Udall Undergraduate Scholarship

UCI (Big 7 Pre-Application) Mandatory Advising Deadline:

November 14, 2019 at 12:00 noon Pacific Time for Fall 2020 funding

Access the Udall Scholarship Pre-Application between September and October annually to begin the mandatory advising process.


The Udall Foundation awards approximately 50 scholarships of up to $7,000 each to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to addressing either environmental challenges, or the health, policy and general welfare of Native American nations.

The Udall scholarship honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.


Eligibility for the Udall scholarship requires meeting the following criteria:

The Environment category is open to all students who meet the below criteria:

  • A full-time undergraduate sophomore or junior, intended to graduate in 2021 or 2022;
  • A U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. permanent resident.

The Tribal Policy and Native Health Care categories require the following additional criteria:

  • You must be enrolled in a state or federally recognized Native American tribe or band;
  • One or more of your parents or grandparents was an enrolled member of a state or federally recognized Native American tribe or band.

Please note that external scholarship agencies will consider all of your credit-bearing coursework from any college or institution as part of the review process (including CSU, community colleges, private colleges or other UC campuses/Extension programs, and including units earned while in high school). Grades from other colleges will be included in calculation of your overall GPA for eligibility purposes.

SOP Required Advising Process

Campus endorsement (nomination) is a required component of the Udall Scholarship application. You may NOT apply directly to the Udall Foundation. Working with SOP staff advisors during Fall & Winter quarters to produce a competitive fellowship application is mandatory.

Candidates are nominated by their college or university. The first step requires submission of a brief Udall Scholarship Pre-Application with your contact information, graduation date, etc. to confirm eligibility to apply. Eligible students will then be assigned to a primary staff advisor, who will provide strategic advice, instructions for submitting drafts for personalized feedback, and other helpful resources.

In mid-November, SOP staff review Pre-Applications, determine whether you are eligible for the scholarship and the research program you have chosen, and meet with potential applicants to discuss their candidacy and subsequent steps. Eligible candidates will receive an invitation to join our Big 7 Canvas Course, where you will find prompts, deadlines, and detailed instructions for how to prepare the following application first-draft materials, which will be used in the nomination review committee meeting.

All candidates submit:

  • An online application form (a sample of which can be found here);
  • An 800-word essay on a speech, legislative act, book, or public policy statement by either Morris K. Udall or Steward L. Udall and its impact on your interests and goals;
  • Transcripts for all coursework for which you have received college credit;
  • Three (3) letters of recommendations, including individuals who can attest to your leadership and public service abilities, as well as at least one academic letter from a faculty member.
  • Copy of the nominee’s Permanent Resident or tribal verification (if applicable).

1st drafts of the complete application materials will be due to the SOP office at noon on January 8, 2019, along with contact information for potential writers for your letters of recommendation. These drafts will be used in the nomination process.

The campus endorsement (nomination) committee will review 1st drafts and select up to four (4) nominees for the Environment category and up to four (4) additional nominees for either Tribal Policy or Native Healthcare. Selection will be made with consideration of the Udall Foundation’s motto “Civility, Integrity, Consensus” and the applicant’s academic achievements, personal characteristics, and commitment to the environment, or to tribal policy and/or healthcare.

UCI’s nominees will receive detailed feedback for revision of their materials in January, and work closely with staff advisors in February to prepare a final revision for submission to the Udall Foundation.

Letters for nominees should be signed, on letterhead, and submitted directly to SOP by email at sklrship@uci.edu, campus mail (Zot code 5695), or drop them off in person at our office (193 Science Library, in the Writing Center), on January 23, 2020.

Selection Procedures

In 2019, the Udall Foundation awarded scholarships to 55 sophomores and juniors from 50 colleges and universities, selected from 443 candidates at 227 colleges and universities.

In 2005, Sara Huber (Civil Engineering) received an Honorable Mention.

In 1997, Jennifer Janis (Environmental Analysis & Design) received a Udall Scholarship.


Udall Scholarship covers eligible expenses for tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually, including institutions other than your home institutions with additional documentation.

For More Information

Further information and applications are available at the Udall website.

For applications and more information, contact the Scholarship Opportunities Program at 824-0189. We are located within the Center for Excellence in Writing & Communication, on the first floor of Science Library (Building 520).

SOP is able to advise competitive undergraduate candidates at UC Irvine only.

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