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.”
    • Projects Funded: Applying to pursue one of the following full-time residential courses of study at the University of Cambridge: PhD (three year research-only degree); MSc or MLitt (two year research-only degree); or a one year postgraduate course (e.g. MPhil, LLM, MASt, Diploma, MBA etc.)
    • Learn more on the Gates-Cambridge website.
    • Award: Up to $12,000/year for 2 years to cover tuition, books and living expenses for graduate study leading to a master's degree (see Foundation's website for eligible degrees).
    • Eligibility: U.S. citizen or U.S. national. Candidates must be a teacher, or plan to become a teacher, of American history, American government, or social studies at the secondary school level (grades 7-12). Possess a bachelor’s degree or plan to receive a bachelor’s degree no later than Aug. 31 of the year in which you are applying.
    • Projects Funded: The Foundation provides funding for Madison Scholars to pursue the following master’s degrees (listed in the order of the Foundation’s preference): 1) Master of Arts (MA) in American history or in political science (also referred to as "government and politics" or as "government"); 2) Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) concentrating on either American Constitutional history (in a history department) or American government, political institutions, and political theory (in a political science department); 3) Master of Education (MEd) or the Master of Arts or Master of Science in Education with a concentration in American history or American government, political institutions, and political theory.
    • Learn more on the James Madison Foundation website. 
Opportunities for Postgraduate Experiences
    • Award: Recipients of the award are invited to Montreal for the academic calendar year. They live together in a beautifully restored mansion, enjoy unlimited access to McGill University's academic programs and other resources—including lectures, conferences and events suited to the advancement of their individual professional and intellectual goals—while benefiting from the communal life and multi-faceted exchanges with their fellow Scholars. Scholars are allowed to audit courses. The mission of the program is to "develop the leadership potential of promising youth from around the world."
    • Eligibility: Under 30 years old on December 31 of the application year. Completed bachelor degree by July 31 of the year award commences. three years of full-time professional experience working with the community (includes internships and volunteer positions) U.S. citizenship is not required for this award. See website for full eligibility description.
    • Projects Funded: One academic year of scholarly experience at McGill University with full access to all academic programs.
    • Learn more on the Jeanne Sauvé website.
    • Award: Six to nine months in Washington, D.C. serving as a full-time project assistant at the participating organization of choice, monthly stipend.
    • Eligibility: U.S. citizenship or non-U.S. citizens living in U.S., completed baccalaureate degree by the time the Fellowship starts, any major, but must have a background in peace and security issues.
    • Projects Funded: “Scoville Fellows, through independent projects and active participation with their chosen organization and the larger community dedicated to peace and security issues, have rich opportunities to gain experience and leadership skills and to help translate their social concerns into direct action.”
    • Learn more on the Scoville Peace Fellowship website.