Dean's Merit Award

Students must already be accepted by one of the approved programs of excellence before being considered for the Dean's Merit Award.

Purpose of the Award

In an effort to recruit out-of-state graduate students of exceptional merit and ability, the Graduate School has established the Dean’s Merit Award (DMA) under Montana Board of Regents (BoR) Higher Education Policy #940.31 (adopted:  March 20, 2003 / revised:  November 19, 2010). This policy provides a means to develop a tuition reduction program (to 100% of resident tuition) for a limited number of out-of-state graduate students who have won prestigious scholarships from national and international programs of distinction (e.g., Fulbright).

Eligibility Requirements

The Graduate Council will establish a process for domestic or international programs of distinction to be designated as a DMA ‘Program of Excellence,’ approved by the Graduate Dean. Programs must have a national, competitive selection process and represent the highest standards of excellence in a field. Students recruited under this award must show the promise to contribute substantially to the University through research, academic performance, and future professional potential.  Once on that list, all students from a designated program will be eligible to receive this award, but programs must still apply on behalf of their students by May 1st. Any application received after this date may be rejected, even if the program is on the list, due to limitations of funding.

Program Management

The Graduate School will manage the annual allocation of these awards, which will typically be limited to eight.

Application Process

  • Receive an award from one of the approved programs of excellence.
  • Fill out the application form by May 1st. Applications received after that deadline will receive the lowest priority for funding. No applications will be accepted after July 1st.
  • Send the form to in the Graduate School.

Award Renewal

The student will keep the award for the duration of the program as long as they:

  1. Maintain good academic standing, average GPA of 3.5.
  2. Be registered full time (9 credits). PhD students who have advanced to candidacy may petition to take fewer than 9 credits if their advisors attest to their progress toward completion. No DMA student may take fewer than 3 credits except in the circumstances articulated in the Graduate School’s Continuous Registration Policy (B3.000). 
  3. Make appropriate progress toward completion as assessed by the student’s graduate committee and reported to the Graduate School.

Approved Programs of Excellence

  • American Council of Learned Societies
  • American Psychological Society
  • Beinecke Scholarship Program
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grants
  • DAAD - German Academic Exchange Service
  • Department of Education Grants & Fellowships
  • Department of State Grants & Fellowships
  • European Union's Marie Curie Fellowships
  • Ford Foundation
  • Fulbright
  • German Marshall Fund of the U.S. Fellowships
  • Institute of International Education (IIE)
  • NASA (national awards, not state-level awards)
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • NIH Grants & Fellowships
  • NSF Grants & Fellowships
  • Truman Capote Literary Trust
  • USAID Pre-Approved graduate programs