National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

Academic Status

How do I determine my current academic status?

Take into account all years of graduate study in the discipline in which you are applying: If you are in graduate school for the first time and this is your first year, select “first-year graduate student," and so on. If you have completed one year of graduate school prior to fall 2016, and you are now in graduate school in the same discipline, select “second-year graduate student," and so on.

Am I considered a first-year graduate student?

You are a first-year graduate student if you have never attended graduate school before, and you are in your first year of graduate school now. You are not a first-year graduate student if you completed a master’s degree and are now in the first year of your Ph.D. program.

Should I select “senior”?

If you are in the final year of your undergraduate studies, then yes, select “senior."

What status should I select if I am in a joint program?

If you are in the last year of a combined bachelor’s-master’s program, select “first-year graduate student”; we count joint programs as including one year of graduate study.

What is the Academic Status Explanation?

In this section, you must describe the circumstances, such as a major change in coursework, which you believe qualify you as being at the early stages of your graduate studies.

If you meet the eligibility requirements explained in the About the NDSEG Fellowship page, you will not need to fill out this section, and it will not be visible either on the sidebar or on the "Status" page. If, however, you select "Other" from the "Academic Status" list, then the"Academic Status Explanation" section link will appear at the bottom of the sidebar on the left, and you will see an entry for it on the "Status" page.

For the applicants who need to fill out this section, eligibility is judged based on the applicant’s written response. NDSEG Fellowships are intended for students at or near the beginning of their graduate studies in science or engineering. For example, you could use this section to explain that you were a student that had switched from Oceanography to Physics and very little or none of your previous work would transfer. Therefore you were essentially starting over in your graduate studies.