Admission for 2018-19 Academic Year

Applications for fall 2018 is now closed.

Selection Criteria

Applicants must be female, applying for a degree program in which they are not currently enrolled, and have earned or be in the process of earning an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institutionIn considering women for our Olin Fellowship, special consideration is given to the following:

  • Evidence of intellectual ability and versatility and of academic achievement.
  • Evidence of commitment to undertake and sustain preparation for a career in higher education or the professions.
  • Evidence of personal qualities necessary to make constructive contributions to higher education or the professions.

Steps for Applying

Before beginning an application, applicants will need:

  • To prepare a CV
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • To write an essay that should be about 500 words, addressing the following prompt:
  • What do you consider to be the most important societal problem? Who in your opinion is best positioned to impact this problem, and what steps would you take to improve this problem if you were in their place?

    Olin Fellows are expected to become innovators and leaders who contribute significantly to research, education, and the betterment of humanity. Your ideas and examples do not have to be confined necessarily to the discipline that you have chosen to pursue.

Application Procedure

The following programs are eligible for the Olin Fellowship:

  • Brown School (MPH, MSW, Public Health Sciences PhD, Social Work PhD)
  • School of Engineering & Applied Science (PhD)
  • Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts (MFA in Visual Art, MArch, MLA, MUD, DrSU)
  • Law (JD)
  • Medicine (DPT, MD)
  • Olin Business School (MBA, PhD)
  • Program in Occupational Therapy (OTD, PhD)
  • Program in Physical Therapy (DPT, PhD)
  • Arts & Sciences, including Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences (MAEd, MAT, MFA, PhD)
  • Program in Audiology & Communication Sciences (AuD, PhD)


If you are applying to any PhD program (with the exception of Public Health Sciences), the MAT/MAEd in Education, or the MFA in Dance/Writing -


Navigate to your CollegeNET portal. On the “Demographics” section of the application, please indicate whether your undergraduate degree comes/will come from a U.S. institution. After selecting your program of interest on the “Program Selection” page, navigate to the “Program Related Questions” section of your application in CollegeNET and check the box for the Spencer T. & Ann W. Olin Fellowship for Women in Graduate Study.  


If you have already submitted your application for one of the above mentioned programs, navigate to your CollegeNET portal checklist to upload the fellowship essay.


If you are applying to Architecture, Law, Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Public Health Sciences, the MBA in Business Administration, the MSW in Social Work, Urban Design, or Visual Art - 


Once you have applied to one of the programs listed above, please fill out the online application for the Olin Fellowship. On the “Demographics” section of the application, indicate whether your undergraduate degree comes/will come from a U.S. institution. When navigating the application in CollegeNET, select Fellowship Only in the program selection section and check the box for the Spencer T. & Ann W. Olin Fellowship for Women in Graduate Study on the Program Related Questions page.  


When filling out information for the 3 letters of recommendation, identify the 3 recommenders used for your application to Washington University. Please have your recommenders submit the same letter written for your application to your program of interest.


Files should be free of social security numbers and birth dates. For transcripts from previous schools that you have attended, request an electronic copy that omits social security numbers and birth dates. Alternatively, you may use white-out or a black marker to hide these identifiers before uploading transcripts.

The closing date for receiving completed Olin Fellowship applications is January 25, 2018. All applications must be submitted online; no paper applications will be accepted.

Please note that if you are applying to a program whose deadline is after January 25, 2018, you must complete its application as well as the fellowship application by January 25, 2018.

If you have trouble uploading your fellowship materials, try using the fellowship guide here.

Selection Procedures

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.

Selection is by a committee chaired by the Director of the Olin Fellowship Program. 

Announcement of the award of Olin Fellowships is made in early March.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

I have a master's degree from a U.S. institution. Am I eligible to apply for the Fellowship?

The origin nor the completion of your master's degree does not impact your eligibility for this program. You must have an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution in order to apply for and receive the fellowship.

My program deadline is before January. Do I have to submit my Olin Fellowship materials at the same time as my program application?

The fellowship deadline is not tied to your program deadline. If you have already submitted an application, navigate to your application portal checklist to upload your fellowship essay and CV. This upload must occur before the January Olin Fellowship application deadline.

My degree program admissions application requires fewer/more than three letters of reference. How should I proceed?

Include your admissions application recommenders in the fellowship application. If there are fewer than three, please select additional recommenders so that a total of three letters of recommendation are submitted for your application. If there are more than three, select the recommenders you feel will paint the broadest picture of you as a potential Olin Fellow.


My degree program admissions application does not require test scores (GRE, etc). How should I proceed?

If your degree program does incorporate test scores in the evaluation of your application, the Olin Fellowship Program does not require you to submit unofficial test scores.

Will the selection committee have access to the materials I have submitted with my admissions application?


Do I need to send the Fellowship Program an official transcript and/or test score report?

No; the selection committee will review your application with unofficial versions uploaded in the application system.