Udall Scholarship

Campus Deadline Disciplines Purpose Open To Eligibility
January 6 Environmental studies or Native American leaders Funding for 1-2 years of undergraduate study Sophomores and Juniors U.S. citizen or permanent resident, 3.0+ GPA


About the Udall Scholarship

The Udall Foundation honors Morris K. Udall’s legacy of public service by encouraging the continued use, enjoyment, and exploration of our nation’s natural resources, by training Native Americans in health care and tribal public policy, and by training professionals in environmental issues. 

The Udall Foundation awards 80 scholarships of up to $7,000 for educational expenses to outstanding students. These awards are made on the basis of merit to two groups of students: 1) Students who are college sophomores or juniors in the current academic year, have outstanding potential, and who study the environment and related fields, and 2) Native American and Alaska Native students who are college sophomores or juniors in the current academic year, have outstanding potential, and are in fields related to health care of tribal public policy.

MSU may nominate six students from either or both categories. Scholarship recipients are eligible for one year of support per application year. Udall Scholars are also required to attend a special weeklong workshop during the summer. Scholars or unsuccessful applicants may reapply in future years.

The Udall Foundation is looking for:

  • Strong commitment to improving the environment. According to representatives of the Udall Foundation, this area of the application is often too unfocused. Rather than general statements about wanting to save the world, applications should focus on career goals, on future aspirations and plans to improve the environment. Such focus gives confidence that the nominee is likely to have an impact on his or her field.
  • Personal characteristics, especially leadership and public or community service. Evidence of leadership is crucial, and could date to high school years. Letters of recommendation should be able to comment on leadership and other personal characteristics.
  • Academic achievement. The Foundation looks at transcripts for course loads and for the complexity and relevance of courses to the career objectives regarding the environment. Sophomores and juniors with a GPA of 3.0 and above are eligible. The average GPA of recent Udall Scholars is 3.7. The Udall Foundation is looking for well-rounded people who demonstrate leadership, community service, and personal qualities. Udall Scholars have had GPAs as low as 3.0, along with accomplishments that are exceptional and distinguished in other areas.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Morris K. Udall’s legacy of public service, particularly as it relates to career goals, as demonstrated in a personal essay. As a memorial to Morris K. Udall, the application asks nominees to describe on of Udall’s speeches and relate it to their own goals. Essays may be critical of a speech as long as they are well argued.
  • Strong letters of recommendation. The best evaluations are from faculty members in the candidate’s field of study who demonstrate strong personal knowledge of the student. Letters from people who do not know the student well do not help.

The Udall Scholarship requires an institutional endorsement. If you intend to apply, make sure you know the MSU internal competition deadline.

How to Apply

1. Review the Udall website 
2. Complete the NIFS Intent to Apply Form at www.nifs.msu.edu to get on our list of applicants.
3. Complete the Internal Udall Pre-Application Form, and email to nifs@msu.edu along with your resume and possible dates/times to meet with an advisor.4. Work with the NIFS Office on application draft and resume.

Application Materials (send all to nifs@msu.edu):

·Udall Pre-application 
·Resume using the NIFS resume template 
·Udall internal application form 
·Udall Scholarship COVID Supplement 
·Three recommendations (have a conversation with NIFS Office first)
·Transcripts from all higher education institutions attended after high school

For more information, visit the Udall Scholarship website.