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Dean's Scholar Fellowship

The Dean's Scholar Fellowship 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 4-10 awards will be made for AY 2017-2018. Applications will be reviewed by the Graduate College Awards Committee at their April meeting.

Terms of the Fellowship

Recipients of the Dean's Scholar Fellowship will receive a fellowship stipend of $22,000 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 for Fall and Spring Semester towards Campus Care, if applicable. All other fees are the responsibility of the student.

A recipient may not accept a teaching or general graduate 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 (see Policies below for further restrictions). 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.

Graduate College Fellowship Policies

The Graduate College has extablished certain fellowship policies regarding external funding, completion of the Preliminary Examination for renewal, top-off funds during the years not directly funded by the Graduate College, and deferrments of fourth-year Graduate College funding.  Please carefully read the Graduate College Fellowship Policies.

Documents Required From Students 

Students should consult with their Director of Graduate Studies.  If the department/program will nominate the student for the fellowship, 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 administrative 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.

2017-2018 Dean's Scholar Fellowship Winners

Marissa Baker, Art History
Alexandra DeLeon, Anthropology
Aritra Ghosh, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Mary Hale, English
Lisa James, Hispanic and Italian Studies
Dulari Jayawardena, Biopharmaceutical Sciences Mohammad Reza Karin Hadisi, Philosophy
Subbulakshmi Karthikeyan, Medicinal Chemistry & Pharmacognosy
Janet Page, Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science
Shan Xing, Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes & Policy
Caitlyn Yantis, Psychology