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Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program

university fellowships committee

The Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program was named for the late Senator Jacob Javits of New York and was established by the Congress of the United States to support graduate study in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Twenty percent of the fellowships are to be awarded in the Social Sciences, twenty percent in the Arts, and sixty percent in the Humanities.

However, funding for the Javits Fellowships must be voted each year by Congress, and thus is not assured. Moreover, the dates when applications are available and when applications are due also depend on when Congress approves funding. Students interested in this fellowship need to consult the U.S. Department of Education web site for the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship in September to obtain application information and to clarify what the application deadline will be.

Each fellowship provides a $11,000 payment to the appropriate graduate institution in lieu of tuition and fees, along with a stipend to the student of up to $21,500 per academic year, based on the award winner's financial need. The program is designed to support graduate students who intend to pursue doctoral studies or a Masters in Fine Arts.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens;
  • be college Seniors, or graduates who have completed fewer than 20 credit hours of graduate study;
  • take the GRE examination;
  • apply and be accepted to an accredited graduate program in their chosen field, with the expressed intention of completing a Ph.D. or Master's of Fine Arts in that field.

The applications are generally available in September. Applications require a one-page personal statement, outlining a proposed plan of study and explaining how graduate study will help the applicant achieve professional objectives. The application must also contain a list of graduate programs to which the applicant has applied, a list of the applicant's academic honors, awards, and leadership experiences, and three academic letters of recommendation.

Javits Fellows will be selected by a Fellowship Board consisting of distinguished scholars. The Board will weight their evaluation reviews by allocating various points to the academic record, the letters of recommendation, the applicant's awards and honors, and the applicant's personal statement. Among these, the personal statement weighs quite heavily and should be written with care, and with the guidance of faculty.

In addition, the application requires a transcript of all undergraduate work at BC and elsewhere, along with scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (both the General portion and the specific subject test). Applicants must take the GRE by October or December to meet the Javits application deadline.

Any eligible senior who wishes to apply for a Javits Fellowship may do so directly, but applicants are urged to discuss their personal statements and selection of graduate programs with the BC Campus Coordinator for the Javits Fellowship, in order to develop the strongest possible application. In particular, applicants should articulate their intellectual interest within their chosen field of study as specifically as possible, and should research those graduate programs that best satisfy these specific interests. In this way, the applicant can demonstrate to the Fellowship Board both the talent and the serious motivation to make major contributions to scholarship and teaching in a field of study.