Advanced education is the key to success in the 21st century knowledge economy.

Advanced education is the key to success in the 21st century knowledge economy. It is a major asset for growth and improvement in the quality of life in the United States and around the world. 

Your support of graduate students at MSU helps us to prepare bold, innovative thinkers and leaders. It also strengthens Michigan State University and the communities we serve by supporting young scholars and their research. 

Graduate students are researchers; their work has the potential to shape the decisions of tomorrow. Working collaboratively with faculty mentors, our graduate students are both acquiring skills and techniques while sharing their own knowledge with others. Graduate students are also teachers, helping to educate undergraduate students and providing them with the skills they need to succeed. They assist faculty in teaching courses, lead courses of their own, and work in small sessions with students to help them master new concepts and to grow intellectually. 

Graduate students also share their knowledge with colleagues around the world through conference and professional development opportunities. 

Additional funding is needed to provide graduate fellowships and improve programs offered through the Graduate School that will benefit even more students. University Distinguished Fellowships and University Enrichment Fellowships are used to help Michigan State recruit the best and brightest graduate students from around the country. They are competitively awarded based upon academic excellence, leadership potential, and contribution to a diverse educational community. MSU Graduate School’s professional development programs help students develop the research, teaching, and presentation skills they will need in future careers in academia or industry and wellness programs help ensure they develop the fortitude to succeed in a rigorous graduate program. 

By investing in fellowships you will ensure that Michigan State can continue to attract the brightest minds to its graduate programs, strengthening our teaching and research mission, and providing significant incentives that encourage the best faculty to make MSU their home. 

"Graduate fellowship funds make it possible to bring the top graduate students to Michigan State University. Our fellowships support students who will be the next generation of leaders and change agents in the public and private sectors. Many of these students are the first in their families who have attended college; most are the first to pursue a post-baccalaureate degree. Giving to university graduate fellowships affects more than individual students: it is an investment in bettering our collective future. Your gift will support the next generation who will be solving tomorrow’s difficult problems and helping the country to remain competitive in a global economy." Judith Stoddart, PhD Interim Associate Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FIZ1lkJlrk

Empower Extraordinary: Graduate Education Campaign Priorities

Supporting Graduate Students 

Named University Distinguished Fellowship 

Your gift of $1,000,000 creates a named University Distinguished Fellowship endowment. Each University Distinguished Fellowship helps support a doctoral student who is among the best and brightest at MSU. This award will be used for recruitment of students and completion of their degrees. An investment in a University Distinguished Fellowship endowment is an investment in the next generation of leaders to tackle society’s most pressing problems. 

Named University Enrichment Fellowship 

Your gift of $1,000,000 creates a named University Enrichment Fellowship endowment. Each University Enrichment Fellowship helps support a doctoral student who is among the best and brightest at MSU and helps the university to create an excellent and diverse student body. This award will be used for recruitment of students and completion of their degrees. 

Named Dissertation Completion Fellowship 

Your gift of $120,000 - $125,000 creates a named Dissertation Completion Fellowship endowment. Each dissertation completion fellowship supports an excellent doctoral student as he/she completes their PhD program and launches their career. 

Enhancing the Student Experience 

Named International Experience Fellowship 

Your gift of $125,000 creates a named International Experience Fellowship endowment. These awards provide a financial aid package to cover expenses related to international study programs and research abroad. These programs broaden horizons, expand understanding and send an MSU graduate student out to be influenced and to influence others. 

Named Academic Experience Fellowship 

Your gift of $100,000 creates a named Academic Experience Fellowship endowment. These awards support graduate students and allow them to participate in academic and research experiences off campus and across the globe. 

Named Conference Travel Fellowship 

Your gift of $50,000 creates a named Conference Travel Fellowship endowment. Awards support expenses related to travel and conferences allowing high quality students to present their research in the United States and around the world. 

Supporting Strategic Initiatives 

Gifts of any size can be contributed to this fund. Funds will be spent on areas of strategic significance to the Graduate School, that may include: career & professional development for students; research enhancement student support; interdisciplinary research support to solve society’s difficult issues; and programs for the improvement of teaching skills for future faculty.

Things To Consider When Supporting Fellowships


  • Gifts to the Graduate School will receive credit for Michigan State University donor recognition groups. 
  • Multi-year pledges to support the Graduate School are encouraged. Gifts payable over five years are readily accommodated. 
  • If you or your spouse work for a matching gift company, your gift may be matched at a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio from your company. 
  • The University Scholarships & Fellowships Advancement Office would be pleased to discuss how you may include the Graduate School in your estate plans.

Featured Fund

University Distinguished Fellowship Fund

Graduate fellowships allow students increased opportunities to engage in innovative research, and the opportunity to take full advantage of the intellectual community at MSU, while they focus on their academic pursuits.

Make a Gift
Featured Fund

Graduate School Dean's Strategic Initiatives Fund

Gifts of any size can be contributed to this fund. Funds will be spent on areas of strategic significance to the Graduate School.

Make a Gift
Frequently Asked Questions

I want to create a scholarship or fellowship at Michigan State University. What are my next steps?

If you would like to create a scholarship or fellowship to benefit students at MSU, please contact our office by email at Empower@SupportForStudents.msu.edu or by phone at 1-517-432-7345. We are happy to assist you in the process of creating a gift in support of our students. Our office will work with you to draft a legal endowment or expendable fund agreement, outlining the criteria and procedures for dispersing the award.

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We're Feeling Thankful for Our Supporters

Student scholarship recipients stand with Sparty in front of The Rock. The Rock is painted to read "Thank You For Giving."

Thank you to all who support students at Michigan State University!

Fight Song Tweet-A-Long

Sparty stands with the marching band

On September 2, in celebration of College Colors Day, several university Twitter accounts had a Fight Song Tweet-A-Long. We've gathered their messages below so you can see the full conversation.

Trained to Jump Out of Airplanes... and to Carry the Burden of Care

Skip Shipley in an operating room

Spartan Nurse Skip Shipley (Captain, U.S. Army Reserve) graduated from the ROTC in 1993, and later returned to MSU for his MSN. Scholarship and fellowship support helped him along the way.

Throwback: What Is In Linton Hall Tower?

Linton Hall depicted on a postcard from 1910

An article originally published in fall 1993 shares the secrets of the tower perched atop Linton Hall.

See-and-Do at MSU: September 2016 Edition

A panoramic view of campus with fall colors in the tree leaves

Each month we curate a list of events and opportunities that may be of interest to you. This is your guide to things to see and do on campus (or online!) during the month of September.

Iceland to California, a Summer Story

Jaaz and his friends in Iceland

This post comes from Jaaz Catterall, a student staff member in our office. Jaaz is studying at MSU on a generous full-ride scholarship. This financial freedom allowed for some very interesting summer adventures, which we've asked him to share. Enjoy!