Udall Scholarship

History   |   Description   |   Eligibility   |    How to   |   Application   |   Checklist

History and Purpose

The U.S. Congress established the Udall Foundation as an independent executive branch agency in 1992 to honor Morris K. Udall's 30 years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2009, Congress enacted legislation to honor Stewart L. Udall and add his name to the Foundation. It is now known as the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. The purposes of the Foundation are to: increase awareness of the importance of the nation’s natural resources; to foster a greater understanding of the role of the environment, public lands and resources in the development of the U.S.; to identify critical environmental issues; to develop resources to train professionals properly in environmental and related fields; and provide educational outreach regarding environmental policy.

The foundation also seeks to develop resources to train Native American and Alaska native professionals in health care and public policy, and through the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, provide assessment, mediation, and other related services to resolve environmental disputes involving federal agencies.

Description of the Udall Scholarship

The Udall Foundation awards scholarships of up to $7000 for academic fees to sophomore and junior level college students committed to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy, or Native American health care. Awardees participate in a 5-day Scholar Orientation in Tucson, AZ, and have access to the Scholar alumni network for life. The Foundation also awards 50 honorable mentions. The award is for one year, but students may reapply if they are eligible the following year. They may only be awarded a scholarship twice.  Scholarships are offered in any of three categories:

  • To students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to the environment including policy, engineering, science, education, urban planning and renewal, business, health, justice, economics, and other related fields; or
  • To Native American and Alaska Native students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to tribal public policy, including fields related to tribal sovereignty, tribal governance, tribal law, Native American education, Native American justice, natural resource management, cultural preservation and revitalization, Native American economic development, and other areas affecting Native American communities; or
  • To Native American and Alaska Native students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to Native health care, including health care administration, social work, medicine, dentistry, counseling, and research into health conditions affecting Native American communities, and other related fields.

The Udall Foundation receives from 450-550 applications each year; 60 scholarships are now awarded annually; 50 honorable mentions named.

Eligibility Requirements and Rules for Nomination

 Applicants must have/be:
  • Sophomores or juniors at the time of application; no age limit
  • A strong academic record, preferably with some distinguishing work done in major field; GPA minimum for Udall is 3.0; winners have averaged a GPA of 3.7
  • U.S. citizens, U.S. Nationals, or U.S. permanent residents who intend to become U.S. citizens
  • Mount Holyoke College may nominate four candidates in the environmental category and four candidates in tribal policy and health care
  • Demonstrated leadership, commitment, integrity, and service. The Udall Foundation motto is: Civility, integrity, consensus.

How to apply

The online application opens on October 1st. Students who wish to apply should contact the National Fellowships Advisor to be registered in the online system and to receive support in preparing application materials for submission to the Committee on Fellowships. The Committee, made up of four faculty members and chaired by the Dean of Studies, reviews applications, interviews each candidate, and decides which candidate(s) will be nominated by the College for the Udall Scholarship. Nominees will then revise their application materials as suggested by the Committee, and submit them in the online system. The National Fellowships Advisor will then submit the nominations. Senior Administrative Assistant Marianne Taylor maintains application materials, schedules interviews, and co-facilitates the application process.

Application components

  • An 11-question online application form  (includes several short essay questions regarding the candidate's professional aspirations; a significant leadership experience; a significant Udall-topic related public service activity; and other questions)
  • An 800 word essay on a speech, legislative act, book, or public policy statement by either Morris K. Udall or Stewart L. Udall and its impact on your interests and goals
  • Official copies of your transcript(s) including college level work at institutions other than MHC – most study abroad program grades do not appear on your MHC transcript and no grades from domestic institutions will appear, so students must order official transcripts from those institutions to be sent directly to National Fellowships Advisor Overstreet
  • Three recommendation letters from faculty members, staff, internship supervisors, or program advisors

Campus Process and Checklist

Please note that for all deadlines, submission time is 12:00 noon

Timeframe Task(s) to Complete
Summer/Fall Begin reading documents by Morris Udall and Stewart Udall available on Udall website
  • Meet with National Fellowships Advisor to discuss potential candidacy and/or attend an information session or webinar
  • request to be registered in online application (contact National Fellowships Advisor)
  • Send short essay answers to National Fellowships Advisor for feedback
  • draft Udall essay and seek feedback from faculty in field as well as from National Fellowships Advisor
  • request recommendation letters from faculty, staff, internship or program supervisors/advisors
By Feb 3rd
  • Complete online application including large essay
  • Order official transcripts from all undergraduate study to be sent directly to National Fellowships Advisor
  • recommenders send letters to National Fellowships Advisor (may be sent electronically)
Feb 13-17 Interview with Committee on Fellowships; Committee selects nominees
Feb 27
  • Submit revised application in Udall online system
  • recommenders'letters signed, on letterhead, due to National Fellowships Advisor (if not already in that form)
  • all official transcripts due to National Fellowships Advisor (if not already submitted)
By March 2nd National Fellowships Advisor submits online application, with nomination, to Udall and uploads all supporting materials (transcripts, recommendations, etc.)
April 5 Udall Foundation notifies students of status, recipients reply by the 15th
May 1 Scholars announced on Udall website
2nd wk Aug Udall Scholar Orientation in Tuscon, AZ; winners must attend