Office of External & Competitive Scholarship Advisement

Soros Fellowship

Every year, the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship invests in the graduate education of 90 New Americans—immigrants and the children of immigrants—who are poised to make significant contributions to U.S. society, culture, or their academic fields.


To be eligible for the Soros Fellowship, you must meet all of the three following sets of conditions:

Status as a New American

  • If you were born outside the United States (as a non citizen), you must, as of November 9, 2013, be either a naturalized citizen or in possession of a green card (i.e., be a resident alien).
  • Note:if you are a foreign student studying in the United States on a student visa, you ARE NOT eligible for this program unless you have a green card in hand on November 9, 2013.
  • If you were born inside the United States, your parents must have been born outside the United States and at least one of them must be a naturalized citizen of this country.


You must not have reached or passed your 31st birthday as of November 9, 2013. In other words, you must have been born on or after November 10, 1982.

Academic Standing

  • You must be a college senior in good standing or hold a bachelor’s degree.
  • If you are currently enrolled in a graduate program in the United States, you must be in your first or second year in that program.
  • If you continued in the same institution and department through a master’s degree to candidacy for a PhD., the two year clock began when you started work on the master’s degree, unless you were awarded your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree concurrently.
  • If you are in a joint degree program, you must be scheduled to start in 2014—or be in the first or second year of—the degree program that you would be pursuing under the fellowship in 2014-2015.
  • Even if you have already been awarded—or will receive in the first half of 2014—a graduate degree, you are eligible to apply for support to cover study in a subsequent graduate degree program in the United States.
  • If you are a college senior, or will not be enrolled in a graduate program as of the application deadline, you will be expected to have decided on a field of study to begin in the Spring or Fall of 2014 and identified graduate programs in the United States to which you plan to apply.

The program uses three primary criteria for selection of fellows and expects that successful candidates will give strong evidence of at least the first two of the following:

  • The candidate has demonstrated creativity, originality and initiative in one or more aspects of her/his life.
  • The candidate has demonstrated a commitment to and capacity for accomplishment that has required drive and sustained effort.
  • The candidate has demonstrated a commitment to the values expressed in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, This would include, but not be limited to, support of human rights and the rule of law, opposition to unwarranted encroachment on personal liberty, and advancing the responsibilities of citizenship in a free society.

Additional Criteria

In addition, the program considers two further criteria:

  • The candidate gives promise of continued significant contributions. Those contributions are likely to reflect distinctive creativity, originality, and initiative and will mark the candidate as a leading and influential figure within her/his fields of endeavor.
  • The candidate’s graduate training is relevant to her/his long-term career goals and is of potential value in enhancing her/his future creativity and accomplishment.

Level Playing Field

Note: The Soros Fellowship seeks to create “a level playing field” for the consideration of applicants from different backgrounds, in different fields, at different stages in their educational development, and of different chronological ages. Because “New Americans” and their families have had very different immigration experiences, we take those differences into account in assessing applicants’ success in meeting the selection criteria.