Graham Sustainability Institute

Graham Scholars Application Submission

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Deadline Extended - February 26, 2019

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 recommendations (one from a U-M instructor) 
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is recommended. Anyone with a GPA below 3.0 will not be considered

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 two references. One person must be a U-M faculty member or someone who has taught the applicant at the college level. 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

Application Timeline


  • The Annual Call for Applications is announced.
  • Students should notify their reference letter writers at the beginning of the application process.


  • Applications are due before the end of February and must be submitted online, including letters of reference.
  • Letters of reference are due shortly after student applications are received, and are submitted separately from applications to ensure confidentiality.


  • Applications are reviewed.
  • Approximately 20 applicants will be selected and will be announced by early April.
  • Participation will begin upon selection with a Welcome Dinner in April and will continue until the completion of undergraduate studies.


  • Participation in the 2-day "Fall Retreat" the last week (Tuesday and Wednesday) of August is a great way to get to know your cohort of scholars.


  • Begin to fully engage with both the junior and senior scholar cohorts through the Sustainability Seminars (UC 327) and by working on an interdisciplinary team-based project.
  • See Academic Requirements and Eligibility

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