Graduate Dean's Professional Development Award

In partnership with the Graduate Student Association (GSA)

Formerly the Graduate Dean's Scholarship Award

The Graduate Dean's Professional Development Award provides funding to current graduate students to attend conferences that are beneficial to professional development and degree advancement. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the award will only reimburse conference registration fees. Travel and other associated expenses will not be eligible for the award. Graduate students may apply for up to $500 towards conference registration if presenting, and up to $250 for conference registration if only participating. Students may apply for the award once per academic year for one conference.

Applications are reviewed two times per year. Students are encouraged to submit an application for the award as early as possible in the semester to increase the likelihood of funding.

The Graduate Dean’s Professional Development Award application is now open!

Application Deadline Award Notification 
October 29 (Fall deadline) November 19
February 25 (Spring and Summer deadline) March 25(see below)

*Notifications for ALL SUMMER REQUESTS will be sent by April 16. 

Students attending conferences in spring and summer are not required to wait until that term to apply for an award. Every effort will be made to equitably distribute funds and allow students to get an award offer early to assist in financial planning to attend virtual conferences.

Application & Review

Students must submit an application for the award including information about the virtual conference and a statement about its professional development benefits. The conference must be related to the student’s graduate degree program. This award cannot be applied to study abroad opportunities or other university-sponsored events. Due to limited funding, graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply by the Fall deadline to have the best chance at being awarded the most funding.

Award notification letters will be sent to students' WCU email addresses by the date listed above for each application cycle. 

WCU employees, including those enrolled in graduate programs, are not eligible for the Graduate Dean's Professional Development Award.


Reimbursement requests should only be submitted after you attend the conference. Reimbursements will be issued after the date of the conference. Awardees must submit original, itemized receipts for all expenses that are being reimbursed at the same time. Receipts must include the payment method used, the total amount paid, and a zero balance. Credit card statements, screen shots, online banking screens, and reservation confirmations will not be accepted as receipts. All expenses submitted for reimbursement must be directly related to conference attendance. Awards will not cover in person conferences, any travel, vehicle mileage, gas, rental car charges for days before/after the conference, alcoholic beverages, incidentals, leisure/recreational activities, or any expenses that are not for the awarded student. If you are staying in a hotel in Pennsylvania and are seeking reimbursement through this award, you must submit a tax exempt form to the hotel when you check in. Sales and local occupancy taxes are not reimbursable through the university. Please contact

to obtain this form. Proof of presentation, such as the conference program and photo, must be provided for students receiving the presentation award amount. If proof of presentation is not submitted, the award will be reduced to the attendance reimbursement rate. REIMBURSEMENT FORM (please use Firefox or Internet Explorer)

All students must submit the online REIMBURSEMENT FORM
(please use Firefox or Internet Explorer)

Receipt/Proof of Presentation Submission Instructions:
Upload with Online Reimbursement Form (Strongly Recommended)
Must be submitted in PDF or Word format. Screen captures cannot be accepted. Please keep original documents in case they are needed for reference.

All receipts are subject to review and approval. After submission, please allow up to 1 month to receive your check in the mail. The check will be mailed to the address you entered on your Graduate Dean's Professional Development Award application.

NEW: All students must remotely complete and submit a W9 form to be eligible for reimbursement. The form will be sent to your WCU e-mail account after your reimbursement form has been received. Please upload the completed form to The Graduate School through myWCU. For security reasons, forms cannot be accepted through e-mail and must be securely submitted through myWCU.  


For questions about the award, please email

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