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Giving Opportunities

There are a variety of ways you can support the work of the Graduate School at the University of Maryland. This list of both general and restricted funds provides alumni and friends with many opportunities to match giving preferences with the needs of our students and programs:

Annual Funds

Alumni and friends can make a gift at any level to the following funds. These enable the Dean of the Graduate School to provide ongoing support throughout the year for students and programs:

Graduate School Fund for Excellence – The Graduate School Fund for Excellence provides the most immediate source of support for graduate students and faculty. This fund gives the Dean of the Graduate School the flexibility to respond quickly to emerging opportunities and needs. Gifts enable and advance cutting-edge research, international collaborations, and dissertation and degree completion. Starting in the fall of 2019, Dr. Rita Leahy (’89 PhD) made a large contribution to this fund to enable the Graduate School to provide agile support for doctoral students seeking non-academic career paths. Smaller contributions can have a large impact. A couple of hundred dollars can address an immediate need a graduate student might have, and support and enhance their experience while at Maryland.

Graduate School Fellowship Fund - All students enrolled in UMD graduate programs are eligible for fellowships and awards, though doctoral students are the main recipients. The various fellowships and awards might support a student’s progress throughout the graduate program. Funds might be targeted to a specific stage of the doctoral progress, such the completion of the dissertation or honoring exceptional research or other accomplishments. While those are some of the broader goals of our fellowships, smaller contributions can have a huge impact on a student’s graduate experience. For example, a contribution of $200 can fund field work, data collection, travel, or an archival visit. Slightly larger amounts of $500 - $800 can allow a graduate student to attend a professional conference and give them a chance to present their work and/or network with colleagues. Support in the amount of $5000 can provide a PhD student with the ability to do their own research for 8 – 10 weeks in the summer.

Graduate School Diversity Fund – The Graduate School Diversity Fund advances the recruitment, retention, and graduation of students from underserved populations by providing them with academic programs, support initiatives, and co-curricular activities. By helping individual students to succeed, gifts to this Fund also enhance diversity, promote inclusion, and help build a vital and vibrant graduate learning community.

Graduate School Writing Center Fund - The Graduate School Writing Center provides graduate students with workshops, one-on-one coaching, and other programs and resources to improve oral and written communication skills. Gifts to the Writing Center Fund provide enhanced services and equipment to help students develop skills that are vital for their continued academic and professional success. Even small contributions can have a large impact. Much of the programming offered by the Graduate School Writing Center operates on a peer model, giving students a community of writers for support and mentoring. :

Graduate School International Fund – This fund provides graduate students with meaningful learning, research, and professional experiences in international settings. These experiences broaden a student’s knowledge and perspective; leverage university resources, such as ongoing collaborations between faculty and international colleagues; and increase the university’s international profile, influence, and ability to change the world.

To make an online gift to one of these funds, please visit

University of Maryland Giving Day

Giving Day is a one-day annual fundraising event the first Tuesday in March, for all members of the University of Maryland community. Students, faculty, staff, parents, friends and alumni are invited to join the largest day of giving because we are all Terps. The goal is to raise critical funding and engage our community to advance the mission of the University of Maryland.

Fellowship, Award and Programming Funds

Alumni and friends can create their own funds with a one-time gift, a current use or endowed fund. A one-time gift provides support for a limited time period (usually within the current fiscal year), while a gift to the endowment provides support in perpetuity.

Innovation Fellowships – Awarded to students pursuing bold, cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. They provide outstanding students full financial support in their first year of graduate study.

Flagship Fellowships – “Super fellowships” designed to attract truly exceptional doctoral students and enable the University of Maryland to compete successfully with other top private and public universities.

Dissertation Fellowships – Designed to shorten time to degree and to increase degree completion rates. They provide doctoral candidates full financial support during the critical dissertation phase. 

Summer Research Fellowships – Awarded to doctoral students at mid-career. They fund an uninterrupted summer of focused work on qualifying exam preparation or preliminary dissertation research.

Research and Travel Awards – Enhance opportunities for students to conduct and present their research. These award support fieldwork, participation in international research projects, or travel to national or international conferences.

Programmatic Funds - Provide support to enhance professional development for graduate students and postdocs in the following areas: (1) writing and communication, and (2) PhD career development (academic and non-academic).

To provide support to a fellowship or award fund, please contact our Alumni Officer, Anna De Cheke Qualls (

Contact Information

The Graduate School

2123 Lee Building
7809 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742