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Graduate Student Programs

Board Fellows Program

The Board Fellows Program places Foster MBA and Evans MPA students as non-voting board members of local nonprofit organizations. With more than 75 graduate students, this is one of the largest Board Fellows Programs in the country and serving nonprofits throughout Washington State as well as California and New York.

Board Fellows serve on boards that impact the lives of more than 2.5 million people annually.

This academic-year long program enables students learn how boards of directors lead organizations, make decisions, and make an impact on their community. Board Fellows participate in monthly board meetings, serve on board committees complete a board-level project and participate in board leadership webinars.

Vy Nguyen, [email protected], (206) 543-3681

Program Overview

Students develop board leadership skills through three channels:

  • Board Service
    Students attend regularly scheduled meetings of the board (generally monthly) from September to May and actively participate in one board committee. Students are non-voting members of the board but are encouraged to participate in discussions and share their unique knowledge and perspective.
  • Board Project
    Each board will be assigned two student board fellows, and together the students complete a board-level project for their nonprofit. Students work with their board mentor to identify a project that is important to the board of directors, uses the fellows’ skills and furthers the work of a board committee or the board as a whole.
  • Board Leadership Class Webinars
    The Board Leadership Class Webinar assist the student in maximizing their learning by matching best-practice frameworks that they apply through their board service. Among topics covered are:
    – The fundamental responsibilities of board members
    – The challenges faced by board members during these present times
    – The ways boards shape the organization’s strategic direction
    – The ways that board members can strengthen their organization’s financial management and stability
    – The strengths and limitations of various board governance structures

Application Timeline and Notification Dates

The Foster Board Fellows Program offers one per year—each fall. You may apply on March 2, 2020 after all the nonprofits have been selected for the upcoming academic year.

Start Date End Date
Nonprofit Application Opens December 16, 2019 February 14, 2020 (11:59 pm PST)
Nonprofit Application Review December 16, 2019 February 28, 2020
Board Fellows Application Opens March 2, 2020 April 3, 2020 (11:59 pm PST)
Board Fellows’ Applications Reviewed by Nonprofits April 6, 2020 April 20, 2020 (11:59 pm PST)
Interview Schedule Available April 27, 2020
Interview/Matching Day May 8, 2020 @ 1:00 pm


Application opens to students who are completing their second or third year of studying including Full-time MBA, Evening MBA, Hybrid MBA, TMMBA, and MPA.

The 2020-2021 Board Fellows Program opens to Class of 2021 (2-year programs) and Class of 2022 (3-year programs).

Application Requirements

  • Complete an online application
  • Complete a short essay question
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter

Student Experience

  • Application of graduate skills in a real-world setting
  • Increased understanding of board governance principles that apply in both non-profit and for-profit organizations
  • Expanded understanding of management in the nonprofit sector
  • Grow connections with local business leaders
  • Earn 4 credits (2 – Fall; 0 – Winter; 2 – Spring)*
  • Can be used to fulfill 4-credit MBA elective
  • Project may be used to fulfill MPA elective credits
  • Board Fellows project may be used for MBA practical experience (with prior approval)

*No credits allocation

Matching Process

Matching Process

MBA Scholarships

UW Foster School of Business MBA students can take advantage of financial support through the Consulting and Business Development Center to make a difference with multicultural businesses while strengthening business skills and rounding out the Foster academic experience.

This fund awards an annual scholarship to an African American student at the Foster School of Business who affiliates with the Center to provide consulting assistance to support the growth of African American-owned firms. You may apply for these opportunities through the MBA Scholarship Application. Please send direct questions to the MBA Program office at (206) 543-4661.
Named after the founder of the Washington State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, this scholarship was established as a partnership between the Latino community and the University of Washington. Recipients of this scholarship are of Latina-American decent who affiliate with the Center to provide consulting assistance to support the growth of Latino-owned firms. You may apply for these opportunities through the MBA Scholarship Application. Please send direct questions to the MBA Program office at (206) 543-4661.