The Graduate School Exploration Fellowship (GSEF) Program, funded by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is intended to increase the number of underrepresented students who pursue graduate study, research, and/or teaching careers in higher and post-secondary education.

Each year, Macalester selects up to two talented sophomores, through 2020, to participate in the program.

Comparing MMUF and GSEF

Program Benefits

  • On-campus mentoring opportunities from Macalester College faculty and staff
  • Participation in two Annual Summits in Chicago in each summer of the program
  • A paid summer research opportunity following their junior year at a Big Academic Alliance Institution or the University of Chicago
  • Graduate school visit assistance funds during senior year (up to $1,000 per Fellow) and assistance for scholarly-related activities (up to $250 per Fellow, per year)

Applying to the Program

The application is a .pdf form that you can complete digitally or handwritten. Included with the application, in separate documents, should be a statement of research interests (500-1000 words), a personal statement (500-1200 words), an unofficial transcript, and preferably two faculty letters of recommendation. Completed applications should be e-mailed to Matthew Katsaros in the IGC Dean’s Office (

You can read more about the essays in the GSEF Application Guide 2019.

To submit a Letter of Recommendation the faculty member should write the letter, then submit it as a .pdf document in the Letter of Recommendation Form.

Download the GSEF Application.

Applications are no longer being accepted.

Selection Criteria

All qualified sophomores from groups underrepresented in the professoriate are encouraged to apply, including:

  • African Americans; Hispanics; Native Americans; Alaska Natives; Native Hawaiians; other Pacific Islanders
  • First-generation college students
  • Individuals who have followed non-traditional pathways to college due to exceptional talent and motivation in the face of adversity, such as societal, economic or academic disadvantages
  • Individuals with a demonstrated commitment to applying and including diverse backgrounds and perspectives to learning, scholarship, service and leadership in the academy

Additionally, students must meet the following criteria for eligibility:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident of the U.S., or DACA student
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher at the time of application
  • Have a strong interest in pursuing graduate work in the humanities, humanistic social sciences, and/or the arts

Eligible Fields of Study

Anthropology and Archaeology
Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies
Communications and Journalism
Foreign Languages and Literatures
Library and Archival Studies
Political Science
Religion and Theology

Learn More: Graduate School Exploration Fellowship (GSEF) Web Page

Current Fellows

Class of 2021

  • Nancy Gomez, psychology and educational studies
  • Swopnil Shrestha, educational studies and political science

Class of 2020

  • Cristina Martin, psychology and educational studies

GSEF Alums

Class of 2019

  • Min Hee Cho, political science and economics
  • Umar Hassan, political science
  • Cameron Hill, sociology and hispanic studies
  • Micheala Sharp, computer science and classics and media & cultural studies

Class of 2018

  • Ashanté Alford, psychology/neuroscience
  • Cecilia Caro, anthropology and educational studies
  • Giselle Lora, anthropology and Latin American studies
  • Allegra Wyatt, psychology and anthropology


Any questions should be directed to:

Faculty Coordinator
Arthur Mitchell
Assistant Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures
(651) 696-6276

Administrative Coordinator
Matthew Katsaros
Staff Assistant, Kofi Annan Institute for Global Citizenship
(651) 696-6382