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Thurgood Marshall Fellowships

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The Thurgood Marshall Fellowship is a highly competitive award.  Only a limited number of the Thurgood Marshall Fellowships are available.  The application deadline is February 15.

Applicants must hold United States citizenship and shall exemplify the values and accomplishments of Thurgood Marshall, the first black Justice in the US Supreme Court.  Son of a dining-car waiter and schoolteacher and also counsel for the NAACP beginning in 1934, Thurgood Marshall successfully argued the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka (1954), which nullified the legal basis for racial segregation.  He held that the American Constitution, as the basis of law, permits and requires changes to accommodate a deeper understanding of human values.  In his view, the noblest citizens are those who labor toward this refinement.

Thurgood Marshall applicants must have submitted an application for admission to a master’s level program or a doctoral program at WMU.  Thurgood Marshall Fellowships are awarded only to students who have been admitted to a master’s program or a doctoral program and only to applicants who are embarking on a first master’s degree or first doctoral degree.  At the time of accepting a Thurgood Marshall Fellowship, a student may not have accumulated more than 9 credit hours toward a graduate degree at WMU.

There are two levels of Thurgood Marshall Fellow:

Master’s level Thurgood Marshall Fellows are awarded for one full year with the possibility of renewal for one additional year.  In addition to a stipend, recipients receive a tuition scholarship: Master's level recipients receive seven hours of tuition each semester (eight hours beginning Fall 2013, 9 hours beginning Fall 2014) and three hours each session while on appointment. Master’s level Thurgood Marshall Fellows shall be appointees of the Graduate College, and in this capacity they shall, at the discretion of their program, work for 10 hours weekly as a graduate assistant in teaching, research, or service.  

Doctoral level Thurgood Marshall Fellows are awarded for one full year with the possibility of yearly renewal up to a maximum of three additional years. The fellowship includes a salary (see details in the application) plus 24 credit hours of tuition (up to nine credit hours in the fall and spring semesters, and up to three credit hours in each of two summer sessions).  Doctoral level Thurgood Marshall Fellows shall be appointees of the Graduate College, and in this capacity they shall, at the discretion of their program, work for 10 hours weekly as a doctoral associate in teaching, research, or service. 

To hold a Thurgood Marshall Fellowship, a student must maintain good academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or higher) and register for at least six credit hours in each of the fall and spring semesters, and three credit hours in each of the two summer sessions. A Thurgood Marshall Fellow must also perform satisfactorily as a graduate assistant or doctoral associate.

Next application deadline: February 15, 2014

Please Note: The WMU Thurgood Marshall Fellowship application process is currently being revised. Please check back soon for updated information.

updated: 10/10/14