National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship


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

As long as your area of interest is reasonably considered to be in one or more of these fields, you should be eligible to apply in terms of discipline. If you need help selecting one of our supported disciplines, we recommend you to utilize your academic or research advisor for guidance.

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.

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 no more than two years of full-time years 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.

Applicants who have received a medical degree or Ph.D. in science or engineering are not eligible for the NDSEG fellowship.

For more information on specific academic eligibility cases, please see the Academic Status Eligibility FAQ.

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 2017 must start in September 2017. The NDSEG Fellowship is non-deferrable.

NDSEG Fellows must be enrolled full-time and must be pursuing graduate study at a U.S. institution; the NDSEG Fellowship does not pay for tuition at any non-U.S. institution.

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.

For Frequently Asked Questions about Eligibility, click here.

Suzana Sburlan

Suzana Sburlan, NDSEG Fellow

“The NDSEG Fellowship has been a tremendous benefit to my doctoral research. It allowed me to pursue my own independent interests in electrical engineering and to become skilled in a closely related field of computer science. I gained broad experience and essential knowledge which unlocked many new possibilities for my future scientific career.”