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Olson Scholars Application

How to Apply

The application deadline for Academic Year 2017 - 2018 is Friday, March 24, at 5:00 PM.

With the exception of recommendation letters, all application materials should be uploaded as a single PDF file using the form at the bottom of this page.

Application Materials

I. Cover sheet containing your name, project title (for proposed research project referenced below), GPA from first semester, and the name of your letter-writer.

II. Current resume

III. Three short essays; 500 words for each essay (single-spaced please, standard 12 point font). All should have a general international studies focus:

  1. Describe a moment of “intellectual clarity” that happened in or as a result of a class in your first semester. This might be an experience that stimulated you to think about something in a new way, that confirmed your interest in a given topic, or that challenged your preconceived ideas about a topic or problem in international studies.
  2. Conducting original research is at the core of the “2nd year experience” for SIS undergraduate students. Describe a question or a problem that you would like to research in depth in your 2nd year, paying particular attention to why you would like to research your chosen question and why it constitutes an international studies puzzle that merits substantial research.
  3. All the students in the Olson Program are pursuing different topics and using a wide variety of methods, and as such the Program requires students to complete some of their learning independently, and to be proactive in seeking out assistance and advice where required. For your third short essay, describe a challenge or experience that has prepared you for this kind of independent work.

IV. Letter of recommendation from an SIS instructor; this could include your World Politics TA from the Fall, or your First Year Seminar professor, or any other member of the SIS faculty who knows you and can speak to your fitness for the Olson Scholars program. Letters of recommendation should be submitted straight to sisundergraduatescholarship@american.edu by the SIS faculty member, and not with the student's other application materials.

Please direct any further questions to sisundergraduatescholarship@american.edu.

Application Form