Fellowships and Prizes

The Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) serves as the University of Pennsylvania's information clearinghouse and primary support office for Penn students and alumni considering applying for major grants and fellowships.

CURF’s Fellowships Team educates Penn students and alumni about fellowships and assists potential applicants in creating their strongest possible application through information sessions, conversations with fellowship recipients, and individual advising. CURF also supports and manages selection committees consisting of leading Penn faculty that evaluate applications and select applicants to endorse. 

Fellowships provide funding for a wide range of activities:

  • full tuition, fees, and a living stipend to earn a graduate degree abroad
  • undergraduate or graduate study in the US
  • conducting a research project abroad
  • teaching English abroad
  • internships abroad
  • social engagement projects in the US or abroad

CURF aims to demystify these opportunities to help students determine the most appropriate awards for which to apply. 

Helpful links:

School-based Awards

In addition to departmental awards, there are a variety of awards available to undergraduate students within a particular school. 

College of Arts and Sciences

For more information, visit: https://www.college.upenn.edu/honors.

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Departmental Awards

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Computer and Information Science
  • Electrical and Systems Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Awards From Additional Sources

  • From the Moore School
    • John Grist Brainerd Award
    • Stuart Eichert, Jr. Memorial Prize
    • Atwater Kent Prize in Electrical Engineering
    • Walter Korn Award
    • Moore School Council Cwikla Award
  • From Advancing Women in Engineering
    • Jaros Baum and Bolles Award
  • From the Undergraduate Affairs Committee
    • Penn Engineering Exceptional Service Award
    • Manfred Altman Memorial Award
    • Ben and Bertha Gomberg Kirsch Prize (Applied Science Prize) 
    • Engineering Alumni Society E. Stuart Eichert, Jr. Award 
    • Albert P. Godsho Engineering Prize 
    • Management and Technology Scholarship Award
    • Wolf-Hallac Award 
    • Hugo Otto Wolf Memorial Prize
  • Management and Technology Awards
    • Michele Huber and Brian D. Giles Memorial Award
    • Naren Udayagiri Scholarship Award 

For more information, visit: http://www.seas.upenn.edu/undergraduate/student-life/awards.php.

School of Nursing

  • Claire M. Fagin Award
  • Dean's Student Award
  • Dorothy Mereness Award
  • Jeanne Frances Hopkins Award
  • JoAnn Nallinger Grant Award
  • Mary D. Naylor Undergraduate Research Award
  • Norma Lang Award
  • Penn Nursing Alumni Spirit Award for Graduating Students
  • Rosalyn J. Watts Diversity Scholar Leadership Award
  • Sigma Theta Tau Student Leadership Award
  • Theresa I. Lynch Award

For more information, visit: http://www.nursing.upenn.edu/student-services/resources/handbooks-forms-policies/bsn-handbook/graduation-academic-honors/#SON%20Awards.

The Wharton School

  • Beverly Virany Memorial Prize
  • Class of 1975 Management Award
  • Dean's Awards
    • The Dean's Award for Excellence
    • The Dean's Award for Innovation
    • The Dean's Award for Service to the Wharton School
    • The Dean's Award for Service to the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Community
  • Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key 
  • Financial Executives Institute Award
  • Herbert S. Steuer Memorial Prize
  • John J. Holahan Memorial Prize
  • Louis Rudolph Accounting Award
  • William D. Gordon Award
  • Vice Dean’s Award for Service

University Prizes

The following academic prizes are awarded at the University level:

President's Engagement Prizes

Competitively awarded on an annual basis, the President’s Engagement Prizes empower Penn seniors to design and undertake local, national or global engagement projects during the first year after they graduate.

President's Innovation Prize

Unique at both Penn and across higher education, the President's Innovation Prize underscores the University’s considerable commitment to encouraging students to put their knowledge to work for the betterment of humankind.

Senior Awards

The University of Pennsylvania grants numerous undergraduate awards to outstanding graduating seniors, in addition to some sophomores and juniors. Eligibility and criteria vary by award.  

The Senior Honor Awards (Spoon, Bowl, Cane and Spade for those who identify as men; Hottel, Harnwell, Goddard and Brownlee Awards for those who identify as women) 

Nominees must be members in good academic standing who have actively contributed to campus life through activities and leadership. All nominees are placed on a ballot (one for men, one for women) which is distributed to a committee of staff members and the Senior Class Board. This committee votes and narrows the candidate pool to 15 men and 15 women, who are then voted upon by the entire Senior Class. The top 4 men and 4 women receive the awards on Ivy Day.

James Brister Society Awards

Granted to graduating students of color who demonstrate leadership, advance diversity at Penn through student activities or community service, and exemplify excellence.

The James Howard Weiss Memorial Award and The Penn Student Agencies Award 

Both awards recognize distinguished academic achievement (minimum G.P.A. of 3.7) and significant leadership in undergraduate activities by members of the senior class. A committee of students, faculty and staff makes the final selection from the list of candidates. Ideally, nominees should be the most outstanding members of group (1) above.

The Sol Feinstone Undergraduate Awards

These awards may be presented to a sophomore, junior or senior who has contributed to "orderly and constructive social and educational change within or outside the University community." Past recipients have included the undergraduate who established the first mental health student group in the nation; the creators of a Saturday African-centered enrichment program for local children; the organizers of a pre-orientation leadership program for first-year students; and the founder of the first and the only youth-led LGBT statewide organization in the nation. Finalists are chosen by the same committee as in (2) above. (Keep in mind the fact that there must be a specific contribution, not just a list of activities).

Student Award of Merit 

This award, sponsored by Penn Alumni, is presented to members of the Senior Class on the May graduation roster in recognition of their service to the University of Pennsylvania, which, in combination with other activities/endeavors, strengthens and enhances the University. The selection committee recognizes that University service takes many different forms, including but not limited to academic, co-curricular, athletic, and community service.  Alumni relations and/or advancement experience is not required.  Applicants are asked to use the brief essay portion of this application to describe the nature of their contributions to the Penn community and provide meaningful examples of the same.  This award will be given to no fewer than one and no more than five members of the senior class. A committee comprised of alumni makes the final selection from the list of candidates. There is no minimum G.P.A. requirement.

For more information, visit: http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/osa/seniors.php.