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National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

WebsiteEligibilityDeadline Seniors/Graduate Students Deadline passed


The Department of Defense (DoD) is committed to increasing the number and quality of U.S. scientists and engineers. National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships will be awarded for study and research in pursuit of doctoral degrees in mathematical, physical, biological, ocean and engineering sciences. Open only to citizens or nationals of the U.S. Applications are encouraged from women, persons with disabilities and minorities, including American Indian, Black, Hispanic, Native Alaskan (Eskimo of Aleut) or Pacific Islanders (Polynesian or Micronesian). The DoD will pay tuition, required fees, and a stipend. NDSEG Fellows do not incur any military or other service obligation. NDSEG Fellowships are administered by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).


There are four eligibility requirements: citizenship, discipline, academic status, and the ability to accept the full benefit. You must meet all four requirements in order to be eligible.

Citizenship – The NDSEG Fellowship Program is open only to applicants who are citizens or nationals of the United States. The term "nationals" refers to native residents of a possession of the United States such as American Samoa. It does not refer to a citizen of another country who has applied for U.S. citizenship. Persons who hold permanent resident status are not eligible. Proof of citizenship will be required upon formal offer.

Discipline – Your field of study must fit under one of the fifteen supported disciplines:

  • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Biosciences
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Cognitive, Neural, and Behavioral Sciences
  • Computer and Computational Sciences
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Geosciences
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
  • Oceanography
  • Physics

Academic Status – NDSEG Fellowships are intended for students at or near the beginning of their doctoral studies in science or engineering. Applicants must have received or be on track to receive their bachelor's degrees by fall 2017.

The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the DoD use academic status guidelines to ensure that students at or near the beginning of their graduate studies receive fellowships. To be eligible, applicants must either:

  • be enrolled in their final year of undergraduate studies, or
  • have completed less than two full-time years of graduate study in the discipline in which they are applying.

Exceptional circumstances may qualify other applicants as being at an early stage of their graduate studies, therefore making the applicant eligible for consideration.

Ability to accept – You must intend to pursue a doctoral degree in order to be eligible for NDSEG Fellowship support. If you are awarded, you must start your tenure in the fall of that year. Fellowships awarded in the spring of 2016 must start in September 2016. NDSEG Fellows must be enrolled full-time and must be pursuing graduate study at a U.S. institution. The NDSEG Fellowship can be deferred only under exceptional circumstances. You will not be able to defer it if you were awarded another fellowship you wish to use instead. A fellow may not accept simultaneous remuneration from another major fellowship. Fellows must be eligible to accept both the tuition benefit and the full stipend amount.

Application Procedure

All materials must be submitted electronically or received by the deadline. Please note that application materials are not returned to applicants.

What you’ll need to complete the application:

  • general GRE score from the last five years
  • electronic transcripts from any graduate work as well as your undergraduate school(s)
  • contact information for at least three references
  • information on all publications, presentations, patents, and patent applications
  • contact info for supervisors of research, leadership, and teamwork experiences, and any community and volunteer work

For more information on the application, click here.

 Value of the Award

The DoD will pay the fellow's full tuition and required fees (not to include room and board). 

All fellows, starting with the 2015 class, will receive a total of $102,000 in stipend funds over the course of their 36-month program tenure. Stipends are prorated monthly based on a 12-month academic year.

If the fellow is not enrolled in an institutionally approved academic study and/or research activity during the summer months, financial support will not be provided. There are no dependency allowances. Persons with disabilities may be considered for additional allowances to offset special educational expenses.

The NDSEG Fellowship Program will also pay for the medical insurance coverage offered through the institution, up to a total value of $1,000 per year. (This excludes dental and vision insurance.) Any excess insurance costs will be the responsibility of the fellow.


American Society for Engineering Education
1818 N. St. NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036

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