National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) || Eligibility, Requirements, and Application Process

The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) is a prestigious funding opportunity offered by the Department of Defense (DoD) to support outstanding graduate students pursuing doctoral degrees in science and engineering disciplines.

The fellowship aims to foster a strong pool of talented individuals who can contribute to the national defense needs of the United States.

In this article, we will explore the eligibility criteria, requirements, and application process for the NDSEG fellowship.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the NDSEG fellowship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

• Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

• The fellowship is open to students pursuing doctoral degrees in one of the following disciplines: Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Biosciences, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Cognitive, Neural, and Behavioral Sciences, Computer and Computational Sciences, Electrical Engineering, Geosciences, Materials Science and Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, Oceanography, Physics.

• Applicants must have received or be on track to receive a bachelor’s degree and must have completed less than two years of full-time graduate study (as of August 1 of the application year).

• Individuals currently on active duty in the armed services are not eligible for the fellowship.

Application Deadlines

The application deadlines for the NDSEG fellowship typically fall in late October, although the specific date may vary depending on the discipline.


Applicants for the NDSEG fellowship must fulfill the following requirements:

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• A well-defined and compelling research proposal relevant to the defense needs of the United States is a crucial component of the application.

The proposal should showcase the applicant’s innovative ideas and potential contributions to their chosen field of study.

• Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended must be submitted. These transcripts should demonstrate academic excellence and a strong foundation in the chosen discipline.

• Three letters of recommendation are required, highlighting the applicant’s intellectual ability, research potential, and commitment to their field of study. It is advisable to choose recommenders who can provide a comprehensive assessment of the applicant’s qualifications.

• A well-crafted personal statement that outlines the applicant’s academic and research background, career goals, and motivation for pursuing the NDSEG fellowship is essential. The statement should also highlight any relevant experiences, achievements, or leadership roles.

• While not mandatory, submitting standardized test scores (such as the GRE) can strengthen the application. It is recommended to review the specific requirements of the chosen discipline on the official NDSEG website.

Application Process

To apply for the NDSEG fellowship, applicants must complete the following steps:

• Visit the official NDSEG website ( and create an account to initiate the application process. Provide all necessary personal and academic details as prompted.

• Fill out the online application form, providing accurate and up-to-date information. Pay close attention to the instructions and ensure that all sections are completed correctly.

• Upload all required documents, including research proposal, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and personal statement, as per the guidelines provided on the NDSEG website.

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• Once all the required materials are compiled and uploaded, review the application thoroughly for any errors or omissions. Submit the application before the specified deadline.


How competitive is the NDSEG fellowship?

The NDSEG fellowship is highly competitive, with a limited number of awards available each year. It attracts some of the brightest minds in science and engineering disciplines.

However, a strong application highlighting research potential, academic achievements, and alignment with defense needs can significantly enhance your chances of success.

Can international students apply for the NDSEG fellowship?

No, the NDSEG fellowship is open only to U.S. citizens. International students may explore other funding opportunities specific to their eligibility criteria.

Is there an age limit for applying to the NDSEG fellowship?

No, there is no specific age limit for applicants. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria outlined by the NDSEG program, you can apply regardless of your age.

Can the NDSEG fellowship be used for research conducted at any institution?

Yes, the fellowship can be used to support research conducted at accredited U.S. institutions that offer doctoral programs in the eligible fields of study. The institution should be willing to accept and support the NDSEG fellowship recipient.

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