The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Truman Scholarship

Apply through Reed Fellowships and Awards Committee

Internal Deadline: November 2nd, 2022 at 12:00 PM PST

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The Harry S. Truman Scholarship provides awards of up to $30,000 to approximately 60 students each year (from approximately 800 nominees) 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.


Applicants for the Truman Scholarship must be:
  • US Citizens, US National residents of American Samoa, or expecting their citizenship by the date of the award;
  • Currently enrolled at Reed and in their junior year at the time of application;
  • Nominated by Reed College;
  • In the upper quarter of their class (have a minimum Reed GPA of 3.55);
  • Planning to attend graduate school in pursuit of a career in public service. The Foundation encourages time between undergraduate and graduate school, so candidates need not commit to going immediately.

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.