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.

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 submitted online and requires a completed application form, a statement of research interests and a personal statement (no more than 250 words each), an unofficial transcript, and preferably two faculty letters of recommendation. Please plan to complete your statements before you start your application because you cannot save and return to your application at a later time. You can read more about the essays in the Application Information sheet.

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.

The application deadline was Friday, March 31, 2017.

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

  • 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:

Alicia Muñoz
Associate Dean, Institute for Global Citizenship
Associate Professor of Hispanic and Latin American Studies
(651) 696-6509