Administered through the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship awards three-year graduate fellowships (subject to the availability of funds) to individuals who have demonstrated ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering. The program pays the fellow’s full tuition and required fees (not to include room and board), monthly stipend, and an annual contribution toward health insurance.

Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizen or national. Persons who hold permanent resident status are not eligible. Proof of citizenship will be required upon formal offer.

  • Pursuing doctoral studies in science or engineering.

  • Enrolled in the final year of undergraduate study or have completed no more than the equivalent of two years of academic full-time graduate study.

  • Although the NDSEG Fellowship is a highly competitive program, there is no minimum GPA requirement.

General Information

The Department of Defense (DoD) is committed to increasing the number and quality of our nation’s scientists and engineers in a number of ways. First and foremost, the DoD funds thousands of graduate students, who are members of research teams, through contracts and grants. Selected by research faculty, the students engage in fundamental studies under the leadership of a senior researcher while earning advanced degrees. These students are generally wholly supported by their DoD grant or contract.

Another important mechanism for DoD support of graduate students is through portable fellowships awarded to U.S. citizens or nationals following a competition each year. These fellowships allow the recipients to pursue their graduate studies at whichever U.S. institution they choose to attend. One of these is the NDSEG Fellowship, which is highly competitive and confers high honors upon its recipients. The DoD has awarded approximately 3,200 NDSEG fellowships since the program’s inception 22 years ago. It is important to note that the NDSEG Fellows do not incur any military or other service obligation.

NDSEG Fellowships are awarded to applicants who will pursue a doctoral degree in, or closely related to, an area of DoD interest within one of the following disciplines:

Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering Geosciences
Biosciences Materials Science and Engineering
Chemical Engineering Mathematics
Chemistry Mechanical Engineering
Civil Engineering Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
Cognitive, Neural, and Behavioral Sciences Oceanography
Computer and Computational Sciences Physics
Electrical Engineering  


Application Instructions

All application instructions and materials are available at the NDSEG Website. UM applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Prestigious Awards and Fellowships at least one month before the national deadline to ensure adequate time is available to review your application. An advisor or faculty mentor will help ensure that you are submitting the best most complete impression of you.

Application Timeline

December 2015
Completed application and required documentation must be submitted to the NDSEG.

April 2016
Award notifications sent via e-mail.