The Graduate School is pleased to announce the Thurgood Marshall Graduate Award, honoring the life and work of the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice. This award aligns closely with the intent of the national Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Program and acknowledges Marshall's life-long commitment to civil rights and effecting change. The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship is intended to support the retention of meritorious graduate students whose accomplishments and activities demonstrate leadership, service, and commitment to fostering a just and equitable community.

Award Details

The Thurgood Marshall Award is a one-year award to include a stipend of $4,000 plus a graduate tuition waiver at the student’s residential rate (if not provided from other funds) for one academic year. The Graduate School intends to offer up to four of these awards for the 2020-2021 Academic Year.


  • Student must have been admitted for graduate study through the domestic student application
  • Student must be a full-time, graduate degree-seeking student in an OSU doctoral program, or in an OSU master’s program where a doctoral degree does not exist at OSU
  • Student must have successfully completed at least 3 graduate credits toward their current OSU graduate degree in each of the 3 academic terms directly preceding the nomination (minimum of 9 credits) by the time the award will be administered
  • Student must have a GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Student must be making satisfactory academic progress, as determined by the graduate program
  • Students on leaves of absence are not eligible for nomination

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation of nominations will be based upon the nominee’s:

  • Academic, professional, and personal strengths, as articulated in letters of nomination
  • Meritorious academic achievement as reflected in grade point average, GRE and/or other metrics deemed important and appropriate by the academic unit
  • Meritorious professional achievement as reflected in publications, presentations, honors, awards, and other professional activity
  • Demonstrated leadership and service to the community
  • Demonstrated commitment to empowering marginalized and underrepresented members of society
  • Strength of the student's statement of goals
  • Academic progress

Nomination Period

The nomination period begins on October 1, 2019. All nominations must be submitted by 8 a.m., January 24, 2020. Awards will be determined in February, 2020.

Nomination Procedure

Nominations may be submitted by the student's graduate program director or unit chair/head. Students may not apply directly for this award. Each unit (as defined by university major code) may nominate no more than TWO students (total) per award cycle.

Nomination Form

Submit a nomination

Nomination form overview

In the online nomination form, nominators will be required to prepare/upload the following materials as one PDF document using the following file name convention:
"Nominee's Last Name_Department_Thurgood.pdf", and upload it through the nomination form.

  1. A nominating letter from the student’s major professor (a) confirming that the nominee meets all of the minimum requirements for the award, and (b) describing the nominee’s academic, professional, and personal strengths; meritorious academic and professional achievements; demonstrated leadership and service to the community; and demonstrated commitment to empowering marginalized and underrepresented members of society.
  2. A statement of the student’s academic and professional goals. In the statement, the nominee should reference how these goals align with the eligibility criteria and spirit of this specific award.
  3. A copy of the student’s résumé or curriculum vitae