What is a Fellowship?

While the term “fellowship” is used by a variety of different programs, generally fellowships:

  • are short-term opportunities lasting from a few months to several years
  • focus on the professional development of the fellow
  • are sponsored by a specific association or organization seeking to expand leadership in their field

Fellowship programs can be designed to support a range of activities including:

  • graduate study in a specific field
  • research to advance work on a particular issue
  • developing a new community-based organization or initiative
  • training and reflection to support the fellow’s growth
  • opportunities to further explore a particular field of work

Fellowships have traditionally been awarded to graduate and post-graduate students, but there are an increasing number of fellowships available to recent college graduates in public policy, the arts, education, and other nonprofit fields.

Benefits of a Fellowship

Experiential Learning

Fellowships are structured to provide significant work experiences, and fellows are often expected to take on a great deal of responsibility quickly. Generally, fellows are provided with unique experiences that are not typically available to someone starting out in an entry-level position. This experiential learning component varies depending upon the fellowship program.

Training and Professional Development

Fellowship programs are known for their commitment to the professional development of individual fellows and often include intensive training. Key elements of this training might include:

  • academic seminars to develop frameworks and apply theory
  • in-depth research and analysis of a particular issue area
  • a broad curriculum of skills development: leadership, community organizing, public speaking, grant writing, media relation


Compensation is often considered the biggest drawback of a fellowship. Although most fellowship programs do provide a living allowance or stipend, it is typically not comparable to the salary of a full-time job. This financial compensation varies greatly – stipends can range from a few thousand for the summer months, to $10,000-$25,000 for a 9-12 month program. Still others can compensate in the $40,000 – $65,000 annually and last for up to a 2-year period. Other incentives are often provided to fellows such as healthcare coverage, student loan repayment assistance, and housing stipends.

*Adapted from Berkeley, University of California, Career Center Website.

Recruiting Cycle and Deadlines to Apply

Deadlines to apply for these opportunities vary, though many fall between September and April. Please check individual websites for these details as well as additional application instructions.

Hear from Administrative Fellows at Boston-Area Hospitals

Interested in learning more about Administrative Fellowships? Click here to view a recorded panel of current and past administrative fellows from Boston-area hospitals discuss their fellowship experiences from the application and interview process to the transition into a full-time position.

Managing Applications/Recommendations

If you are planning to apply for administrative fellowships, it is ESSENTIAL that you identify your recommendation writers and contact them early to seek their participation. Many fellowships require a “program director” letter, and at BUSPH, that person is your concentration faculty director. It is strongly recommended that you contact your potential letter writers by August 1, since many of the fellowship deadlines are in September and early October. Many of the application processes require that you submit all materials on paper, in a single packet, so the logistics of asking for and getting letters can be challenging.

We also suggest that you provide recommenders with electronic versions of your resume, your draft personal statement, and a table listing the letters you need, with full address and salutation information, along with submission method, and due dates. This will increase the likelihood of  your recommender being able to provide what you are requesting, when you need it.

MPH Internships/Fellowships

Administrative Fellowships (Hospital)

For more listings, please visit the American College of Healthcare Executives
Directory of Fellowships in Health Services Administration

Environmental Health Fellowships/Programs (Doctorate Students)

Global Health Fellowships

Additional Fellowships