The Mr. and Mrs. Spencer T. Olin Fellowships for Women in Graduate Study are co-sponsored by the Monticello Foundation and by Washington University.  The Foundation continues the mission of Monticello College, the second-oldest women's college in the U.S., to "promote female education."  From its founding in 1974, the Olin Fellowship's name has honored Spencer T. Olin and Ann W. Olin, who were generous supporters of both Monticello College and Washington University.


  • To encourage women of exceptional promise to prepare for careers in higher education and the professions.
  • To continue and extend the historically important contributions of Monticello to the education of women.
  • To extend the influence of Washington University by assisting in the advanced education of outstanding women who are likely to make significant contributions to higher education.


Any female graduate or prospective graduate of an undergraduate institution in the United States who plans to prepare for a career in higher education or the professions is eligible to apply, provided she seeks to obtain through full-time study at Washington University the highest degree available in her chosen field, is not at the time of application engaged at Washington University or elsewhere in formal study leading to such a degree, and is able to meet the admission requirements of the graduate or professional school in which she intends to enroll. 

Past engagement in preliminary post-baccalaureate study does not jeopardize eligibility for an Olin Fellowship.

Applicants are considered without regard to age, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin and with regard only to the excellence of their qualifications.

Fields of Study

The Olin Fellowships are open to applicants for the specified graduate and professional degree programs in the following schools of Washington University:

  • Arts & Sciences (M.A.Ed., MAT, MFA, MM,  Ph.D.)
  • Brown School of Social Work (MPH, MSW, Ph.D.)
  • Engineering & Applied Science (Ph.D.)
  • Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts (M.Arch., MFA, MLA)
  • Law (J.D.)
  • Medicine (Au.D., DOT, DPT, MD, Ph.D.)
  • Olin Business School (MBA, Ph.D.)

Fellowships assist study in specific fields; Fellows who change fields of study are normally expected to resign their Fellowships.

Selection Procedures

Selection is by a committee chaired by the Director of the Olin Fellowship Program.  On the basis of outstanding merit evinced in the application materials, a group of finalists is invited to Washington University early in March for interviews by the Selection Committee and by members of the faculty in the candidate's field of study. 

Washington University provides full coverage of travel and other expenses necessitated by these interviews.  Announcement of the award of Olin Fellowships is made later in March.

The Selection Committee reserves the right to prefer doctoral students to master's students and to favor fields in which women are underrepresented.

Financial Terms

All Olin Fellows receive full tuition remission for up to four years, provided they continue to make satisfactory academic progress.  They are also eligible for a grant to defray the cost of professional travel. In addition, Fellows in Ph.D. programs will receive a stipend equal to or in excess of other awards in their discipline.