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 $5000 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 also 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; 50 scholarships are awarded.

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 3.5 minimum for Udall is 3.0; winners have averaged a GPA of 3.7
  • US citizens, U.S. Nationals, or U.S. permanent residents who intend to become U.S. citizens
  • Mount Holyoke College may nominate six candidates for the Udall Scholarship
  • Demonstrated leadership, commitment, integrity, and service. The foundation motto is: Civility, integrity, consensus.
How to apply
The online application opens on October 1st. Students who wish to apply should contact Christine Overstreet to register them 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 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. Christine 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)
  • 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 Christine
  • 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 prior to application begin reading documents by Morris Udall and Stewart Udall available through the Foundation website
October request registration for online application from FA
November attend campus Udall Information Session
By December 1 send FA answers to application questions and a copy of your essay for feedback, if desired
  request recommendations from faculty members to be sent to FA for February 3rd deadline; remind them in January
Early January order official transcripts from all undergraduate study sources to be sent directly to FA
February 3 submit application materials to FA for distribution to Committee on Fellowships
February 18-21 candidates interview with Committee on Fellowships; nominated candidates revise applications accordingly
March 5 FA submits applications, transcripts, and recommendations
April 15 selected candidates notified
August 5-10 winners must attend Scholar Orientation Week in Tucson