The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Truman Scholarship

Apply through Reed Fellowships and Awards Committee

Internal Deadline: November 3rd, 2021 at 12:00 PM
Liaison: Mónica López Lerma

» Scholarship's official website
» List of previous winners
» Internal application instructions
» For Recommenders: Recommendation letter advice


The Harry S. Truman Scholarship provides awards of up to $30,000 to approximately 60 students each year (from approximately 600 applications) to support graduate degrees in public service fields. Students must be college juniors at the time of application but will use the funding to cover the first and second years of graduate school. Public Service is broadly defined by the Truman Foundation and includes: government at any level, uniformed services, public-interest organizations, nongovernmental research and/or educational organizations, public and private schools, and public service oriented nonprofit organizations such as those whose primary purposes are to help needy or disadvantaged persons or to protect the environment.

The Foundation gives priority to candidates seeking one or more of the following degrees or equivalents: MPA/MPP, JD, MEd, MIA, MSW, MPH, and master's or doctorate degrees in fields in which most graduates go into public service. The Foundation does not give priority to candidates seeking MBAs or MDs unless they can demonstrate a strong public policy or public health interest.


Each nominee for the Truman Scholarship must be
  • a full-time junior-level student at a four-year institution pursuing a bachelor's degree;
  • nominated by the College;
  • in the upper quarter of their class (have a minimum Reed GPA of 3.55);
  • a United States citizen or a United States national.

Selection Criteria

The Foundation seeks future "change agents" who aspire to leadership positions in federal, state, or local governments or in the not-for-profit and education sectors where they can influence public policies and change public programs. Criteria for selecting Truman Scholars are mainly:

  • extensive records of public and community service,
  • commitment to careers in government or elsewhere in the public sector,
  • desire to influence public policies or education programs,
  • outstanding leadership potential and communication skills.

Application Procedure

Interested students should review our internal application instructions. Contact CLBR Fellowships with any questions.