Harry S. Truman Scholarship


Winners receive up to $30,000 toward a public service graduate degree. Scholarship recipients must work in public service for three (3) of their first seven (7) years after graduation.


  1. U.S. citizen or U.S. national from the Pacific Islands
  2. Junior or senior, with one more year before graduation at time of application
  3. Top 25% in class ranking
  4. Must be pursuing a public service graduate degree

Candidate Profile

Applicants should be outstanding leaders with extensive public and community service who show a likelihood of making a difference within public service. Applicants should have a strong academic record that would gain admission to first-rate graduate programs.


Applicants are required to submit three (3) letters of recommendation with the rest of their application materials to be considered for institutional nomination.  Each of these letters should address one of the Truman Scholarship’s selection criteria – leadership abilities and potential, commitment to a career in public service, or intellect and prospects for continuing academic success.  It is acceptable, however, for a letter to discuss more than one criterion.

The letters should confirm the experiences described in specific sections of the student’s application, and it is advisable for applicants to share this information with their letter writers.  Sample forms have been provided by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation that should be given to the applicant’s letter writers.  Applicants and letter writers should review this page for further guidance.

Scholarship Website


Campus Procedure

Students must be nominated by UC Davis for the Truman Scholarship.  UC Davis can nominate up to four (4) students with an additional three (3) transfer students for a total of up to seven (7) nominees.  To apply for nomination, students must complete and submit the sample application to prestigious scholarship advisor Scott Palmer by the campus deadline.  Nominated candidates will be registered for the online application, complete a policy proposal, and have three (3) letters of recommendation submitted by the foundation deadline.