Morris K. Udall Scholarship

Description: The Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation merit-based scholarships outstanding college students who intend to pursue careers related to the environment, or who intend to pursue careers in Native American health care or tribal public policy and are Native American or Alaska Native. The Foundation seeks future leaders across a wide spectrum of environmental fields, such as policy, engineering, science, education, urban planning and renewal, business, health, justice, and economics. The Foundation also seeks future Native American and Alaska Native leaders in public and community health care, tribal government, and public policy affecting Native American communities, including land and resource management, economic development, and education.
Dollar Value: Each scholarship covers tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $5,000 for one year.
Number of Scholarships: 80 scholarships are awarded each year.
  • Applicants must be sophomores or juniors, pursuing a bachelor's or associate's degree;
  • Have a college grade-point average of at least a "B" or the equivalent;
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident;
  • Be committed to a career related to the environment, OR committed to a career in tribal public policy or Native American health care (only Native Americans and Alaska Natives are eligible to apply in tribal public policy or Native American health care).
Application Procedures: Candidates must be nominated by their institution to compete for the Morris K. Udall Scholarship. Four-year institutions are eligible to nominate up to three students in each category, for a total of six students per institution. Applications can be found online.
Deadline: March 2, 2011
130 South Scott Avenue
Tucson, Arizona 85701-1922
Ph. 520.901.8500
Fax 520.670.5530
Fellowships Coordinator:
Name: Scott Handley, Honors College, University Hall 212
Phone: 417-836-6371
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the primary criteria for selection for the Morris K. Udall Scholarship?
Demonstrated commitment to environmental issues, or to health care or tribal public policy, solid record in last two years of substantial time and effort to at least one or more of the following: campus activities (e.g., recycling, NA clubs, sustainability committees); research activities (e.g., independent and substantive research outside of course requirements related to environmental/NA/health care issues); community activities (e.g., volunteering with clean-ups, park service/tribal internships, urban planning commissions, emergency room volunteer, etc.) Career goals: Course of study and proposed graduate study (if applicable) likely to lead to position where nominee can make significant contributions to the shaping of environmental/NA/health care issues, whether through scientific advances, public or political service, or community action. The "Mo" factor: Demonstrated leadership and potential, integrity and character, desire to make a difference and generally well rounded.
How important are grades?
Grades are less important than community service and leadership records, but they are still significant. Nominees should generally be in the top quarter of their class and have at least a 3.0 GPA.
Are any fields of study given priority?
No. Udall Scholars come from all majors and fields of study. Recent Udall Scholars have majored in environmental sciences and policy studies, agriculture, political science, natural resource management, sociology, anthropology, American Indian studies, tribal public policy, history, English, theater, landscape architecture, and public health, to name just a few areas. However, we anticipate that the nominee's plan of study will include some coursework in environmental and/or public policy, environmental studies or science, or Native American studies.
How are the applications read?
Applications are read by region. Regions are determined by geographical proximity, geographic or environmental similarity, and number of applications. As a general rule, teams select from I to 4 scholars for each region. States with a greater number of applicants (such as Pennsylvania) will -typically be read as one region, or divided into two regions. Readers work in teams of two, Applications are given at least two reviews. However, applications deemed clearly noncompetitive will not receive a second review. In order to deem an applicant "non-competitive", a reader must 1) be absolutely convinced that the applicant has in no way demonstrated significant commitment to a career in the environment, tribal public policy, or health care, and 2) scored the applicant below 10 on the rating sheet. There are a total of four rating categories, plus a discretionary point allowance. Two categories, Demonstrated commitment and personal characteristics, use a 5-point rating scale, ranging from a 1 (below average) to 5 (outstanding). The other two categories, academic achievement and the essay, use a 4-point rating scale.
Our institution has nominated students for the Udall Scholarship for the past few years, and none has received a Scholarship or Honorable Mention. What are we doing wrong?
Keep in mind that the Udall Scholarship is a highly competitive award. The principal reasons an applicant may not be awarded a scholarship are: Coursework and plan of study unlikely to lead to career related to the environment, tribal public policy or Native American health care; Career plans not supported by goals of the scholarship program; Poor use of questions 2, 4, 5, 6, & 7 to reveal values, interests, and motivation; Little evidence of leadership; Lack of community involvement, particularly in the case of tribal public policy or Native American health care applicants; Few activities or research that reveal interest in and commitment to the environment, tribal public policy or Native American health care.