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.

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

It is expected that:

  • 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.
    • The benefits of being a PGOP fellow to his/her degree program.
    • A specific description of how enrollment of this student will serve to enhance the diversity of the graduate students in that program.
    • The name of a faculty member who agrees to serve as the student’s personal contact, advisor and mentor throughout their time in the program.
  • Sponsoring programs and colleges/schools are required 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 to the Graduate School by the student’s designated advisor/mentor.

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

  • Fellows are expected to participate in the networking, mentoring, and professional development opportunities offered by the Graduate School.
  • 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 advisor/mentor.

  • 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.

  • Colleges can 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

A full graduate student tuition waiver (both in-state and out-of-state) will be provided by the respective college of each fellowship recipient. Graduate student fees are not included in this fellowship.

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 nominations is January 29 (annually). If this nomination deadline falls over a weekend or holiday, submissions are due by 8:00 am CT on the next business day.


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: February 16, 2023