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Graduate Fellowships & Scholarships

The School of Communication offers prestigious merit-based fellowships in partnership with leading Washington, DC-based organizations. These fellowships allow you to gain professional experience while completing your graduate program. Each fellowship provides varying amounts of tuition remission and stipend funding. A separate application is required.

The School of Communication considers applicants for merit-based named scholarships at the time of admission. No separate application is required. These scholarships are awarded based on the criteria established by the scholarship’s donors. Additional scholarships are available to continuing students. A separate application is required for some, while other scholarships are awarded based on need and merit.

Global Media

Fellowships

The Public Diplomacy Council (PDC) is a nonprofit organization committed to fostering greater public recognition of public diplomacy in the conduct of foreign affairs. PDC serves as a resource and advocate for the teaching, training and development of public diplomacy as an academic discipline, while promoting the importance of the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy. Its members, composed of Foreign Service and public diplomacy professionals, active and retired, as well as academics dedicated to public diplomacy scholarship, believe that understanding, informing, and influencing foreign publics and dialogue between Americans and United Stats institutions and their counterparts abroad are vital to the national interest and core elements of 21st century American diplomacy.

This fellowship will promote PDC's core mission, support ongoing activities, and develop individual learning and research objectives relating to public diplomacy that are consistent with and that enhance the fellow's academic program.

QUALIFICATIONS

Ideally, the Public Diplomacy Council is looking for a graduate fellow who would combine the following:

  • Appreciation for the field of public diplomacy and desire to learn more.
  • Experience or interest in conference event planning, policy writing, and research project development.
  • Superior oral presentation skills and network building abilities.
  • Background in website management.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Applied and accepted to the MA in Global Media
  • Enrolled full-time (9 credits or more)
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident

HOW TO APPLY

Please submit, as part of your application to the MA in Global Media program, the following documents:

  • 2-3 page cover letter describing your interest in/qualifications for the fellowship
  • Resume
  • 1-2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Writing sample, or other comparable product, e.g. short documentary or blog post, on a topic of relevance to the fellowship and/or which demonstrates your aptitude for the fellowship

Compensation: $15,000 stipend
Application Deadline: April 30


Please email GradComm@american.edu if you have any additional questions.

Political Communication

Fellowships

Through a gift from the Rev. James B. Simpson, the School of Communication (SOC) at American University provides graduate fellowships to direct the Simpson website.

The database currently houses almost 3,000 quotations and is updated regularly to reflect a variety of quotations from a wide range of sources, including news talk shows, pop culture events, social media, and recently published books and magazines.

Fellow Responsibilities

  • Provide a quote each day, seven days a week (this can be done at the end of each week)
  • Oversee hosting and design of site, including visual aesthetics and functionality such as searches
  • Coordinate sharing quotes on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.)
  • Regular (monthly) tracking of web traffic (total site visitors, new visitors, etc.)
  • Implement a communication plan to drive additional traffic to the site (including web advertising, contests, outreach to other campus groups, and publications, etc.);
  • Submit final report in August

Qualifications

  • Understanding of the importance of quotations in contemporary communication.
  • Having a vision for how the quotations and the site can be leveraged to enhance the School of Communication
  • Editing, writing, new media, and HTML experience preferred.
  • Ability to manage and update the website.

Eligibility

  • applied and accepted to the MA in Political Communication
  • Enrolled full-time (9 credits or more)
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.

How to Apply

Please submit, as part of your application to the MA in Political Communication program, the following documents:

  1. Please spend time reviewing the Fellow Responsibilities above. Write a brief statement (no more than 2 pages) summarizing your qualifications for performing the work and any ideas/suggestions you have for improving the site.
  2. Please name your statement "Simpson Fellowship Application Statement" and upload it with your application AND also email it to the program director Molly O'Rourke.

Compensation: TBD. Award may be renewed for a second year at a different rate of compensation.
Application Deadline: Feburary 1

Scholarships

This scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding graduate student(s) who exemplifies Dotty Lynch's passion for politics, journalism and ethics, while embracing Dotty's commitment to excellence in the field.

Requirements

  • Applied and admitted to the Political Communication program U.S. citizenship or permanent resident
  • Enrolled full time

Film & Media Arts

Scholarships

This scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding graduate student in the School of Communication with an interest in environmental, natural history, or wildlife filmmaking. Scholarship recipients are selected by a faculty committee based on their resume and an essay detailing the student's aspirations and interest in the field. Named for the parents of Professor Chris Palmer, the scholarship was established in 2013 by Professor Palmer and his wife Gail Shearer.

