the application opens September 1, 2019. applications are due January 25, 2020 at 11:59pm PST.


visit our application guide to assist with general questions that may arise while completing your application

Application guide


Applicants must be female, applying for a degree program in which they are not currently enrolled, and have earned or be in the process of earning an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution. In considering women for our Olin Fellowship, special consideration is given to the following:

  • Evidence of intellectual ability and versatility and of academic achievement.
  • Evidence of commitment to undertake and sustain preparation for a career in higher education or the professions.
  • Evidence of personal qualities necessary to make constructive contributions to higher education or the professions.


Before beginning an application, applicants will need:

  • A resume or CV
  • The letter(s) of recommendation from your program application
  • A response to the following essay prompt (In 500 words or less):
  • Imagine you have just received a MacArthur Fellowship with a no-strings attached award of $625,000. How would this effect your career path and what would you want to impact with the award.

Please copy and paste the wording of the essay prompt at the beginning of your uploaded document to facilitate the review process.


The following programs are eligible for the Olin Fellowship:

  • George Warren Brown School (MPH, MSW, Public Health Sciences PhD, Social Work PhD, joint programs)
  • McKelvey School of Engineering (PhD)
  • Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts (All MFA programs, MArch, MLA, MUD, DrSU, joint programs)
  • Law (JD, Joint JD programs)
  • Olin Business School (MBA, PhD)
  • Program in Occupational Therapy (PhD)
  • Program in Physical Therapy (PhD)
  • Program in Nursing Science (PhD)
  • Arts & Sciences, including Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences (MAEd, MAT, MFA, PhD)
  • Program in Audiology & Communication Sciences (PhD)

If you are applying to any PhD program (with the exception of Public Health Sciences), the MAT/MAEd in Education, or the MFA in Dance/Writing -

Navigate to your CollegeNET portal. On the “Demographics” section of the application, please indicate whether your undergraduate degree comes/will come from a U.S. institution. After selecting your program of interest on the “Program Selection” page, navigate to the “Program Related Questions” section of your application in CollegeNET and check the box for the Spencer T. & Ann W. Olin Fellowship for Women in Graduate Study.  

If you have already submitted your application for one of the above mentioned programs, navigate to your CollegeNET portal checklist to upload the fellowship essay.


If you are applying to Architecture, Law, Public Health Sciences, the MBA in Business Administration, the MSW in Social Work, Urban Design, or Visual Art - 

Once you have applied to one of the programs listed above, please fill out the online application for the Olin Fellowship. On the “Demographics” section of the application under Enrollment, when asked what type of program you are applying to please select "Chancellor's and/or Spencer T. & Ann W. Olin Fellowship", and indicate whether your undergraduate degree comes/will come from a U.S. institution. When navigating the application in CollegeNET, select the program you applied to in the program selection section and check the box for the Spencer T. & Ann W. Olin Fellowship for Women in Graduate Study on the Program Related Questions page.  

Letters of recommendation submitted for your program do not need to be resubmitted. 

Please note that if you are applying to a program whose deadline is after the Olin deadline you must complete its application as well as the Olin fellowship application by the first deadline.


Applicants are considered without regard to age, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin and with regard only to the excellence of their qualifications. Selection is by a committee chaired by the Director of the Olin Fellowship Program. Announcement of the award of Olin Fellowships is made in early March.


I cannot find my degree program on the Program Selection page!

In general, this happens when you applied to your program using a different application system than the Fellowship. Please review the guide and the application procedures listed above carefully, but typically:

If you have already applied to a professional program (JD, MSW/MPH, etc) or the PhD in Public Health Sciences, then navigate back to the Demographics section. Under Enrollment, when asked what type of program you are applying to select "Chancellor's and/or Spencer T. & Ann W. Olin Fellowship."

I have a master's degree from a U.S. institution. Am I eligible to apply for the Fellowship?

The origin nor the completion of your master's degree does not impact your eligibility for this program. You must have an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution in order to apply for and receive the fellowship.

My program deadline is before January. Do I have to submit my Olin Fellowship materials at the same time as my program application?

The fellowship deadline is not tied to your program deadline.

For all PhD programs (with the exception of Public Health Sciences), the MFA in Dance, and the MAT and MAEd programs - If you have already submitted an application, navigate to your application portal checklist to upload your fellowship essay and CV. This upload must occur before the January Olin Fellowship application deadline.

For all other programs, navigate to the application. When asked what program you are applying to on the demographics section (under Enrollment), select "Chancellor's and/or Spencer T. & Ann W. Olin Fellowship". Then select the program you applied to.

My degree program admissions application requires fewer/more than three letters of reference. How should I proceed?

We will accept the number of recommenders required by your program, though we recommend submitting at least 2 letters of recommendation to your program if you intend to apply to the Olin Fellowship.

My degree program admissions application does not require test scores (GRE, etc). How should I proceed?

The Olin Fellowship does not require submission of official or unofficial test scores.

Will the selection committee have access to the materials I have submitted with my admissions application?


Do I need to send the Fellowship Program an official transcript and/or test score report?

No; the selection committee will review your application with unofficial versions uploaded in the application system.


Still have questions? Send us an email. 

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