Presidential Graduate Opportunity Program


Note: Faculty and GPOs interested in nominating students should see our Presidential Graduate Opportunity Program Nomination page.


The Presidential Graduate Opportunity Program (PGOP) and related efforts are part of a focused initiative to enhance the diversity, inclusion, and retention of Auburn University’s graduate student population.

The fellowships are to be offered annually to a select number of highly qualified students (current Auburn students or new students) that intend to pursue or who are currently pursuing doctoral degrees in established and emerging areas of excellence.

Program Description

Each year, a minimum of 6 new fellowships will be available for awards to begin in Fall semester of each academic year. Each award will consist of a $10,000 Presidential Fellowship, along with a minimum $5,000 Dean’s Fellowship, and a minimum $15,000 graduate research assistantship, along with tuition support*. Each award will be renewable annually for up to three consecutive years. Additional financial support may be provided in subsequent years by the fellow’s department and college/school.

*Please note that the Graduate Enrollment Fee is not covered by this fellowship.

Funding and Expectations

For each fellowship, $10,000 in annual funding support will come from the President’s Office. Academic units are responsible for the remaining cost (minimum GRA stipend cost of $15,000 per year and Dean’s Fellowship of $5,000 per year along with tuition/fees) for each of the fellowship recipients. Schools/colleges may increase the stipend and Dean’s Fellowship using their own funds above the minimum as they deem appropriate to be most competitive. Recipients will carry the title of Presidential Graduate Opportunity Program (PGOP) Fellows.

It is expected that the:

  • Nominations will be made by the Deans or their designates. Nomination packages will include standardized test scores, transcripts, and letters of support from department/program and college/school. Nomination packages should also include a statement of the expectations for the student and the benefits to his/her degree program. This statement should specifically describe how the enrollment of this student will serve to enhance the diversity of the graduate students in that program.

  • Students interested in being considered for this fellowship should contact the graduate program officer in her/his degree doctoral degree program and request consideration for nomination.

  • Sponsoring programs and colleges/schools are expected to provide scholarly, advising, and mentoring opportunities that will prepare their fellowship recipients for future success in their careers. A summary of the scholarly and professional accomplishments of each PGOP Fellow should be submitted each year by the student’s major professor to the Graduate School.

  • Fellows must adhere to the terms and conditions for a graduate research assistant position in order to retain the doctoral fellowship.

  • Fellows must make satisfactory annual progress towards the degree as determined by the Graduate School, the student’s academic (department, school) unit leader (chair, director, head), and the student’s major professor.

  • If a doctoral fellow requires more than three years for graduate degree completion, the host unit (department/college/school) is responsible for additional funding for further support at the level of the graduate assistantship.

  • Should a doctoral fellow graduate, change degree programs, take an academic leave for more than one semester, leave the university entirely, or not meet the expectations of their assigned graduate assistantship the fellowship will terminate.

  • Prior to designating a Fellow for this award schools/colleges are encouraged to specify their own additional expectations/requirements for fellows within their units.


The financial support package will consist of a student stipend, matching fellowships, and tuition and fee support.  A breakdown of the various elements is as follows.

Living and Education Expenses

GRA Base stipend $15,000 minimum
Dean’s fellowship $5,000 minimum
President’s Fellowship $10,000
Total $30,000 minimum

Tuition and Fees

Provided by the respective college of each fellowship recipient.

Nomination and Selection

To be eligible for consideration for a fellowship, prospective students must meet the previously outlined criteria, have applied or been accepted to the graduate school, and be nominated by the respective college/school dean (or his/her designee) for the program the student intends to pursue. The deadline for the first round of nominations is January 29, 2021. For more information or to show your interest in being nominated for a fellowship, please contact Dr. George Flowers, Dean of the Graduate School ( Please include your program of interest and status of any graduate school application in progress.

Last modified: January 14, 2021