Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Website: Bonderman Travel Fellowship


A decision to select new fellows in the 2022-23 academic year has not yet been made. Please check back here in January 2023 for an update.

See the Bonderman FAQs for more information.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We plan to launch a new selection cycle as soon as circumstances allow, with a hope to do so in winter of 2023. Please continue to check for updates, both on the resumption of Bonderman Fellow travel and the next selection cycle. Thank you for your support of the program and the fellows. For more information, see the COVID-19 section of the FAQ.

Each year a select group of UW students are provided a rare opportunity to independently travel the world as Bonderman Fellows. David Bonderman, a UW alumnus, created the Bonderman Fellowship in 1995, which has funded life-changing global journeys for more than 280 students.

The Bonderman Fellowship offers University of Washington graduate, professional, and undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in independent exploration and travel abroad. Administered by the University Honors Program and the Graduate School, Bonderman Fellowships enable students to undertake independent international travel to explore, be open to the unexpected, and come to know the world in new ways. Fellows may not participate in a program or organization, engage in formal study at a foreign university, conduct research or other academic projects, or travel with an organized group. Bonderman Fellowships are intended to introduce students to cultures, peoples, and areas of the world with which they are not familiar.

For more than twenty years UW alumnus David Bonderman has supported UW students via travel fellowships that ask them to explore, challenge themselves, and see the globe through a different lens. Bonderman, who earned his undergraduate degree in Russian from the University of Washington in 1963, received a Sheldon Fellowship after graduating from Harvard Law School, which allowed him to travel internationally and had a profound impact on his life. In 2017 the University of Washington Bonderman Fellowship expanded its impact with a $10 million endowment from David Bonderman.


The Bonderman Fellowship offers University of Washington graduate, professional and undergraduate students from the Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell campuses an opportunity to engage in independent international travel. Applicants must:

  • Be University of Washington graduate, professional or undergraduate students
  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Be enrolled at UW and in good academic, conduct and disciplinary standing during the quarter the application is due
  • If awarded, good academic, disciplinary and conduct standing is a prerequisite of receiving the fellowship

GRADUATE/PROFESSIONAL STUDENTS: All students enrolled in graduate or professional degree programs are eligible to apply. (On leave status is not considered “enrolled.”)

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: All undergraduate students with senior credit standing AND who also meet ONE of the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • at least a 3.50 cumulative UW GPA by the start of Winter 2021; OR
  • participation and good standing in the University Honors Program (Interdisciplinary, Departmental, or College Honors) or in UW Tacoma’s Global Honors Program, by the start of Winter 2021. Undergraduates in one of these honors programs DO NOT need to have 3.50 UW GPA or higher to apply but must be in good standing in their respective programs, whatever that may mean.
Student Type
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident

UW graduate students, professional students, and undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the Bonderman Travel Fellowship. The application process includes an essay, a proposed itinerary, and an interview with a selection committee composed of University of Washington faculty and staff, as well as former Bonderman Fellows. For more information, go to:

Contact Information

Brook Kelly

Assistant Director of Academic Services

University Honors Program

University of Washington, Seattle