Truman Scholarship


Allison Wilton, Agribusiness, 2019 Turman Scholarship Finalist


OSU Institutional Application Deadline: October 28, 2019

(National deadline – February 4, 2020)

This year the OSU Truman Scholarship Committee will again select up to four junior* students to compete for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which has a value of up to $30,000.  This prestigious scholarship was created by Congress for those who intend to pursue careers in public service, defined by the Truman Scholarship Foundation 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 non-profit organizations such as those whose primary purposes are to help needy or disadvantaged persons or to protect the environment.
Common graduate degrees of Truman Scholars include master's degrees, doctorates, or professional degrees such as a law degree, a Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Social Work, Master of Education, Master of Public Policy, or Master of International Affairs.


Up to $30,000 for graduate or professional school


  • Junior standing (or in the fourth year of a five-year bachelor's program)
  • 3.50 minimum cumulative GPA
  • United States citizens or U. S. national
  • Academic excellence, extensive leadership experience, and record of public and/or community service

See website for more information:

To Apply

Submit the following information by October 28, 2019:

NOTE: The OSU committee will interview several of the most promising candidates in November following a preliminary screening of applications.  OSU finalists will be notified regarding the interview portion of the competition shortly after the deadline.  Interviews will be scheduled for early November.

  1. Personal details:  Name, address, phone, email, legal state of residence, expected graduation date and undergraduate degree;
  2. Attach a resume (no more than two pages) in which you give information on your educational background, honors, awards, activities, jobs, etc.  Please make separate divisions for high school and college;
  3. Describe in one paragraph a specific example of your leadership abilities;
  4. Describe in one paragraph your most satisfying public service activity (different from #3);
  5. What are the three most satisfying or helpful courses you have taken in preparation for your career? Explain briefly, using one or two sentences for each course.
  6. Describe the graduate education program you intend to pursue if you should receive a Truman Scholarship;
  7. What do you hope to do, and what position do you hope to have, immediately upon completing your graduate studies?  Five to seven years later?
  8. Essay:   In approximately 500 words, analyze a significant public policy issue or problem that is in your intended area of public service.  Present your analysis in the form of a memo to the government official who you feel has the most direct authority to resolve the issue (e.g. President, Cabinet Office, Governor, Chair of a legislative committee).  Your memo should define the issue, lay out your proposed solution, identify major obstacles to the implementation of your solution, and recommend a specific course of action.  Provide statistical data, if necessary, to put the issue in context and support your recommendations. 

Include the following with your application:

  • Two letters of recommendation from a faculty member, department head, or academic advisor;
  • A copy of your fall schedule (to help arrange interviews);
  • An official college transcript.
Deliver all application information by
5:00 pm Monday, October 28, 2019 to the
Director of the Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development
and Undergraduate Research
334 Student Union

Writers’ Workshop at the Doel Reed Center for the Arts

All successful applicants who are awarded with OSU institutional nomination for the Truman, Goldwater, and Udall will receive an invitation to participate in the annual Writers’ Workshop at the OSU Doel Reed Center for the Arts in Taos, New Mexico.  Significant scholarship support is given to each institutional nominee to participate in the workshop, which is held for four days during the last week of students’ winter break (early January).  OSU faculty and staff from our office join forces to mentor student nominees and to provide feedback on their application materials.

Oklahoma State University's Truman Scholars

1980       Jeannette S. Jones-Webb (FRCD)
1981       Angela L. Robinson (Political Science)
1983       Carla-Kaye Jones Switzer (FRCD)
1987       Kent L. Major (Higher Education)
1994       Bryan R. Begley (Mechanical Engineering)
1995       Wren E. Hawthorne, Jr. (Political Science)
1997       Shannon L. Ferrell (Agricultural Economics)
1998       Chris Stephens (Agricultural Economics)
1999       Kimberly A. Sasser (Nutritional Science)
2000       Kent W. Gardner (Agricultural Economics)
2001       Julia Arntz (Environmental Science)
2003       Tom Jenkins (Fire Protection & Safety Technology)
2004       Joe St. John (Accounting, Management Information Systems, Finance)
2007       Matt Stiner (Political Science)
2008       Cortney Timmons (Biosystems Engineering)
2011       Blake Jackson (Agricultural Economics)
2014       Chacey Schoeppel (Agribusiness)
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Institutional applications for the Truman Scholarship are now available!
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DEADLINE: October 28, 2019
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