Mitchell Scholarship

Please consult the program website to confirm details, including applicable deadlines.

Visit Program Website Here

Program Purpose: 

The George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program is a national, competitive scholarship sponsored by the US-Ireland Alliance. The George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program, named to honor former US Senator George Mitchell's pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service.

Program Description and Benefits: 

Up to twelve Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one academic year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This graduate fellowship is for the early stages of graduate study. The Mitchell Scholarship Program provides tuition, accommodation, and a stipend for living expenses and travel. he Mitchell Scholarship Program provides full tuition, housing, and a monthly living stipend (currently $1250 USD) for up to 12 months of post-graduate academic study on the island. Most programs run for nine months. Up to three additional months of summer stipend will be provided if residence on the island is required by the program of study (for a maximum of 12 months). One round-trip airline ticket between the United States and Ireland is also provided and booked directly by the US-Ireland Alliance. Each Mitchell Scholar is responsible for securing and financing his or her own health insurance while abroad. Mitchell Scholars will be provided with living accommodation (meals are not included). Accommodations at the universities vary but, in general, accommodation will be in a shared apartment in a dedicated, on-campus development, or in an individual room in a Hall of Residence. This is a highly competitive program with only about .04% of students nominated by their institutions selected as Mitchell Scholars.

Supported Fields: 

The program welcomes students in any discipline, not only Irish Studies majors. The wide range of academic interests among Scholars -- from computer science to biotechnology to international relations to economics to theater -- illustrates the vast opportunities for post-graduate study available on the island.

Tenable Institutions: 

Study in Ireland and Northern Ireland: Applicants should list at least three different institutions and may list up to five. Institutional balance is a factor in the placement of Scholars at universities on the island, so an applicant's prospects are enhanced by indicating multiple university preferences. An applicant who lists just one or two institutional preferences weakens his or her chances of selection as a Mitchell Scholar. In some rare instances, a certain program may be offered at only one institution without comparable options elsewhere. The Program will take that into account when reviewing the application. When assigning Mitchell Scholars to programs in Ireland, the US-Ireland Alliance will draw from only the programs identified in the applications at the schools listed. The Royal College of Surgeons and St. Angela's College of Education for Home Economics are not open to Mitchell Scholars as program choices. Once the application is submitted, applicants may not add a program to their list, and may not change the prioritized order in which programs are listed.

Application Process: 

Candidates may apply in one region only - either that in which they have their permanent home address or ordinary place of residence/employment, or that in which they are studying. Any candidate applying in more than one region will automatically be disqualified. Each applicant must submit four letters of recommendation. For full-time undergraduate students, at least two of the four letters must be from persons with whom the applicant has done academic work. For those who are not full-time students and have not been for the past year, at least one of the letters must be from someone with whom the applicant has done academic work.

If you are a graduate student or a non-student, you do not submit an institutional endorsement but may submit one as one of your four recommendations. The Mitchell Program requires a short video interview as part of the application process. Instructions are emailed shortly after the application deadline to all applicants who submit a complete application. Please note that University nomination is not guaranteed. Applicants should contact the Fellowships well in advance of the campus deadline, and be prepared to engage in extensive research, writing, and revision -- and practice interviews.

Applicant Profile: 

The program welcomes students in any discipline and of every background and ethnicity, not just Irish-Americans. Married applicants may apply (but no funding is provided for a married candidate's spouse or dependent). Applicants are judged on three criteria: (A) scholarship; (B) leadership, and (3) a sustained commitment to community and public service. The average GPA of Mitchell Scholars is 3.5. Highly valued are leadership qualities of honesty and integrity, unselfish service to others and the potential and to make a contribution to society.


Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree before beginning study under the Scholarship. Senior, graduate student, or alumnus 18 to 30 years of age. Married applicants may apply, but no funding is provided for the expenses of a married candidate's spouse or dependent.


Only 20 people are offered a final interview for the Mitchell Scholarship, so it is essential that all finalists commit to accepting the scholarship, if selected. The US-Ireland Alliance expects Mitchell Scholars to become active members of their non-profit organization, their alumni scholar community, and to remain connected to the island of Ireland. The Mitchell Program urges applicants to consider this before applying. Those just looking for a program to pay for their graduate degree, should not apply.

