Honors Program

Nationally Competitive Fellowships

Opportunities for extraordinarily motivated students to excel on the national and international level

All opportunities listed here require substantial preparation and application revision.

The Honors Program can provide faculty, current students, alumni, and advisors with information and guidance on appropriate nationally competitive fellowships for unusually well-qualified undergraduates.

The following list does not contain awards pertaining to specific fields of study; see a faculty member in your department for funding guidance within your major field.

Unless otherwise noted below, contact Dr. Rita Barnes ritabarnes@tntech.edu. Please note that these are NOT for entering students. Read the qualifications closely before inquiring. Frequently asked questions

Applications in this category due during the sophomore or junior year:

Goldwater Scholarship for highly promising researchers in STEM fields (Contact Dr. Mary Kidd mkidd@tntech.edu 

Gilman International Scholarship for Federal Pell Grant-eligible students who wish to pursue academic studies abroad or credit-bearing internships abroad (Contact Ms. Amy Miller almiller@tntech.edu)

Truman Scholarship for change agents with a record of outstanding public service leadership and innovation in civic engagement

Udall Scholarship for environmental or tribal research in a variety of disciplines (Contact Dr. Dan Combs drcombs@tntech.edu)

National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergradates (REU) for engineering, lab sciences, mathematics, and social sciences majors: this summer program gives recipients the opportunity to do research at universities around the country.

Applications accepted during any year; see website for deadline:

U.S. Department of State Critical Languages Program for students of any major whose career goals will be furthered through intensive study of one of 13 critical-need languages.

Applications due during fall of the senior year:

Rhodes Scholarship for graduate study at Oxford

Fulbright Scholarship for research or teaching English (Contact Dr. Debbie Barnard dbarnard@tntech.edu)

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans for graduate school funding for immigrants and children of immigrants

Gates-Cambridge Scholarship for graduate study at Cambridge

Marshall Scholarship for graduate study at universities in the United Kingdom

George Mitchell Scholarship for graduate study in Ireland

Schwarzman Scholarship for study in Beijing, China at Tsinghua University in public policy, international studies, economics and business

For related opportunities, see http://www.cur.org/resources/students/research_opportunities/


While a GPA of 3.5 or above indicates a strong academic record, this alone does not qualify potential applicants for these awards: 

  • Potentially qualified students must be extraordinarily self-motivated, innovative thinkers whose ideas and service are not simply lists on a resume or names of honor societies. 
  • They are catalysts in their communities and have well-developed projects if they are applying for research grants. 
  • They must already display a record of proactive leadership if applying for service-related grants. 
  • They must also be willing to take the time--in many cases, up to one year prior to the deadline--to prepare their applications, do multiple revisions, and take full responsibility for communicating clearly and finding their own answers.
  • Note that some (but not all) eligibility standards require U.S. citizenship.


If you wish to recommend a Tech student or alumni for a major fellowship, or you are a Tech student interested in receiving more information, please send the following information to Dr. Rita Barnes, Director, Honors Program, at ritabarnes@tntech.edu:

  • Name, major, and year of graduation
  • Which fellowships are of particular interest, and why
  • If GPA is under 3.5, indicate any examples of outstanding intellectual achievement
  • Specific research or initiatives (please do not send an exhaustive list of affiliations)
  • Verification that the student has superior skills in written and oral communication (students will need to demonstrate these skills in their application process)
  • Attestation of the student's character, as reflected in maturity as well as citizenship (if you are a faculty member referring a student)