Opportunities Promoting Diversity

While nationally competitive scholarships strongly and intentionally encourage applicants from various experiences and backgrounds to apply, the below list includes awards that explicitly aim to increase diversity, broadly defined, in various professional and academic contexts. Learn about a broader range of opportunities that accept applications from non-US citizens.

Africana Studies Undergraduate Fellowship

The Africana Studies Program is designed to prepare juniors and seniors for experiences in the academy beyond their undergraduate careers. By providing hands-on experience and effective and sustained one-on-one mentorship, the Africana Studies Undergraduate Fellowship program is designed to address pipeline issues by supporting promising undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds with interests in academic careers along the trajectory from college through the PhD (or for those with an interest in the creative and performing arts the MFA). Undergraduate fellows will be paired with faculty mentors whose research interests align with their own. During the course of the fellowship, undergraduate fellows will receive a $2,500 stipend to work as research assistants for faculty mentors who will provide academic/research mentorship.

Beinecke Scholarship

Provides $34,000 for graduate study in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Must have demonstrated financial need and stellar academic performance. Institutional endorsement by the Office of Fellowship Advising is required. Application must be received in the OFA office by early January. Applications to the Beinecke program are due late February.


On average, Black women in STEM earn salaries that are 45% lower than their highest-paid peers. BestColleges is committed to breaking down barriers for students in underrepresented communities, who desire careers in the most competitive fields. Five $6,000 scholarships are awarded to Black women who are currently pursuing careers in STEM.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Gaither Junior Fellows Program

Each year the Endowment offers 8-10 one-year fellowships to qualified graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past academic year. Carnegie Junior Fellows work as research assistants to the Endowment's senior associates. The Endowment's nomination deadline is January 15 of each year. Institutional endorsement is required. Application must be received in the Office of Fellowship Advising by mid-November.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Funded by the U.S. Department of State and cooperating Fulbright commissions around the world, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the premiere government sponsored program for study, research, and English teaching overseas. Fulbright strives to ensure that it reflects the diversity of U.S. society and societies abroad; they encourage the involvement of people from traditionally underrepresented audiences in all our grants, programs and other initiatives. The on-campus deadline for applications is in early September. Final on-line submission of applications to the Institute for International Education in New York is in early October. Interested students should contact the Office of Fellowship Advising.

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. This program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide. Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray eligible study or intern abroad costs, including program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare. Gilman scholars have priority when applying for federal jobs after they do their fellowship. See this link for further details.

Humanity In Action

Humanity in Action is an international educational organization. They foster a global network of students, young professionals and established leaders committed to promoting human rights, diversity and active citizenship—in their own communities and around the world.

Marshall-Motley Scholarship Program (MMSP)

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s MMSP will support and develop the next wave of civil rights lawyers in the South, where the majority of Black Americans live. The program will equip and prepare legal advocates for Black communities to promote racial justice and equity. Marshall-Motley Scholars receive full law school scholarship for tuition, room, board, and incidentals to alleviate the debt burden that can prevent future lawyers from pursuing a career in racial justice. The support offered by the MMSP is an intentional effort to address the racial and economic barriers that often deter students from pursuing their dreams of becoming civil rights attorneys.

The Pickering Fellowship

The Pickering Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to promote positive change in the world through work in the US State Department. It welcomes the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the State Department, women, and those with financial need. Based on the fundamental principle that diversity is a strength in our diplomatic efforts, the program values varied backgrounds, including ethnic, racial, social, and geographic diversity, the program values varied and textured backgrounds. Benefits include funding for relevant graduate programs, mentorship with a Foreign Service Officer. Fellows also agree to a minimum five-year service commitment in the Department of State’s Foreign Service.

Charles Rangel International Affairs Fellowship

The Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program provides benefits of up to $95,000 over two years toward a two-year master’s degree, arranges internships on Capitol Hill and at U.S. embassies, and provides mentorship and professional development support to prepare for a career in the US Foreign Service. It welcomes the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the State Department, women, and those with financial need. Fellows can use the fellowship to attend two-year master’s programs in U.S. institutions to study any area of relevance to the Foreign Service, including international relations, public policy, public administration, economics, or business administration. Upon successful completion of the two-year fellowship and Foreign Service entry requirements, Fellows join the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State, embarking on a uniquely rewarding career of international service.

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship For New Americans

Thirty scholarships will be awarded each year to new Americans who are resident aliens, naturalized citizens, or the children of two naturalized citizens. Seeks applicants who are creative, committed to accomplishments and to the values of the U.S. constitution and bill of rights. Recipients may receive up to $90,000 for two years of graduate study in any field. Institutional endorsement is not required. Students apply directly to the Foundation.

USAID Payne Fellowship

The USAID Payne Fellowship program seeks to attract outstanding young people who are interested in pursuing careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). If you want to work on the front lines of some of the most pressing global challenges of our times — poverty, hunger, injustice, disease, environmental degradation, climate change, conflict and violent extremism – the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development provides an opportunity to advance U.S. foreign policy interests and reflect the American people’s compassion and support of human dignity. It welcomes the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the State Department, women, and those with financial need. The Payne Fellowship, which provides up to $93,000 in benefits over two years for graduate school, internships, and professional development activities, provides a unique pathway to the USAID Foreign Service.

Point Scholarship

Point Foundation was established in 2001 to nurture the next generation of LGBTQ leaders. Point Foundation empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential despite the obstacles often put before them to make a significant impact on society. By identifying and supporting these scholars, Point hopes to provide a greater level of acceptance and respect within future generations for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity. We honor our scholars - their leadership, their acumen, their early involvement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer causes, and their pledge to make the world a fairer and better place for all.

Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship Program

The PPIA Fellowship is a series of educational and developmental programs that span from the end of a student’s junior year in college to the completion of a Master’s degree in public policy, public administration and/or international affairs. The program was started to address the lack of diversity across the spectrum of professional public service, including government, nonprofits, public policy institutions and international organizations. The Junior Summer Institute is an intensive seven-week summer program that focuses on preparing students for graduate programs in public and international affairs and careers as policy professionals, public administrators, and other leadership roles in public service. Applications are due in early November.