Rules and Requirements

Rules and Requirements

I strongly encourage all minorities in engineering and science to apply for the GEM program because it serves as a bridge that brings you one step closer to your dreams.

– Tommie McFerren, GEM Alumnus

Is the GEM Fellowship right for me?

GEM offers MS and Ph.D. level students an outstanding opportunity and access to dozens of the top Engineering and Science firms and Universities in the nation. The GEM Fellowship was designed to focus on promoting opportunities for individuals to enter industry at the graduate level in areas such as research and development, product development, and other high level technical careers. GEM also offers exposure opportunities to a number of opportunities in academe.


Under-representation: Candidates are targeted for participation who are members of the following under-represented groups in science and engineering as defined by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • American Indian/Native
  • African American/Black
  • Hispanic American/Latino

Citizenship: Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident at time of application.

GRE: Applicants are strongly encouraged to take the GRE to qualify for multiple GEM Member University programs. Applicants will be asked to provide test dates and/or GRE scores when available.

University Graduate Program: Applicants must directly apply to a minimum of three (3) GEM Member Universities STEM graduate departments. The deadline to apply to three GEM Member Universities is January 15th OR the relevant STEM graduate department deadline, whichever is earlier. Applicants must be admitted into a GEM Member University graduate program before the GEM Fellowship is awarded.

Additional Information by Program

MS Engineering Program Applicants:

  • must be a senior, or graduate of an accredited engineering or computer science program at the time of application.
  • must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.8/4.0.
  • must contractually agree to intern for two summers with sponsoring GEM Employer.

Ph.D. Program Applicants:

  • must be a senior, masters student, or graduate of an accredited engineering or applied science program at the time of application.
  • must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0/4.0.
  • must contractually agree to intern with a GEM Employer member the Summer immediately after sponsorship.

Portable Fellowships

Applying to Graduate School

The portable fellowships are valid at only GEM member universities. The cost of application to graduate school is borne by the student (please check the GEM University Membership listing to see if your graduate institution of interest offers STEM graduate application waivers to GEM applicants). Each GEM Member University has its own entrance requirements, and students are accepted on their own merits. GEM member universities are not obligated to admit a student. It is advisable to apply for admission to several of the member universities at the same time application is made to the GEM program, but no later than the university’s published deadline.

Requirement to apply to a minimum of 3 GEM Member Universities

GEM fellowship applicants must apply to a minimum of 3 GEM Member Universities, directly to the relevant STEM department by their published deadline. Applying directly to 3 GEM Member Universities for admission to a STEM graduate program by their posted deadline is an ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT. If the applicant is currently matriculating in a STEM graduate program, where they are seeking financial support, and the GEM Member University (of current graduate matriculation) is willing to provide in writing willingness to support as a GEM Fellow if selected, then and only then is the requirement to apply to a minimum of 3 GEM Member Universities waived.

Confirmation of GEM Fellowships by GEM Member Universities

Member universities may have additional requirements for the acceptance of GEM fellows (e.g. requirements for obtaining in-state residency, requirements for acceptance of teaching or research assistantship, budgeted number of GEM Fellows per academic year). Please check with the particular graduate school of interest to you. Admission into a GEM Member University’s STEM graduate department does not directly translate to confirmation of the use of the GEM Fellowship at the participating GEM Member University. At the time of selection, a GEM Member University Representative will confirm in writing if the GEM Fellowship can be used at their institution.

Length of Fellowship

MS engineering fellows are expected to complete their master’s degree coursework in four semesters or six quarters. Ph.D. engineering and science fellows receive support up to the fifth year of their PhD program. After the first year of support through GEM, fellows are required to accept a research or teaching assistantship, or other financial support through the GEM member university.

Terms of Fellowship

Fellows are required to: attend a GEM member University, maintain satisfactory progress toward an MS or Ph.D. degree, abide by GEM guidelines, and abide the guidelines of the company sponsor.

