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The Graduate School - Distinguished Minority Fellows

Distinguished Minority Fellows (DMF) program

WKU is committed to assisting individuals from minority groups in obtaining their higher education goals.  The Distinguished Minority Fellows program is designed to help minority students attain graduate degrees by providing tuition as well as employment opportunities.

Admission into the program is competitive and applicants are encouraged to submit the application materials as early as possible.   Applications are accepted once annually in the Spring for admission for the following Fall semester.

Application Package

  1. Application
  2. Resume or curriculum vitae
  3. Personal statement explaining why you will benefit from the program.   Applicants are encouraged to address how this program will assist their personal goals, beyond simply continuing their education and attaining a graduate degree.  Word limit: 1,000 words. Applications over the 1,000 word limit will not be reviewed.
  4. Arrange to have two letter of personal/professional letters of reference submitted on your behalf.
  5. Submit electronically to:


  • Must be a member of a minority group as defined by the WKU Diversity Plan: African-American; American Indian/Alaskan native; Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander; two or more races; or Hispanic/Latino.
  • Must be a United States citizen.
  • Must be currently enrolled or must be accepted into a masters or doctoral degree program.  Students must be fully admitted to an graduate degree program by the DMF application deadline in order to be considered for the award.
  • Student is ineligible if he/she has received any previous DMF funding.

Post-Award Eligibility

  • Student must be enrolled for no fewer than 6 credit hours for each semester.  During the final semester of the degree program the student is permitted to enroll in fewer than 6 credit hours but greater than 1 credit hour.
  • Student must be in good standing (3.0 GPA or above). Policies regarding students in a probationary status are described in the WKU Graduate Catalog.
  • Student must progress toward the degree by continuous enrollment.  Should enrollment or progression toward the degree be interrupted, the student is ineligible for further DMF support.  However, the student may petition the Selection Committee for reinstatement.
  • Students will receive DMF funding for pursuit of a single degree (i.e. primary degree). If the student chooses to pursue a second degree, DMF will not pay for the courses needed to complete the second degree.  If the student desires to concurrently pursue a second degree, the student must contact the Graduate School to declare a primary degree.  The Dean of the Graduate School reserves the right of designating the primary degree.

Financial Support

  • Students will receive tuition and fees necessary for completion of the primary graduate degree. Courses listed on the Graduate Degree Program (Form C) will be considered those necessary for completion of the graduate degree.
  • The student assumes responsibility for payment of all courses not required for completion of the degree.
  • The student assumes responsibility for payment of all special program and course fees as well any late fees.
  • Students are eligible for a stipend of a value no less than $6,000 per academic year. The Dean of the Graduate School reserves the right of adjusting the annual DMF stipend in accordance with budgetary considerations.
  • DMF students may receive a stipend for 20 hours of work per week for 15 weeks for two semesters during the academic year. To satisfy this requirement, the student must arrange for appropriate employment with a campus entity.   While the list of all possible work arrangements is too lengthy to include here, some possibilities include: duties within a university support or academic office; an internship with a university or external provider; etc.   The Dean of the Graduate School will work cooperatively with all students to ensure each student holds an appropriate assignment.
  • DMF students may also participate in the graduate assistantship program.  DMF students are eligible to apply for a GA through their program of study, however, additional funding will not be awarded.
  • Awardees are eligible for the WKU Graduate Assistant Health Insurance Program.
  • DMF does not cover tuition for the winter term (the three-week session in January).

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 Last Modified 2/6/17