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Dean's Scholar Awards

The Dean's Scholar Award is a one-year, non-renewable award presented by the Dean of the Graduate College in recognition of a student's scholarly achievement. The award is intended to provide the most distinguished, advanced-level graduate students with a period of time dedicated solely to the completion of their programs. The Dean’s Scholar competition is open to doctoral students who have passed the Graduate-College-required Preliminary Examination at the University of Illinois at Chicago and are well into their dissertation work, and also to MFA students who have passed second-semester review. Nominations must come from the program.  A maximum of two (2) students may be nominated by each program.  It is anticipated that 4-12 awards will be made for AY 2012-2013. Applications will be reviewed by the Graduate College Awards Committee at their April meeting.

Terms of the Award

Recipients of the Dean's Scholar Award will receive a fellowship stipend of $25,000 for a twelve-month academic year. The recipients also receive a tuition and fee waiver from the Graduate College. The waiver covers all tuition (including differential, if any) service fee, health service fee, academic facilities maintenance fund assessment, library and information technology assessment, and part of the cost of coverage (see below) for Fall and Spring Semester towards Campus Care, if applicable. All other fees are the responsibility of the student.  

  • For Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, the University shall contribute $150 or 33%, whichever is higher, of the cost of Campus Care if the fellow chooses to be covered by the University plan.
  • ·        For Fall 2014 and Spring 2014, the University shall contribute $175 or 35%, whichever is higher, of the cost of Campus Care if the fellow chooses to be covered by the University plan.

An award recipient may not accept a teaching assistantship while on a Dean's Scholar, but may accept a Research Assistantship for no more than 50% time in his/her research field, or external support in the form of a fellowship for work directly related to the dissertation. The Dean's Scholar Award is designed to allow the student to work full-time on his/her degree. Any distraction from that goal is considered incompatible with the spirit of the award. Graduate hourly appointments are also not permitted.


Students supported by these fellowships are required to complete at least 12 semester hours each semester unless expressly authorized by the Dean of the Graduate College to carry a reduced program.  Fellows are not required to register for the summer session by the Graduate College; however, individual departments may require summer registration.  Fellows who register in the summer must enroll in at least 6 hours to be eligible for a summer tuition waiver.  Fellows should check with the department to ensure that summer registration is not required for the degree program.

Documents Required From Students 

Students should consult with their Director of Graduate Studies.  If the department/program will nominate the student for the award, the student must provide the following documents.

  • A statement of research plans of no more than 750 words describing the student’s dissertation or MFA project, the current status of the student’s project and the expected date of completion
  • Three letters of recommendation written within the last twelve months, one of which must be from the nominee's principal advisor
  • A copy of the UIC transcript (An unofficial transcript from Student Self Service, if unedited and complete, is permissible. Alternatively, your program may provide complete printouts from Banner, the student database.)
  • A List of professional accomplishments including awards, honors, publications, and presentations (three (3) page maximum)

The material must be provided to your department/program well in advance of the nomination deadline listed below, which is the deadline for that material, plus other supplementary documents provided by the Director of Graduate Studies, to be submitted to the Graduate College.

Instructions and forms for use by Directors of Graduate Studies/program submitters (Bluestem protected)


Please visit the Fellowship and Awards Deadline page for deadlines established by the Graduate College Awards Committee.

*NOTE:  Your department/program has to review all student requests for fellowships and submit nomination forms and supporting material to the Graduate College by the deadline.  Consult with your program to determine their deadline for you to submit required material to them.

Fellowships and Student Loans  

A fellowship will affect federal student loan or work-study. Typically, students with fellowships may not be permitted to borrow small amounts of federal loans due to cost of attendance regulation.  Check with the Office of Student Financial Aid on eligibility requirements.

If you have already received a refund for the current year in federal loans and you accept a fellowship, you may be responsible to return this refund to UIC.  Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for further information.

If applying for loans and/or work-study a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed.  See the Graduate Student Guide from the Office of Student Financial Aid for more information.

2012 Dean's Scholar Award Winners

 2012 Dean's Scholar Recipients

Applicants and students should contact your academic program, or program of interest, for clarifications.