Graduate School Fellowship Application Review Timeline

Current and prospective UWM graduate students interested in the Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowship (DGSF) should note the following timeline for 2024-2025 DGSF awards. Please continue to check this page for any updates or changes.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023The UWM Graduate School Fellowship application system opens and will receive applications for consideration of a 2024-25 DGSF award. Please see requirements for submission below.
Friday, December 1, 2023 –
Friday, January 5, 2024*
All applicants must contact their Graduate Program Representative to confirm their graduate program’s internal deadline.
DGSF applications are due and must be marked as “complete” within the app system prior to the graduate program’s internal deadline. No exceptions will be made.
Applicants should contact their graduate program for the program’s letters of recommendation deadline.
Deadline for graduate programs to complete required evaluations of nominated applicants.
All fellowship nominations must be submitted in the app system by the graduate program representative before the deadline.
Graduate programs’ deadline to award UWM Graduate School admission to any external fellowship nominees, for the 2024-2025 academic year.
Late March 2024Announcement of the 2024-25 DGSF awards and all other UWM Graduate School Fellowship awards.
Monday, April 15, 2024Deadline for all UWM Graduate School Fellowship recipients to accept any UWM Graduate School fellowship offer, per the Council of Graduate Schools April 15 Resolution.

DGSF Guidelines

The Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowship recognizes and supports the most academically excellent master’s and doctoral students enrolled at UW-Milwaukee. Only doctoral students who have not achieved dissertator status by the nomination deadline for the award are eligible for the award. Awards are for full-time study only. Programs can nominate incoming students for the award, understanding that incoming students are rarely as competitive for this award as enrolled students. Students are nominated for this award by their programs and compete with other nominees from across the university. Fellowship decisions are made by a university faculty committee.

The DGSF academic-year stipend is $15,500 for the 2024-2025 academic year. In addition, fellowship recipients benefit from full coverage of resident tuition, a remission of the out-of-state portion of the tuition (if applicable), low-cost comprehensive health benefits, and a $1,000 travel award. The money should be spent in accordance with UWM travel regulations by the end of the fiscal year following the year in which the fellowship award is held. The money will be spent on travel to present at a major national or international conference in the student’s discipline. Awardees retain full responsibility for segregated fees and additional instructional/course fees (including distance education) above basic graduate tuition levels. These fees are to be paid by the fellowship recipient and are due at the start of each enrollment term.

DGSF Instructions for Students, Letter-Writers, and Graduate Programs (PDF)

This document contains instructions for applicants, letter-writers, and graduate program representatives for Graduate School fellowships administered by the Graduate Student Fellowships Committee. All of those involved in the application process should review this document in its entirety.

For questions regarding the DGSF, please email

DGSF Application Requirements

  1. Contact information and identification
  2. Residency
  3. Academic history details
  4. Current graduate program
  5. Achievements and other relevant information:
    1. Honors, previous fellowship awards, publications (peer-review journals, newsletters, etc.), major exhibitions, performances, presentations (local, regional, national conferences, student-only conferences, and annual meetings), departmental assistantships and/or other employment experiences or internships
    2. Applicants are asked to clearly distinguish published or completed work from work that is still in progress
  6. Two letters of recommendation

Submission & Selection Process

The applicant’s complete DGSF application, including the two letters of recommendation, must be submitted by the graduate program’s internal deadline. Contact your graduate program representative for internal application deadlines.

Following the internal application deadline, each program evaluates all applications received, selects applicants for nomination, completes all nomination procedures and forwards nominations to the formal competition. The Graduate Student Fellowships Committee reviews nominations and selects recipients based on application requirements and departmental assessment, through use of the DGSF Application Rubric.

UWM Graduate School Fellowship Compliance

All fellowship recipients must be enrolled in a graduate degree program at UWM during the award period. Fellows must meet the Graduate School continuation requirements each semester and comply with the following UWM Graduate Faculty Committee regulations:

  • Fellowship nominees/awardees must maintain a 3.0 GPA and make reasonable progress toward their UWM graduate degree. Fellowship nominees/awardees cannot be on academic probation and cannot have engaged in academic or non-academic misconduct during their current graduate program, based on transcript notations at the time of nomination/award. If the fellowship nominees/awardees become ineligible, the graduate fellowship award/offer is forfeited, effective the date that the sanctions are implemented.
  • Fellowship recipients must carry and complete a full load of 8-12 graduate credits each semester during the academic year.
  • Doctoral candidates cannot achieve dissertator status before the program nomination deadline for the award. Doctoral students who plan to achieve dissertator status after the program nomination deadline, before or during the 2024-2025 academic year, are eligible to apply. Doctoral students who attain dissertator status after the nomination deadline must carry three dissertator credits per semester. Doctoral students who are in preliminary status must carry one research credit during their prelim semester.
  • Fellowship recipients may not hold any other external or internal fellowship or scholarship concurrently with a Graduate School award, except for small monetary awards under $10,000; the UWM Chancellor’s Graduate Student Award; or a philanthropic award.
  • Fellowship recipients may not accept full-time employment. University appointments (maximum of 37.5% TA, PA, or RA), or other student outside employment of up to 15 hours per week, are allowable.

Note: Fellowships are factored in determining eligibility for federal student aid. Please know that a fellowship stipend and tuition waiver may significantly reduce a student’s financial aid loan eligibility.

Nomination Instructions for Graduate Program Reps

Graduate programs are asked to be highly selective in nominating no more than two students for the DGSF. Nominees should represent exceptional students in your graduate program. Only students with all completed answers and documents will be considered nominated. Please verify all information in the application submitted by each nominee, confirming application status as complete with a letter of recommendation from the student’s major professor.

After the applicant’s information has been verified, use the online application to submit a summary statement detailing why the nominee is a strong candidate for the DGSF.

After submitting nomination materials, please notify all of your program’s DGSF applicants (non-nominated as well as nominated) regarding the status of their fellowship application.

Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowships are highly competitive. Fellowships are awarded on the basis of the applicant’s previous academic record, scholarly and other achievements, status toward degree and faculty recommendations.

  • Evaluation is based on the totality of information available. No single factor is decisive.
  • It is understood that excellence takes many forms across disciplines.
  • Each application is considered holistically, and factors such as academic background, experiences, perspectives, aspirations, values and accomplishments are taken into account.

For the sake of these fellowships, a “graduate degree program” is defined more broadly than the UW System definition to include any graduate program that meets both of the following criteria:

  • Student must make specific application to the degree program on their applications to the Graduate School or department.
  • Students cannot transfer out of the program without making explicit application to another program, even within the same department or unit.

If a program offers both the master’s and doctoral degrees, it is considered a single graduate program and can nominate only two students.

In many cases, your nominees will be currently enrolled or newly admitted UWM graduate students. If you are nominating a prospective graduate student who has not yet been admitted into your graduate program, please be aware that all DGSF nominees must 1) have a completed application on file with the UWM Graduate School and 2) be formally admitted to the graduate program providing nomination no later than Wednesday, January 10, 2024.

Please see the timeline at the top of this page for the program nomination deadline. No nominations will be accepted after this date. DGSF awards are capped at three awards per degree-granting program as recognized by the UW System.

For questions regarding any of these procedures, please contact the Graduate School at 414-229-7177 or