Selection Criteria: 

The essay for the Mitchell application should address why the candidate wants to be a Mitchell Scholar and why studying in Ireland or Northern Ireland make sense for his or her goals.


U.S. citizens only.

Program Deadline: 

The national deadline, circa September 25 annually, does not directly apply to undergraduate students, who must apply for nomination through the University by the campus deadline. Graduate students or alumni are not required to submit an institutional endorsement but may submit an endorsement as one of the four required recommendations.

University Deadline: 

Completed applications must be submitted to the Fellowships Office by Noon on May 25 annually.

More information: 

Graduate Education in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

Mitchell Scholars may study or conduct research at the graduate level at institutions of higher learning on the island of Ireland.

  • The following is provided to give students a general idea about the universities and the fields of study Mitchell Scholars may pursue. Applicants are responsible for obtaining additional information about the institutions and programs that interest them by contacting those institutions directly. 
  • Prior to applying, prospective applicants should study the academic system of the institutions in order to determine if their plan of study is feasible, and that they have the undergraduate background for the programs which they propose.
  • There are seven universities in the Republic of Ireland -- Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin, and University of Limerick, and the four universities of the National University of Ireland (NUI). The NUI is organized on a federal basis but the constituent universities -- University College, Dublin; University College, Cork; National University of Ireland, Galway, and Maynooth University -- enjoy a large measure of autonomy.
  • The Royal College of Surgeons and St. Angela's College of Education for Home Economics are not open to Mitchell Scholars as program choices.
  • The universities of Northern Ireland operate under the system of the United Kingdom.

EDUCATION IN IRELAND is a searchable database of programs available to international students. It is a tremendous resource and can aid in your research regarding program and university selection. In addition, each of the Irish and Northern Irish universities has a webpage listing the available one-year post-graduate programs at their schools.

Institutes of Technology and Other Institutions of Higher Learning

In addition to the universities, there are thirteen Institutes of Technology which complete the Irish higher education system. Spread regionally, the Institutes offer a large number of sub-degree and undergraduate degree courses. With the exception of the Technological University Dublin, which awards its own degrees, the Institutes' awards are made by the National Council for Educational Awards. Further information concerning the accredited post-graduate courses conducted by the Institutes may be obtained by contacting the NCEA at Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1 or the DIT at Pembroke Street, Dublin 2.

The Academic Year

The university academic year runs from September to June, typically divided into three terms. In recent years, however, some institutions have introduced a two-semester system. Some graduate programs often require that students complete their thesis over the summer months (June, July, August).

The Irish Education System 

In addition to undertaking research in a wide range of disciplines, the universities offer degree programs at Bachelor, Master's and Doctorate level - in a wide-variety of disciplines, such as humanities, scientific, technical, engineering and mathematics fields, and in social and behavioral sciences. A range of undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas is offered.

Master's degrees are usually taken by course work, research work or some combination of both. Doctoral degrees are awarded on the basis of research. Universities award their own degrees using external examiners to ensure consistency of standards. 

Other U.K. Scholarships (for Study in Northern Ireland Only)

How To Apply: 

This program requires institutional nomination (see exceptions below). Students may not apply directly to the foundation or program. Instead, applicants must apply through the University by the campus deadline. Please note that University nomination is not guaranteed. Only applicants who are full-time or part-time undergraduate students at the time of the application deadline are required to submit an institutional endorsement. Graduate students and students in possession of an undergraduate degree at the time of the application deadline do not need an institutional endorsement , however one may be submitted as one of the four letters of recommendations. To learn more about the Mitchell Scholarship Program, or to receive feedback on your application materials, contact Dr. Joy Viveros, Mitchell Representative, and Director of the Fellowships Office, for an appointment well in advance of the August 1 campus deadline.

Resources for Applicants

Why Should You Apply for a Fulbright?

Quick Links

Fellowships Office

Dr. Joy Viveros

Phone: 415.405.2128
Reception: Grad Stop, ADM 250 
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132