You are here

The Presidential Fellowship

The Presidential Fellowship is the most prestigious award given by the Graduate School. Recipients of this award embody the highest standards of scholarship in the full range of Ohio State's graduate programs. 

Awarded competitively, the Presidential Fellowship gives fellows one year of full-time financial support so they can complete their dissertations or terminal degree projects unimpeded by other duties. 

Competitions are held autumn and spring semesters. 

Following Spring 2021, competitions are held once each year in autumn semester.

See the Graduate School Fellowship Calendar for important dates.

Presidential Competition Guidelines

Named Presidential Fellowships

Several of the Presidential Fellowships are named fellowships because they are funded by Graduate School endowments or because they honor former deans of the Graduate School. These awards provide the same benefits as all other Presidential Fellowships. 

The Elizabeth Clay Howald Presidential Fellowship is funded by an endowment established in 1934 with a bequest from Ferdinand Howald. Open to any field.  

The SBC Presidential Fellowship, funded by an endowment established in 1987, is open to eligible students pursuing research in digital and information technologies.


Students cannot apply directly for these fellowships. Nominations are made by graduate studies committee chairs. To be eligible, a nominated student must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.6 for all Ohio State graduate course work, have completed all degree course work by the time the fellowship is activated, and have passed the candidacy examination (doctoral students) by the nomination deadline.


Competitions are held autumn and spring semesters. Nominations are due by 5 p.m. on the third Friday of October for the autumn semester competition and the last Friday of March for the spring semester competition. 

Selection and Decisions

Fellows are selected through a university-wide competition led by a faculty committee. Autumn semester competition results are released by early December, and spring semester results are released by early May.

Award Conditions

The Presidential Fellowship provides three consecutive semesters of support. It is nonrenewable. Support includes a monthly stipend and payment of general/instructional fees, nonresident tuition, and any learning/technology fee. Special fees such as the COTA, recreational facility, student union, and student activity fees are not included.

A Presidential fellow may not hold any other type of employment or appointment.

Fellowships awarded in the autumn semester competition must be started in spring or summer semester. Fellowships awarded in the spring competition must be started either in summer session or autumn semester.

Doctoral Presidential Fellowship recipients must enroll for a minimum of three credit hours. It is expected that these enrollments will be limited to research and departmental seminars. With advisor approval, however, Presidential fellows may register for other degree-related course. The Presidential Fellowship may not be used to support any course work taken for another degree program.

Master's-level recipients must enroll for a minimum of 12 credit hours of thesis research and no other course work each semester and 6 credit hours during summer semester.

For fellows graduating prior to their Presidential Fellowship tenure expiration date, the fellowship will terminate at the end of the semester of graduation. For students completing degree requirements using the end-of-term deadline or otherwise leaving the university or fellowship appointment, the fellowship will be terminated effective at the end of the appropriate month. 

Additional Benefits

  • travel allowance of up to $500 to present research at a national conference 

  • university subsidy of 85% of the student health insurance premium 

  • eligibility to purchase staff "B" parking permits 

  • staff library privileges

still have questions