Graduate Scholarships

Scholarship: $5,000 for a degree-seeking graduate program

Applications open: January 19, 2021

Deadline: March 31, 2021 (8:00 PM, ET)

Notified of results: May 2021

Master's degree students: find out if you are eligible for the Susan R. Meisinger Fellowship. 


  • Current SHRM member (professional or student)
  • Enrolled in a degree-seeking masters or doctoral program with at least one full semester remaining before graduation (see additional clarification below), OR accepted and ready to begin your studies within six months*
  • University is a regionally accredited institution of higher learning
  • Degree program is HR-related (e.g. business, psychology, HR, org development, etc.)
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, or if not yet enrolled, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

*If you have already begun your last semester by the notification date (see above), or you have completed your studies, you are not eligible for this award and may not apply for a scholarship to cover past expenses.

How to Apply

Online application including:

  • Contact information
  • Short answer questions about academic, volunteer and work experience, career aspirations, and financial need
  • Current resume
  • Transcripts from an accredited institution.* Universities within the United States must be regionally accredited; Universities outside of the United States must be accredited by a widely recognized accrediting body within the country or by the agency or ministry that oversees higher education within the country.
  • One letter of reference.** Reference letters can be addressed to the 'SHRM Foundation Scholarship Review Committee' and should provide insight into applicant's character, career and/or volunteer accomplishments, work ethic, values and need for the scholarship. Letters may be written by work or volunteer colleagues, coaches, professors, etc. but should not come from family members. 
*Transcripts must be in English. The SHRM Foundation may request an applicant with an international transcript to provide a transcript evaluation (at the applicant's expense), from World Education Services or another reputable service, prior to reviewing an application.

**Applicants must request all letters of reference through our scholarship application system. SHRM Foundation cannot accept recommendation letters directly from applicants.


Scholarship Distribution

If selected to receive a Graduate Academic Scholarship, recipients will be required to provide proof of enrollment and college/university payment instructions. The SHRM Foundation will issue a check not to exceed $5,000 directly to the institution for payment of tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at the educational institution, or for fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses at the educational institution.

Special Considerations:

  • Each scholarship is a one-time award; however previous applicants and past scholarship recipients are eligible to re-apply.  
  • Full-time, part-time, online, and distance learning programs are acceptable. 
  • Scholarships are for college-degree programs only and may not be used to attend professional development seminars.
  • Recipients should intend on submitting proof of enrollment no later than July of the application year in order for the institution to receive timely payment. 

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