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.

Macalester selects up to four 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 $1,000.00 per Fellow) and assistance for scholarly-related activities (up to $250.00 per Fellow)

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 Professor Karin Vélez 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 due by 10:00PM on Friday, March 15, 2019.

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 2018

  • 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 2020

  • Cristina Martin, psychology and educational studies

GSEF Alums

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:

Karin Vélez
Associate Professor, History
(651) 696-6254