Master's Research Scholarship

The Graduate Dean is pleased to call for nominations to the inaugural Master’s Research Scholarship program. With a total of $500,000 in funding for AY 2020/21, the program is designed to provide direct, much-needed financial support to excellent SDSU master’s students who contribute to research, scholarship, or creative activity in their field. Individual awards are anticipated to be in the amount of $10,000 for the academic year, subject to funding.

Nominations for this round will remain open until May 22, 2020. Further details regarding the program, including nomination instructions, are outlined below.


The Scholarship directs institutional funding to support recruitment, retention, and timely degree completion for excellent graduate students who are engaged in scholarship advancing the university's goals for research and creative activity. Scholarships will be awarded to continuing and entering master’s students through a competitive process. Following a preliminary review process at the College level, an advisory committee will review nominations according to a rubric developed by the committee along with Graduate & Research Affairs. Awards will be distributed through the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, with the funds deposited directly into students’ CashNet accounts in two installments, once each in the Fall and Spring semesters. Students must remain actively matriculated in their degree program in both semesters to receive the funds.

Complementary Funding

A $10,000 scholarship is sufficient to cover full time tuition and campus mandatory fees for a California resident, but not to fully support a graduate student. The scholarship does not provide health or other benefits. Therefore the review criteria include consideration of additional support committed to the student in AY 2020/21 from external funding sources (grants, contracts, fellowships, other scholarships) or department/college sources (academic student employment). The design of the program is to complement those sources, not replace them or stand alone as a student’s only piece of support.

Nomination Instructions

Nominations shall be submitted by the Graduate Adviser for the master’s program in which the nominee will be enrolled in AY 2020/21. Both continuing students and those recruited to enter a program in Fall 2020 are eligible for awards.

Nominations require basic student information, and: (1) a brief statement of the nominee’s accomplishments and potential in research, scholarship, and creative activity in their chosen field, and (2) an inventory of the commitment for other external and institutional financial support allocated to the nominee in AY 2020/21. Graduate Advisers are encouraged to solicit language for the statement and inventory of support from a colleague mentoring the nominee.

2020-2021 Nomination Form

Review Process

Criteria for review:

  • The nominee’s academic achievements to date
  • Evidence of research, scholarship, and creative activity accomplishments and potential in the nominee’s field
  • Quality of the commitment from other external and institutional financial sources of support allocated to the nominee in AY 2020/21

Deans are responsible for a preliminary review of nominations from their College. Following this round, no more than 20 finalist nominations from each College will be submitted to the Graduate Dean. An advisory committee will assist the Graduate Dean in selecting finalists for awards.

Nominations from Graduate Advisers are due May 22, 2020. Submission of finalists from each College are due June 5, 2020. Awards for AY 2020/21 are anticipated by June 19, 2020.