Number of awards: 1
Application Deadline: July 1
Contact Professor Chris Palmer for more information.

This scholarship is awarded annually to students in order to further the Center's mission to produce the next generation of environmental and wildlife filmmakers. Scholars are chosen during the second year of their graduate program, when they have accumulated at least 18 credit hours and are about to embark on their thesis projects. Part-time students are eligible. Scholars are students in good standing; have a record of excellence in film, video, or new media production; and have a minimum GPA of 3.5.

Number of awards: 5 or more
Amount: $2,000
Application Deadline: December 1
Contact Professor Chris Palmer to apply.

The Center for Environmental Filmmaking Challenge Prize is an annual competition open to School of Communication second-year graduate students who have overcome (or are overcoming) challenges and adversity in their lives such as poverty, marginalization, racism, or personal tragedy, and who plan to use environmental and wildlife media to influence personal behavior or public policy and make the world a better place.

To apply, you must be in good academic standing in a School of Communication graduate program, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5.

Each awardee will be expected to give an inspirational five-minute presentation at a Center for Environmental Filmmaking event reflecting on how they will use media to change the world. The presentations will be videotaped and posted on the Center's website. Awardees can work with Professor Chris Palmer to develop their presentation-the goal is to practice effective public speaking and inspire other students.

Application Requirements:

  • Submit a resume.
  • Provide a personal statement of no more than two pages double-spaced that addresses the adversities you have overcome or are currently facing.
  • Provide a synopsis of no more than 300 words of your envisioned media project.
  • E-mail application materials to Professor Chris Palmer.

Number of awards: 3 to 5
Amount: $3,000
Application deadline: October 1

Scholarships will be awarded annually to outstanding graduate students in Film and Media Arts whose focus is documentary filmmaking to assist them in completing their films for use in their career portfolio of work or to enter them in film festivals. Funds would typically be used for finishing purposes such as audio mixing, color or sound correction, titling, or editorial consulting. Funds could also be used for defraying the costs associated with entering competitions and festivals, like duplication costs, shipping expenses, or entry fees. This scholarship has been established in honor of Professor John Stephen Douglass.

Number of awards: 1 or more
Amount: $2,000-$2,500
Contact GradComm@american.edu for more information.

This fund provides scholarship support to deserving second- or third-year graduate students with demonstrated financial need and in good academic standing who are studying Film and Media Arts.

Number of awards: 1 or more
Contact GradComm@american.edu for more information.

Journalism & Public Affairs

Fellowships

The Washington Post is one of the world's premier news organizations in print and online. The newspaper maintains an array of bureaus around the world, reports on all aspects of national politics and federal government, and covers greater Washington, an increasingly diverse region that includes the nation's capital and its suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, including both state capital bureaus. The region boasts one of the highest per capita incomes in America and features rich ethnic and racial diversity. With around 60 reporters, The Washington Post's local staff is the region's dominant news gathering organization. Post reporters cover government, politics, crime, social issues, transportation, development, and education; they write feature and trend stories; they investigate major local institutions; and they blog, shoot video, chat online, and work intensively with databases.

Qualifications

  • Two to five years of newspaper experience, doing high-caliber work.
  • A career devoted to journalism, with a focus on deep reporting and elegant writing.
  • Superb work ethic, willing to take direction, and ability to multi-task.
  • Experience in reporting on or background in religion, transportation, education, law enforcement, or government is a plus.
  • Ability to blog and create other engaging digital content is a plus.

Eligibility

  • Applied and accepted to the MA in Journalism & Public Affairs
  • Enrolled full-time (9 credits or more)
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status

How to apply

Please submit, as part of your application to the MA in Journalism and Public Affairs program, the following documents:

  • Cover letter, no more than two pages, describing your interest and qualifications for the fellowship
  • Up to three (3) samples of work
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation, addressing your professional qualifications and potential in regards to the fellowship.

Compensation: Full tuition remission and approximately a $30,000 stipend
Application Deadline: April 30 or until filled

The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) is a nonprofit digital news organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. Journalists, FOIA experts, researchers, and data experts conduct domestic and cross-border investigations into a wide range of topics, including the environment, health policy, national security, juvenile justice, government accountability, federal and state lobbying, and financial regulatory reform. Projects and stories are produced on the CPI website and distributed through mainstream media outlets.

Qualifications

  • Deep reporting experience.
  • Strong writing skills.
  • Experience and/or interest in investigative journalism.

