Application Process

Click here to download the application [pdf]

Graduation Plan (If you have not filed a Petition for Candidacy and attached it) [pdf]

All applicants must be eligible to apply to the Graduate Equity Fellowship. Please confirm your own eligibility by reviewing the Eligibility Requirements. Please also review the Graduate Equity Fellowship application guidelines listed below to help ensure you write the strongest possible application. We have also provided Tips for a Successful Application.

Carefully read the Graduate Equity Fellowship application. Type your answers. Use the first page as a checklist to ensure your application package is complete.

Application Guidelines

  1. Carefully read the Eligibility Requirements to determine whether you are eligible for this award.

  2. Complete the two-page application form and provide necessary documentation (Student Aid Report (SAR) or California Dream Act documentation (CADAA), Personal Statement, graduate and undergraduate transcripts, two Letters of Recommendation, and Advancement to Candidacy form or Graduation Plan showing all courses taken or to be taken in completing your master’s program). Be sure to provide accurate contact information so that our office can reach you.

  3. The application requires two letters of recommendation from SJSU faculty members, one of whom will serve as your mentor during the award period. Select faculty members who are best able to write about your strengths and abilities. If the Fall 2024 semester will be your first semester at SJSU, you may submit one letter from a faculty member at your bachelor's degree-granting institution and another from your SJSU faculty mentor. These letters of recommendation may be in the form of an email addressed to with "GEF - Student Name" in the subject line. It is your responsibility to check with your mentor and other faculty members to make sure these emails have been sent prior to the deadline.

    Suggestion: Provide the faculty members with a copy of the Graduate Equity Fellowship Application Guidelines to help them understand the purpose of the Graduate Equity Program and focus their letter. You may also ask the faculty members to proofread your personal statement. Having faculty members read it will help you catch unnecessary errors and will give them more information about your goals.

  4. The Personal Statement is a persuasive narrative that highlights your strengths and abilities. Be sure to answer everything that is asked in the prompt. Most importantly: Given the purpose of the Graduate Equity Fellowship, use your personal statement to highlight how and why you are a strong candidate to receive a fellowship. The Personal Statement is to be a typed 500-word, double-spaced, single-sided essay. Be sure your name and Student ID are on each page.

  5. Use the Honors and Activities section to list any extracurricular activities, recognitions and memberships, awards, and work or volunteer experience in which you have participated in to advance your educational and career goals. Include dates and other relevant information. You may also include a C.V. or resume that highlights your honors and activities.

Submission Guidelines

  1. Letters of recommendation may be in email form from the submitter and may be sent to the student (if the faculty wishes) or directly to the College of Graduate Studies (see above).

  2. The final package should be sent as one pdf from the student that includes the application, FASFA/CADAA report, graduate and undergraduate transcripts (official or unofficial), Advancement to Candidacy or Graduation Plan, and any letters of recommendation sent to you directly instead of the College of Graduate Studies.

  3. The pdf package must be emailed to and the subject line should be worded "GEF - Student Name."

NOTE: Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the program committee. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure that all documents are emailed as required by the submission requirements

NOTE: Letters (or emails) of recommendation from faculty mentors must state their willingness to act as the applicant's mentor within the text of the application.