Texas Tech University

Truman Scholarship

Program Details

The Truman Scholarship is meant to celebrate and prepare the nation's next generation of public service leaders. Scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate school as well as access to extensive Scholar programming, priority admission and financial support from public service graduate programs, advising and mentoring from other public service leaders, and preferred hiring with the federal government.

The Criteria
We are looking for the next generation of public service leaders. The ideal candidate will demonstrate:

Leadership: We consider leadership to be more than merely occupying a position of leadership. Truman Scholars either use their leadership position in unique ways or create opportunities for leadership where none existed.

Commitment to a Career in Public Service: Truman Scholars have a lengthy record of service as well as detailed and ambitious plans for a future career as a leader in their area of interest.

Likelihood of Success in Graduate School: We are less interested in a perfect academic record than we are in seeing a Truman Scholar who is intellectually curious and on track to succeed in their graduate program of choice.

details obtained from the national Truman Scholarship website


Candidates must be:

  • US Citizens, US National residents of American Samoa, or expecting their citizenship by the date of the award;
  • Currently enrolled at a US-based accredited institution;
  • In their penultimate year of school (for candidates graduating in four years or more) or in their final year of school (for candidates graduating in three years or fewer);
  • Nominated by either their current institution of study or their former institution of study for transfer or community college applicants. Schools are limited to four nominees plus three additional transfer nominations; and,
  • Planning to attend graduate school in pursuit of a career in public service. The Foundation encourages time between undergraduate and graduate school, so candidates need not commit to going immediately.

Candidates can be:

  • pursuing any major likely to lead to a public service career;
  • any age;
  • interested in any graduate degree other than the MBA; and,
  • considering either domestic or international programs for their graduate education.

Other significant attributes:

  • has an extensive record of public and community service;
  • has outstanding leadership potential and communication skills
  • committed to a career in government or elsewhere in public service, as defined by the Foundation.
    • The Foundation defines public service as employment in government at any level, uniformed services, public-interest organizations, nongovernmental research and/or educational organizations, public and private schools, and public service-oriented nonprofit organizations.

How to Apply

Submit Notice of Intent The Notice of Intent Form must be completed as soon as possible to initiate the application process. All applicants must must be endorsed by their university in order to apply. The NOI is the first step in alerting the PESA office that a student is seeking endorsement.

Sample Application The Sample Application can be used to begin working immediately on essays and other required information.

Online Application The PESA Office will register students for the online Truman application after receiving a Notice of Intent. An email will be delivered from the Truman Foundation asking the student to set up a username and password. Once this is complete, students can copy and paste their work from the sample application.  TTU students must submit online application and all application components by the internal deadline of October 1. 

Application Components

  • Online application
  • Policy proposal (see tips on writing here)
  • Three letters of recommendation (each letter should address one of three selection criteria)
  • University transcripts (Unofficial transcripts will be acceptable)  
  • Institutional Endorsement (received through the internal

Internal Review for Endorsement An internal review committee will review applications and interview applicants after applicant submission. If endorsed, applicants will have an opportunity to revise application materials based on the feedback received from the committee.

Final Submission Final applications of endorsed candidates are due by the national deadline set in February. Applicants must select the "Send Application to Faculty Rep for Review" box for final review.  The PESA office will upload letters of recommendation and transcripts and will make the final submission to the Truman Foundation.

Recommended Resources

Application instructions from the Truman Foundation 

Tips for preparing an effective personal statement

Policy Proposal Tips

Effective and Ineffective Responses

Sample Application Materials 

Candidate Self-Check List