Eligibility

  • Applied and accepted to the MA in Journalism and Public Affairs
  • Enrolled full-time (9 credits or more)
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status is required

How to apply 

Please submit, as part of your application to the MA in Journalism and Public Affairs program, the following documents:

  • Cover letter, no more than two pages, describing your interest and qualifications for the fellowship
  • Up to three (3) samples of work
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation, addressing your professional qualifications and potential in regards to the fellowship.

Compensation: Minimum of 18 credits of tuition remission and approximately a $30,000 stipend

Application Deadline: April 30 or until filled

The Investigative Reporting Workshop (IRW) conducts significant multimedia investigative journalism projects on a national and international scale. IRW mentors and enables the work of a new generation of investigative reporters while also enlarging the public space for leading journalists of our time to work with IRW as Senior Fellows or contract writers. IRW partners with The Washington Post and PBS FRONTLINE for research and reporting assignments.

Qualifications

  • One to three years of reporting experience.
  • Strong writing skills.
  • Data journalism and/or visual journalism skills.

Eligibility

  • Applied and accepted into MA in Journalism and Public Affairs
  • Enrolled full-time (9 credits or more)
  • International student or permanent resident

How to apply

Please submit, as part of your application to the MA in Journalism and Public Affairs program, the following documents:

  • Cover letter, no more than two pages, describing your interest and qualifications for the fellowship
  • Up to three (3) samples of work
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation, addressing your professional qualifications and potential in regards to the fellowship.

Compensation: Minimum of 18 credits of tuition remission and stipend
Application Deadline: April 30 or filled

The School of Communication is a member of the Campus Consortium of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. The consortium is a core component of the Center's efforts to create awareness campaigns around global systemic issues. The Pulitzer Center relies on their extensive international network of journalists and partner institutions to foster broader discussions and more nuanced analysis of concerns that span disciplines, from journalism and business to law, religion and public health.

Pulitzer Center Fellows are selected for international reporting projects involving underreported systemic issues. Center staff and journalists act as mentors throughout the fellowship, with final products featured on the Pulitzer Center website. Fellows also work with the Pulitzer Center in efforts to further disseminate the work through media partners. AU's Center for Latin American and Latino Studies is a contributing partner to this initiative.

For one of the fellowships: AU’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) is a contributing partner. One of the fellows will focus on subject matter related to the Center's work on Latin American affairs. The primary goal of this fellowship is to make a short film on the selected subject matter. Professor Bill Gentile may accompany the winner during the production stage of the video project in a foreign country. For the other fellowship: The student may propose any topic and region of his or her choosing.

Eligibility

  • Any current AU student may apply for the fellowships
  • One of the fellowships will be rewarded to a student enrolled in a program within the School of Communication
  • Enrolled full-time (minimum 9 credits for graduate students; 12 credits for undergraduate students)
  • U.S. citizenship, permanent resident status, or international application

How to Apply

  • Contact Bill Gentile for an application
  • Completed Application (submit hard copy and electronic copy to Bill Gentile)
  • A 250-word project description, this is a key component to a successful application
  • Resume
  • 2-3 examples of work
  • One letter of recommendation, can be from one of the references
  • Compensation: $2,500
    Application Deadline: March 30

Scholarships

This scholarship was established in 2005 in honor of renowned newsman Ed Bliss, Jr. As a pioneer in journalism, he served as editor to Edward R. Murrow and founded the journalism program at American University. His life and dedication to excellence in journalism inspired many School of Communication students who now hold key positions in print, broadcast, and interactive journalism. Each year, this prestigious scholarship is awarded to an outstanding graduate student with financial need who exemplifies Ed Bliss's passion for journalism, embodies his respect for journalistic values, and embraces his commitment to excellence in writing.

Robert Bunnell, MA ’82, attended American University as a visiting student his senior year and completed his graduate education here in 1982 before his early death at age 38. The scholarship is awarded to an incoming graduate student in Journalism and Public Affairs with both financial need and academic merit.

Pauline Frederick Robbins was a trailblazing female network news correspondent who graduated with a bachelor’s from American University in 1930. Pauline worked for NBC for 21 years and helped further the role of numerous women in the field of news broadcasting. This scholarship is awarded to a female graduate student in broadcast journalism who shows outstanding potential in and passion for the field of radio or television broadcasting.

This scholarship is awarded to a graduate student specializing in print journalism who demonstrates exceptional promise for professional excellence and achievement in their chosen field. This scholarship was made possible by the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Earl K. Van Swearingen, friends of American University and ardent supporters of excellence in print journalism and writing.