Frequently Asked Questions 


Who can apply to the program?

This is a national program open to students at any accredited 4 year college or university. The program is intended for currently enrolled undergraduate students (freshmen, sophomores and juniors). 2018 graduating seniors are not eligible to apply. You must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or Dreamer/DACA to apply. International students are ineligible.

Members of underrepresented socio-cultural or geographic groups, including: first generation college students, veterans, African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or economically disadvantaged individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.

What is the GPA requirement?

Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 2.75 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. 

I have not taken many science courses, but I am interested in the environment/conservation and am considering this as a career or for graduate school. Should I still apply?

Yes! We do hope that students have a basic understanding of ecological principles. This could come from classroom, volunteer or personal learning experiences. We are looking for students who are motivated to dive into research and investigate issues in conservation. At DDCSP UM, we explore connections between conservation and social justice, so any coursework that will allow you to positively contribute to such discussions is beneficial.

Do I need to have field (outdoor) experience to be accepted?

You do not need to have had extensive or direct time in the field; we hope to provide you with and prepare you for those experiences throughout the program. We do expect that applicants are comfortable being outdoors in varying weather and excited to explore the field.  

Are scholars allowed to take classes over the summer?

No, DDCSP is an intensive 8 week program with mandatory activities in the evenings and on weekends. We expect scholars' full time committment to the program. 

How long is the program?

DDCSP at the University of Michigan is a two year research and internship commitment. Scholars will begin to participate remotely in the program during the spring. Scholars will live in Ann Arbor during the summer and participate in program activities remotely through webinars or at conferences, as well as identifying a mentor at their home institution during the academic year.  During the academic year, scholars will participate in program activities via webinars, conferences, and/or events at their home institutions. Additionally, Scholars will work with a mentor on their campus to support their academic and professional development during the school year. 

What do I need to bring with me? I don’t have any camping or hiking gear.

Upon acceptance, you will receive a detailed packing list to ensure you will be comfortable and prepared. During orientation week, we will provide an opportunity for you to acquire items you might still need. 

I understand that the program pays a stipend, but what are the costs that the students are directly responsible for?

Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program pays a stipend of $4,250. In addition, the program will cover accomodations in a University of Michigan dormitory, including a meal plan, as well as round trip travel to and from Ann Arbor. Scholars will be responsible for ground transportation to and from their home airport, luggage fees, as well as their own incidentals including toiletries, snacks, souvenirs, and other personal purchases.

Are there other DDCSP programs?

Yes! Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Programs are currently in place through Northern Arizona University, University of California-Santa Cruz, University of Florida,  and University of Washington. Please visit the DDCF website for more information on our sister programs:

What are important program dates? 

Application Available: November 2018

Application Due: late January

Notification: mid March

My semester ends after the start of the program can I still apply?

Accepted students are expected to attend all program dates. Program start dates are not flexible. 

I would like to study abroad in the future, will this conflict with program dates?

Students who are accepted into the program are encouraged to discuss their study abroad plans with the DDCSP staff early on to coordinate travel with program start and end dates.

Who can I talk to for more information?

You may contact us at or by telephone at (734) 936-0900. 

Do you know of any research opportunities for graduate students or recent grads? 

If you are a graduate student interested in the environmental field please look into these other programs housed at the University of Michigan:Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research (also open to students who have graduated in the last 12 months) and the Environmental Fellows Program.