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Application Process

How To Become A National Urban Fellow

Application FAQ

General Information

What type of individual is National Urban Fellows seeking?

The National Urban Fellows’ Academic & Leadership Development Program is designed for early to mid-career professionals of all backgrounds, particularly people of color and women, who are committed to social impact careers in the Government, Non-Profit, Philanthropic and Corporate sectors. Individuals best matched to fulfill the organization’s mission will demonstrate leadership skills with potential for further growth and a passion to advance public policy, racial equity, and social impact. Fellows should embody NUF’s guiding values: integrity, dignity, courage, solidarity, and racial equity. Successful candidates will also possess a strong work ethic, self-discipline, grit, and an openness to learning.   

What does the program entail?

The NUF program includes three main components:

  1. A customized NUF Master of Policy Management degree program at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy
  2. A nine-month fellowship residency under the mentorship of a committed senior leader at a host institution in the private, public, or non-profit sector 
  3. Ongoing racial equity and leadership training and coaching by NUF staff

Fellows will also attend a mid-year retreat in January, and have opportunities to network with NUF alumni throughout the 14-month program cycle.  

NUF 14-month diagram_Edited (10.3.22)

What is the expectation of a Fellow after graduation?

NUF Fellows are expected to apply their expertise and contribute their newly acquired leadership skills for the betterment of communities across the nation and around the world. Fellows are expected to return to their former or new occupations more experienced in public policy decision-making and management, and better prepared to  advance equity and social impact.

Program graduates join the NUF alumni network of over 1,700 social impact leaders and changemakers. Alumni stay connected and share opportunities through NUF social media channels, and give back through ongoing engagement and involvement, including annual giving, support for new Fellows, and promoting NUF to new audiences. 

Can I have outside employment while in the Fellowship program?

The Fellowship program schedule is highly demanding, with academic coursework, mentorship assignments, and training expectations consuming the bulk of the Fellow’s time. In order to successfully uphold attendance and performance requirements, outside employment is not advised.  


Application and Eligibility

Is the GRE required for acceptance into the National Urban Fellows’ Academic & Leadership Development Fellowship Program?

No, Graduate Record Exam scores are not required by Georgetown University nor the NUF Program.

Is there an age restriction for applying to the program?

There is no age restriction for applying to the program; however, the National Urban Fellows’ Academic & Leadership Development Fellowship Program is designed for mid-career professionals who possess a minimum of 5 years of experience in a public service, management and/or leadership capacity.

Are applicants required to undergo a security and background investigation?

Upon acceptance into the National Urban Fellows program, some Fellows may expect to undergo a security and background check as required by the mentorship host organization they are assigned to.




What are the application prerequisites for the Program?

  • US Citizenship/Lawful Permanent Residency/DACA Recipient
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution    
  • At Least 5 years of professional experience by January 1st, 2024 

Application Requirements

  • $75 Application Fee until December 1, 2023: Early Consideration 
  • $150 Application Fee between December 2nd and January 15, 2024: Standard Consideration
  • $500 program fee upon acceptance into the program 


How are Fellows selected?

The National Urban Fellows’ Screening Committee reviews applications for outstanding candidates and makes recommendations to the Interviewing Committee. The Interviewing Committee makes its selections based on submitted documents and personal/group assessment processes. The Interviewing Committee is comprised of Georgetown Faculty and staff, NUF Alumni, and National Urban Fellows’ staff.

How are mentorships assigned?

Mentors are recruited each year for the incoming class; therefore, every class will have a different set of mentors. Mentors and Fellows undergo an interview process in order to identify potential matches for the mentorship assignment.  The perspectives of Mentors and Fellows are carefully assessed in order to create the best experience for both parties. Ultimately, the National Urban Fellows is responsible for making final determinations on mentorship assignments.

Can my present employer serve as my Mentor?

While it is not common, if a company wishes to sponsor an individual, we may be able to accommodate the request. Our main goal is to ensure that the Mentorship will provide the Fellow with a unique experience in a new environment that offers opportunities for learning and growth outside of their current expertise.

What are the mentorship assignments for the current class?

Please see the NUF Mentors page.

Is relocation required?

Relocation has been a core program expectation over NUF’s 50-year history and has offered Fellows opportunities to learn, grow, and build networks in new locations they may not otherwise be exposed to. Beginning in 2021, NUF modified this requirement and made some virtual and hybrid placements available in order to address health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. We will continue to determine placement modalities based on the workplace expectations set by our mentorship host sites.


What expenses does NUF cover?

In addition to a fully-funded graduate education, Fellows gain ongoing personal and professional development. They also receive a $25,000 stipend distributed over the 14 months of the program, health insurance, a book stipend, and assistance with relocation to their mentorship sites. Fellows also receive travel and lodging at their mid-year retreat in January.

How are special needs – such as disabilities – for Fellows handled?

National Urban Fellows complies with all government guidelines and regulations as they apply to individuals with disabilities. Georgetown University provides assistance and accommodations as required by Federal law. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Georgetown University’s Academic Resource Center assesses accommodations for students with disabilities based on documentation from a medical professional.

How are previously scheduled commitments – such as a vacation – handled during the Fellowship year?

Upon acceptance into the program, Fellows are required to adhere to NUF’s program schedule and be able to fully participate in classes, meetings, training sessions and other activities taking place throughout the 14 months.

Where can I direct additional questions?

Please email the Program Office at