Graham Sustainability Institute

Graham Scholars Application Submission

Transfer Students: Apply Now

Deadline Extended for Transfer Students (incoming Juniors from other institutions): Please apply by June 8th

Note: Many transfer students do not learn about this opportunity until mid-late May

Current U-M Students: Applications Are Now Closed.

Required Application Materials

  • 1 Personal statement
  • 1 Short Critical Thinking Essay
  • Resume and a transcript (including the most recent Fall term grades) - one PDF file
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (from a U-M or other instructor, mentor or supervisor) 
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is recommended
  • Transfer Students: We will accept a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 from your incoming school 

Enter A Statement and a Critical Thinking Essay directly into the online application form

  • Personal Statement (no more than 500 words): Describe how this program would complement or enhance your studies and professional goals, how your acceptance would contribute to the program, and describe a project that would answer a sustainability question that intrigues and inspires you.
  • Critical Thinking Essay (no more than 250 words): Consider and address the following question in 250 words or less: “In what ways does fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community affect pathways to sustainability?”

Upload Resume & Transcripts

In addition to the statement and essay, submit one compiled document - upload a resume and transcripts as a Single PDF File

  • Resume: A brief resume (no more than 2 pages) describing the following: (a. Educational background; (b. Professional experience; (c. Major awards and honors received; (d. Membership in organizations, outreach, and volunteer efforts, especially related to sustainability.
  • Transcripts: Include all undergraduate coursework and the most recent Fall term grades. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

Reference Letters

  • References: Applicants will provide the names and contact information for up to two references (instructor, supervisor, mentor). Both references will be contacted by the Graham Institute formally asking each person to submit confidential recommendation letters online. All letters must be submitted online.
  • Important note: It is critical that all applicants contact their references well in advance to request a letter of support and provide the estimated due date to their letter writers. Letters are a required component of each application and are due shortly after students submit their applications.

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • Academic qualifications;
  • Previous experience related to sustainability;
  • Personal statements and letters of recommendation, as reviewed for sustainability leadership potential; and
  • The desire for diversity and interdisciplinary balance in the cohort.

Key Information



  • The Annual Call for Applications is announced to academic advisors and others
  • Students should notify their reference letter writers at the beginning of the application process


  • Applications are announced
  • Letters of reference are due shortly after student applications are received, and are submitted separately from applications to ensure confidentiality


  • Applications from current U-M students are due mid-March and reviewed after they are submitted online
  • Incoming Transfer Students: The application due date is June 8th
  • Approximately 20-25 applicants will be selected and will be announced mid-late April (before graduation)
  • Participation will begin upon selection with the Fall Retreat and will continue until the completion of undergraduate studies


  • Graham Summer Interns begin working with organizations


  • Applications from Incoming Transfer Students are due June 8th (must be incoming Junior status)


  • HOLD the DATE: Participation in the 2-day "Fall Retreat" the last week (Tuesday and Wednesday) of August is the official start of the program
  • All new scholars are expected to participate in the retreat


Graham Sustainability Institute Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

At the Graham Sustainability Institute, our dedication to academic excellence for the public good is inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our mission of engaging, empowering, and supporting faculty, staff, and students to foster sustainability solutions includes ensuring that each member of our community thrives. We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are key to empowerment, and the advancement of sustainability knowledge, learning, and leadership, see our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page.