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UTD’s McDermott Scholars Program

Do you have broad interests? Are you great communicator and a top student? If so, the Eugene McDermott Scholars Program offers one of the most generous scholarship programs for undergraduate students in the US.

Key Stats
Program: McDermott Scholars Program
Program Type: 4-year scholarship program
University: The University of Texas at Dallas
Location: Richardson, TX
Students: Around 25 selected each year
Program URL: http://www.utdallas.edu/mcdermott/


Join a close-knit community of scholars. Visit the opera and meet politicians. Become a leader on campus and study abroad. Receive one-on-one mentoring. Sound like a dream?

The Eugene McDermott Program provides four years of support for a select group of students to achieve their fullest academic potentials at the University of Texas at Dallas.


How is it more than just a scholarship?

The McDermott program is a merit scholarship that provides four years of financial support and mentoring. While traditional scholarships just provide students with financial aid, the McDermott program also provides support in other ways.

“They give you individualized attention far more so than any other program I looked at or university I visited. It’s really hard to beat the feeling of being cared for.”
— Dhruv Narayanan, 2014 scholar

42Scholars benefit from one-on-one mentoring and to shape their passions. In addition, the office of seven staff members is always on hand to help students achieve their academic goals. As a result, scholars not only have the support they need to achieve good grades, but also to compete for prestigious awards like the Goldwater or Fulbright.

“It is like a supportive family.”
— Nancy Fairbank, 2013 scholar

What does the scholarship cover?

As a McDermott scholar, you’ll receive $1400 monthly stipends. You’ll also get funding for textbooks, conferences, study abroad and flights home.

Scholars are also introduced to leaders in the community and receive tickets to local symphony and opera performances.

Is this program competitive?

Very. To be considered, you should have at least a 33 on the ACT or a 1490 on the new SAT.

“We have the highest requirements of any scholarship program and the highest average for standardized test scores.”
— Molly Seeligson, program director

Beyond academics, the program seeks students that show leadership promise. Successful applicants are active volunteers, school leaders, and confident communicators. Finalists then interview during a weekend event at UT Dallas.

What kinds of experiences would I have?

43That really depends on you! Scholars are not required to study any particular field. However, they are expected to pursue their educational opportunities with enthusiasm and professionalism.

Maybe you will conduct extensive lab research. Or intern on Capitol Hill.

The best way to see what scholars do is to read about their experiences on the McDermott blog.


“I went to Nicaragua to work with children at risk of sexual commercial exploitation and to Kenya to volunteer with Lawyers Without Borders.”
— Nancy Fairbank, 2013 scholar

When did this program first start?

In 2000. Margaret McDermott started the program in honor of her late husband, Eugene McDermott, a co-founder of Texas Instruments and UT Dallas.

What are the deadlines?

The early deadline is in October. The regular deadline is in early January.

Why is this program unique?

There are two aspects of the McDermott program that make it truly unique.

The first is the “cohort,” or community of scholars. Incoming students travel together freshman year and participate in weekly leadership training events. This creates a strong group of friends who challenge each other and learn together.

“All scholarship programs give money for tuition, but this is much more than that.”
— Molly Seeligson, program director

The second is the staff support. Many colleges have scholarships — and often very generous ones. However, few programs provide such a high of a level of individual support.

We work with students worldwide

Office addresses:
Manhattan: 60 East 49th Street
Scarsdale: 2 Overhill Road

Mailing address:
860 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017