Code of Conduct

If confirmed as a GEM Fellow you will be expected to conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times. The following internship criteria must be followed to assure continuation of your GEM Fellowship:

  • You are required to work as a summer intern for your sponsoring employer.
  • While on assignment to your sponsoring employer, you are governed by that employer’s employment policies, practices, procedures, dress code, and/or standards of conduct. To avoid any misunderstanding, it is recommended that you obtain clarification regarding such matters from your employer when you begin your assignment.
  • Your performance while on assignment as an intern will be measured by your employer’s performance measurement process. You must receive a satisfactory (or better) performance rating for the period of your internship to retain your fellowship. Failure to do so will result in dismissal as a GEM Fellow.
  • You are required to prepare a summary report explaining your internship experience, and provide a copy of that report to your supervisor and to the GEM Office no later than 2 weeks after the completion of your internship.
  • You must meet, as requested, with the GEM staff member(s) during site visits to your employer.
  • You must keep both the GEM Office and your sponsoring employer apprised, at all times, of your current e-mail, address and telephone number. You can do this by keeping your eGEM account up to date.

Adhering to this code of conduct will help you optimize your internship experience, and you will continue the tradition of GEM fellows being regarded as a very select group of students who meet the highest possible academic and personal standards.

Tuition and Stipend

GEM MS Engineering Fellows receive a stipend, which may be supplemented by the GEM Member University. The funding for the MS Award is for up to four semesters or up to six quarters.

The funding for the Ph.D. programs is up to the 5th year of the PhD program. One year is funded through the GEM National Office (via sponsorship from a GEM Employer and the GEM University). During the remaining years of the PhD program (up to the fifth year), GEM Fellows are funded at the same level of other funded doctorate students in the department. GEM Fellows may be expected to accept a teaching or research assistantship. GEM Universities may place additional requirements on GEM Fellows, such as requiring that GEM Fellows obtain in-state residency. GEM Fellows must check with individual GEM Member University representatives to determine if additional requirements exist at that university.

MS Engineering Fellowship Program

  • $16,000 total stipend over the entire Master’s program (remitted in payments by terms to the matriculating GEM Member University)
  • Full tuition and fees at GEM Member University

Ph.D. Engineering/Science Fellowship Program

  • $16,000 stipend applied to one academic year
  • Additional stipend (assistantships, grants, other stipend dollars) support from GEM Member University to bring the stipend amount up to the funding level of other funded PhD students in that department
  • Full tuition and fees up to the fifth year of the PhD program

Payment of Stipend

Students receive their stipend in accordance with each GEM University’s payment schedule, and may be paid in weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly installments. Stipend payments typically begin about one month after the student arrives on campus. Thus, GEM Fellows are advised to retain sufficient funds from their summer internship stipends to cover anticipated initial expenses (e.g., travel to the GEM University, books, supplies, etc.).

To begin receiving the stipend, GEM Fellows are required to meet with their GEM University Representative, to submit internship self-evaluations, graduate program plan, and updated transcripts at the end of each graduate term on their eGEM account.

Summer School vs. Internship

As a rule, students cannot substitute summer school for their internship obligation. However, this requirement may be waived under special circumstances, such as early graduation with the intent of working full-time for the sponsoring company. Written requests for a waiver must be made to the GEM Employer and the GEM National Office several months before the summer employment is scheduled to begin.

Leave of Absence

Upon written approval from the GEM Employer, GEM University, and GEM National Office, a student may obtain a leave of absence from the GEM Fellowship Program. The Fellow must re-enroll within the terms of the agreed upon arrangement.


A GEM Fellow must secure prior written approval from the GEM National Office to withdraw from the GEM Fellowship Program. If an enrolled GEM Fellow drops out of the academic program before the school term has ended, the GEM Fellow may be liable for full or partial restitution of stipend, tuition and fee payments.

Grounds for Termination

The National GEM Consortium reserves the right to terminate a GEM Fellow’s appointment and stipend payment immediately for violation of the terms of the appointment or for misconduct. Either an unsatisfactory progress report from the University Member or an unsatisfactory performance report from the Employer Member where the student is assigned may be considered grounds for termination. Any student terminated for gross misconduct, negligence, or non-performance will be considered to have violated their agreement with the National GEM Consortium and will be ineligible for future consideration.

Note on Taxability of Fellowship Monies

All students receiving fellowships or other graduate assistance funds should be advised that these monies may be subject to local, state or federal taxes. All GEM Fellows should contact the appropriate taxing authority for further information.

Medical Expenses

GEM Fellows are encouraged to take advantage of medical insurance made available to them by their Graduate School. Most Universities do not include medical expenses in tuition and fees. The cost for these expenses can be paid out of the fellowship stipend or summer earnings.

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