Presidential Graduate Research Fellowship


The Presidential Graduate Research Fellowship (PGRF) is a university-wide competition designed to recruit nonresident graduate students who demonstrate outstanding potential for achievement in their research, scholarship or creative activities.

The PGRF provides a non-resident tuition waiver (NRTW) in the amount of $420 per unit charge to nonresidents. This PGRF NRTW is awarded for one year of a graduate program at SDSU. This PGRF NRTW may be extended based on the outlined instructions below.

Domestic nonresident students

For domestic students (out of state) and nonresident students with an eligible immigration status, the PGRF is intended to serve as a stopgap until the students can establish California residency for tuition purposes. For those nonresident students who apply for California residency but are not yet approved, the NRTW will be extended for a third semester.

For more information about seeking California residency, click here and scroll to the Residence Reclassification (Continuing Students Only) section. 

International students

For international students, extended NRTWs will remain with the student for the maximum period of time* during their matriculation in a graduate program. 

*The maximum number of waivers allowed per student: 5 total semesters for master’s students (including the 2 semesters of the PGRF award year) and 10 total semesters for doctoral students (including the 2 semesters of the PGRF award year).

Graduate Program Advisors/Directors

Please note that, while the PGRF first year NRTWs will not count towards any graduate program NRTW caps, the extended NRTWs will count.

Review Process

PGRF recipients shall be selected according to the following criteria:  

  1. Nonresident or international residency status
  2. Nomination from graduate program
  3. Baccalaureate and post-bacc (if applicable) GPA and other observable indicators of academic achievement
  4. Additional evidence of merit, including awards, achievements, departmental recommendation, as provided in the nomination

Important Reminder:

Nomination Instructions

Nominations for the PGRF must be made by the graduate program advisor/director of the program in which the nominee will be enrolled during the subsequent academic year. Any nominations received that are not from the student's graduate program advisor/director will not be considered. 

Nominations for the 2024-2025 PGRF opened on February 1, 2024. We will have two PGRF award announcement cycles that will coincide with the university’s two admissions cycles. The two cycles are weighted equally, with their only distinction being the dates of review and announcement.

  • Priority Cycle will review all applications received by 11:59 pm on March 1, 2024, and awards will be announced March 14, 2024.
  • Regular Cycle will review all applications received March 2 - March 31, 2024 (11:59 pm), and awards will be announced April 12, 2024.

2024-2025 PGRF Nomination Google Form

2024-2025 PGRF Nomination Google Form pdf (for reference only)

2024-2025 PGRF Rubric

Questions? Please reach out to [email protected] for more information.