Scholarships and Awards

The College of Arts and Sciences awards various scholarships to both incoming and current students. These include donor-supported scholarships and fellowships; inclusion scholarships to support students coming to the University of Oregon from underrepresented communities; and financial support to assist students in completing an unpaid internship, research opportunity, or service-learning experience.

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Philosophy Matters Prize

The Department of Philosophy awards the Philosophy Matters Prize annually for the best UO undergraduate and graduate student essays that showcase the continued relevance of philosophy to concrete issues facing us in the world.

Up to two undergraduate prizes and one graduate prize are awarded each year. The winners each receive $300. Winners of the award this year will be contacted by faculty towards the end of spring term and will be announced at the Philosophy Spring Commencement.

Please note that you may submit papers in ANY area of philosophy, with any methodology or approach. Essays may discuss issues that emerge in canonical philosophical texts and in the history of Western and non-Western philosophy. Independent reflection on the relevance of these texts and issues in our lives is encouraged. We will also consider essays that engage relevant and appropriate sources from outside the classroom (for example, current events and issues confronting the world, the plight of minorities in the present and the past, the student’s experience in college and beyond, rights and responsibilities towards nonhuman animals, and others). Papers can thus bring philosophical reflection to bear on issues related to human experience, society and politics, culture, the environment, intersections of gender, race, class, ability, and others.

How to Submit an Essay

Essays for the Philosophy Matters Prize are accepted at any time during the year, with a deadline during the spring term (usually in May). A call for submissions is circulated each spring term. Essays must be double-spaced and must not exceed 20 pages in length. Submissions should be made electronically to Please indicate in the subject line that the essay is a submission for the Philosophy Matters Prize. Only one essay per student will be considered during an academic year. Submitting an essay for the prize indicates the student’s approval that the essay be made available on the Department of Philosophy website in the event that it is selected for the prize.

The winning undergraduate essays are selected by the faculty members currently serving on the Undergraduate Studies Committee. The winning graduate essay is selected by the faculty members currently serving on the Graduate Studies Committee.

Financial Aid Department Scholarships

University-wide scholarships are offered centrally through the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. Scholarships are available to incoming students and to those who are already attending the UO and are based on merit, need, or a combination of both.

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McNair Scholars Program

The McNair Scholars Program (TRiO) prepares qualified juniors and seniors for graduate study leading to PhD degrees. UO McNair Scholars receive comprehensive support to earn undergraduate degrees, complete research projects in their fields of study, and apply to graduate schools. The program’s limited size provides a close-knit community while helping students gain a broad understanding of research and university culture.

McNair Scholarships

Undergraduate Travel Awards

Each student with a declared philosophy major and junior or senior standing at the UO is eligible for one reimbursement for expenses up to $400 for conference travel. These awards facilitate travel to present a paper at undergraduate and professional conferences in Philosophy.

Eligible students will be reimbursed for their travel as applications are submitted until May 15. Students who have already received funding for a conference may nonetheless apply for funds, as their applications will be considered if there are funds remaining. Please submit any additional applications by May 15. If you apply for an additional award before May 15, your application will be held until the deadline.

Students are encouraged to seek lodging opportunities with local peers at the conference to reduce the overall expense. Contact conference organizers to discuss options.

Travel awards are administered by the Undergraduate Committee.


To apply for a travel award, please submit the following to the chair of the Undergraduate Committee as soon as you receive notice of acceptance to present a conference paper:

The chair of the Undergraduate Committee will confirm your eligibility and availability of funds via email.


Reimbursement will be paid upon submission of receipts up to $400. Please submit receipts to the department’s business manager as soon as you return from your trip. Note the following receipt requirements:

  • Conference schedule: The conference schedule listing dates and places, registration fees, conference hotel (if applicable), and meals is required. If you don’t have one, check the web.
  • Travel Itinerary: Travel reimbursement information must contain the date, time, and place of departure, as well as the date, time, and place of return (a copy of the airline itinerary will suffice). The airline itinerary must be purchased by the person requesting reimbursement and show payment received. Airfares must be from Eugene, not Portland. If you use ground transportation to go to Portland, you must include a copy of a comparison fare to show that your flight from Portland with ground transport cost less than a flight from Eugene. Separate quotes are required for any ticket that includes personal travel. When combining personal travel with travel to be reimbursed, payment will be based on the least expensive and reasonable means of transportation to the business location.
  • Meal Per Diem and Lodging: Meals are paid at a flat per diem rate; you do not need receipts for meals. Lodging receipts must be in the traveler’s name, and show payment received. The meal and lodging per diem is limited to the business portion of the trip. Generally, the dates of the conference or meeting and one travel day before and after are allowable for reimbursement. Note that you cannot be reimbursed for meals listed on the conference schedule or included on registration forms.

Please direct all questions about documentation for reimbursement or which expenses can be reimbursed to the department’s business manager.