We expect that a Watson Fellowship webinar will be offered in April 2021, but you are free to review last year’s version here. Representatives from the Watson Foundation provide an introduction to this amazing fellowship for college seniors!

Consult the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship page to learn more.  Also, be sure to check out their recent film about the Watson experience!

All graduating seniors at 41 participating institutions (including Carleton) are eligible for nomination by their institutions.


  • Spring Term 2021:  Contact Director of Student Fellowships Marynel Ryan Van Zee (mryanvanzee@carleton.edu) to request access to the Watson Portal and the Watson Applicant Resources Page.
  • Early September 2021 (exact date TBA):  On-campus draft deadline (information on what is expected for this due date is included in the resources you can access once you have contacted Marynel).
  • Late September 2021 (exact date TBA): On-campus selection process deadline. Instructions for meeting this deadline will be sent to Watson candidates by the Director of Student Fellowships.
  • 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 2, 2021:  Final application deadline for nominees (hit ‘submit’ in the Watson Portal)


The Watson Fellowship Program seeks to give exceptional college graduates the freedom to engage in a year of independent study and travel abroad in order to thoroughly explore a particular interest, test aspirations and abilities, view their lives and American society in greater perspective, and develop a more informed sense of international concern.


The Fellowship provides $36,000 to each recipient (more if traveling with spouse or dependents).

Selection Criteria: The Foundation seeks to identify individuals who demonstrate integrity, strong ethical character, intelligence, the capacity for vision and leadership, and potential for humane and effective participation in the world community. Feasibility of the project and language ability are also taken into account.

Application Process

Rather than a pre-application form for the Watson Fellowship, we request that you contact Marynel Ryan Van Zee (mryanvanzee@carleton.edu). She will register you in the portal and provide additional information about Carleton’s application process.

Watson Applicant Resources

Helpful guides and information for 2020 Applicants (password-protected)

Example Applications

Review the applications of past Watson recipients!

Official Website

Each applicant should thoroughly read the materials on the Watson Foundation website

On-campus Adviser

Marynel Ryan Van Zee, Director of Student Fellowships, Laird 131, x4300.

Recent Carleton Recipients