Soros Fellowships for New Americans

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

Visit Program Website Here

Program Purpose: 

The Soros Fellowships for New Americans program honors the contributions of immigrants and children of immigrants to the U.S. Each year, the program supports the education of 30 New Americans—immigrants and children of immigrants—who are pursuing graduate school in the U.S., and are poised to make significant contributions to U.S. society, culture or their academic field.

Program Description and Benefits: 

Each Fellow receives up to $90,000 in financial support over two years, and joins a lifelong community of New American Fellows with origins in over 75 countries. The Fellowship supports one to two years of full-time graduate study in any field and in any advanced degree-granting program in the U.S. Each award is for up to $25,000 in stipend support, as well as 50 percent of required tuition and fees up to $20,000 per year, for one to two years. The first year of Fellowship funding cannot be deferred.

New Fellows join a strong community of current and past Fellows who all share the New American experience. The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows Association (PDSFA), an alumni association, actively engages current and past Fellows in events held across the country.

Supported Fields: 

Support is provided for full-time graduate study in any field, including the visual and performing arts, and at any graduate degree-granting institution in the U.S., with the exception of online programs.

Application Process: 

Three recommendations are required, four are recommended, and five are allowed, if you have that many strong recommendations.

Applicants are required to upload all test scores needed to apply for the graduate program they would like the Soros Fellowship to fund – for example, the GRE or, for medical school, the MCAT.

An “Optional Exhibits” section at the end of the application, provides an opportunity provide any supplemental materials (relevant newspaper or magazine articles, Vimeo videos, SoundCloud links, portfolio artwork or visuals, creative writing excerpts, research papers or articles, etc.) that would help the selection committee better understand the applicant, or a different side of the applicant's excellence.

The top applicants are designated finalists and asked to appear for interviews in New York City or California in late-January or early-February of the upcoming year. The program covers travel and accommodation to the finalist interview.


Must be a New American who is 30 or younger as of the application deadline, and who is planning on starting or continuing an eligible graduate degree program full time in the United States in the upcoming academic year. Applicants may apply to the Fellowship at the same time that they are applying to graduate school, or after they are already enrolled in graduate school. However, applicants must not have started or passed the third year of the graduate program for which they are seeking funding.

Selection Criteria: 

The program uses three primary selection criteria: The candidate has demonstrated (1) creativity, originality and initiative in one or more aspects of her/his life; (2) a commitment to and capacity for accomplishment that has required drive and sustained effort; (3) a commitment to the values expressed in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This would include, but not be limited to, support of human rights and the rule of law, opposition to unwarranted encroachment on personal liberty, and advancing the responsibilities of citizenship in a free society.

In addition, the program considers two further criteria: (1) The candidate gives promise of continued significant contributions. Those contributions are likely to reflect distinctive creativity, originality and initiative and will mark the candidate as a leading and influential figure within her/his fields of endeavor; (2) The candidate's graduate training is relevant to her/his long-term career goals and is of potential value in enhancing her/his future creativity and accomplishment.

The program seeks to create "a level playing field" for the consideration of applicants from different backgrounds, in different fields, at different stages in their educational development, and of different ages. Because New Americans and their families have had very different immigration experiences, the program takes those differences into account in assessing applicants' success in meeting the selection criteria.


See "More Information" below for a full description of the applicant's necessary status as a "New American," as defined by the Soros Fellowship.

Program Deadline: 

Usually November 1 annually.

More information: 

Status as a new American: If an applicant was born abroad as a non-U.S. citizen, then they must have been naturalized, be a green card holder, or be a DACA recipient. If an applicant was born in the U.S., or was born abroad as a U.S. citizen, both parents must have been born abroad as non-U.S. citizens.

How To Apply: 

Undergraduate and graduate students may apply directly to this program. Applicants are encouraged, however, to work with SF State's Fellowships Office well in advance of the program deadline to perfect their application essays and other materials. To learn more about the Soros, or to receive feedback on your application materials, feel free to email Dr. Joy Viveros, Executive Coordinator and Advisor of the Fellowships Office, for an appointment.

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