Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply to the program?

NOTE: The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Michigan is no longer accepting applications. Please check out other DDCSP below:


This is a national program open to students at any accredited college or university. The program is intended for undergraduates (freshmen, sophomores and juniors) who are currently enrolled in college or university. Seniors who are graduating in 2019 are not eligible to apply. You must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA/DREAMers) 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.

Is there a grade point average (G.P.A.) requirement?

Applicants should have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 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 U of M, 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 conditions and are excited about exploring the outdoors.

Are scholars allowed to take classes over the summer?

No. DDCSP at U of M is an intensive eight-week program with mandatory activities in the evenings and on weekends. We expect scholars’ full time commitment to the program. Scholars do not get academic credit for DDCSP activities at the University of Michigan nor at their home institutions

How long is the program?

DDCSP at U of M is a two year research and internship commitment. Each year, scholars 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. There is no need for specialized camping equipment.

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

DDCSP at U of M pays a stipend and discretionary funds of $4,400 each year. In addition, the program will cover the cost of accommodations in Ann Arbor, A meal stipend, 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 the cost of incidentals including toiletries, snacks, souvenirs, and other personal purchases.

Are there other DDCSP programs?

Yes! Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Programs are currently operating at University of California-Santa Cruz, University of Florida, and the University of Washington. Please visit the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) website for more information on the suite of programs.

What are the important program dates?

The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Michigan is no longer accepting applications.

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.

Can I get academic credit for participating in DDCSP at U of M?

No, program participants cannot get academic credit for DDCSP at U of M activities.

Can I take courses during the summer while participating in DDCSP at U of M?

The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at U of M is a full-time engagement. Participants are strongly discouraged from taking courses during the program.

Can I have a job while I am DDCSP at U of M Scholar?

The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at U of M is a full-time engagement. Participants are strongly discouraged from having other jobs during the program.