Graduate Scholarships

Scholarship: $5,000 for a degree-seeking graduate program

Number: 30 scholarships

Applications open: May 15, 2020

Deadline: August 14, 2020 (midnight, Eastern)

Notified of results: October 16, 2020

Master's degree students: find out if you are eligible for the Susan R. Meisinger Fellowship. 


  • Current SHRM member (professional or student)
  • Enrolled in a degree-seeking masters or doctoral program with at least one full semester remaining before graduation (see additional clarification below), OR accepted and ready to begin your studies within six months*
  • University is a regionally accredited institution of higher learning
  • Degree program is HR-related (e.g. business, psychology, HR, org development, etc.)
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, or if not yet enrolled, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

*If you have already begun your last semester by the notification date (see above), or you have completed your studies, you are not eligible for this award and may not apply for a scholarship to cover past expenses.

How to Apply

Online application including:

  • Contact information
  • Short answer questions about academic, volunteer and work experience, career aspirations, and financial need
  • Current resume
  • Transcripts from an accredited institution.* Universities within the United States must be regionally accredited; Universities outside of the United States must be accredited by a widely recognized accrediting body within the country or by the agency or ministry that oversees higher education within the country.
  • One letter of reference.** Reference letters can be addressed to the 'SHRM Foundation Scholarship Review Committee' and should provide insight into applicant's character, career and/or volunteer accomplishments, work ethic, values and need for the scholarship. Letters may be written by work or volunteer colleagues, coaches, professors, etc. but should not come from family members. 
*Transcripts must be in English. The SHRM Foundation may request an applicant with an international transcript to provide a transcript evaluation (at the applicant's expense), from World Education Services or another reputable service, prior to reviewing an application.

**Applicants must request all letters of reference through our scholarship application system. SHRM Foundation cannot accept recommendation letters directly from applicants.


Selection Criteria 

  • 35% Commitment to/passion for the HR profession
  • 25% Volunteer, leadership and service activities (SHRM experience preferred, but not required; work related to SHRM Foundation's vision and mission to promote inclusive workplaces highly desirable)
  • 20% Academic achievement
  • 20% Financial need

Scholarship Distribution

If you are selected to receive a graduate scholarship, you will be required to provide your course registration and college/university payment instructions. The SHRM Foundation will issue the funds directly to the institution for payment of tuition and course-related fees, up to $5,000. Your scholarship may be used for any academic session within 2020 or 2021 and must be claimed in time to distribute the funds to your institution no later than December 31, 2021.

Additional Information

Each scholarship is a one-time award; however previous applicants and past scholarship recipients are eligible to re-apply. Full-time, part-time, online and distance learning programs are acceptable. Scholarships are for college-degree programs only and may not be used to attend professional development seminars.

By accepting a scholarship, you are consenting to allow the SHRM Foundation (and the award's sponsor, if any) to use without limitation, and in any media, your name, city, state, photos and captions (if uploaded), and verbiage for marketing and promotional purposes. 

Employees or board members of SHRM or the SHRM Foundation and members of their immediate family are not eligible to apply for SHRM Foundation grants, awards or scholarships.

The SHRM Foundation does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, disability, age, veteran status, ancestry, national origin or citizenship in the administration of its scholarship programs. Scholarship recipients are selected primarily on merit. 

Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ways to prepare your workforce for the possibility of business closures, working from home, quarantines and other outcomes of a disease outbreak.

Ways to prepare your workforce for the possibility of business closures, working from home, quarantines and other outcomes of a disease outbreak.

View Resources

Upcoming DeadlinesSee All Events

April 30, 2020
Human Resource Management Impact Awards
May 1, 2020
SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP Certification Scholarships