Bertha Kalm Scholarship

This scholarship is the result of an endowment made by Bertha Kalm on behalf of her parents, Amanda and Charles Kalm. She established the scholarship in 1995 expressly "to support graduate students in any field of instruction, who need financial assistance to continue their education, and who demonstrate a desire to make a difference for humanity." 

Up to four scholarships of $10,000 each will be awarded to students  in the 2024-2025 academic year. A first-year student is one who at the end of the application semester will have completed fewer than half of the program-applicable units required for the program in which they are matriculated.  In order to be eligible to apply, a student must be in the first year of their graduate education and must be nominated by a tenured or tenure-track faculty member.

This scholarship is also open to international students as well. Students may not self-apply to this scholarship, but may contact tenure-track faculty and seek their support.

Application Process

1.  Only tenured or tenure-track faculty may put forward a student for consideration of this award.  They must also write the primary letter of recommendation.  Faculty are encouraged to seek out those first-year students who will have completed fewer than half of the program-applicable units required for the program in which they are matriculated, and for whom they believe exemplify the qualities outlined in the selection criteria.

2.  The application [pdf] should be completed by the student.  The student should return the application and attendant documents (personal statement, undergraduate and graduate transcripts, a resume or CV, and an additional letter of recommendation from another SJSU faculty member or from someone outside of SJSU [e.g., work supervisor, charitable organization, or undergraduate mentor]) to the faculty member supporting the application.

3.  The complete application will be forwarded by the referring faculty member to the student's college for their review.  College contacts and due dates are available here.

4.  Up to four applications from each college will be forwarded to the College of Graduate Studies for review by the Graduate Studies & Research Committee.  That committee will select the scholarship winners.

Important Dates

Nominations are due to each college no later than March 22, 2024.  Students should check with their primary faculty supporter to confirm this date.  Some colleges may choose to close the nomination period earlier.  Please check with them.

Nominations must be received by the College of Graduate Studies from each college no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 12, 2024.

Selection Criteria

Based on the requirements of the endowment, there are three criteria for scholarship selection:

  1. “Quality of scholarship that has established eligibility for admission to a graduate program” [performance before grad school, as judges by undergraduate transcript and support letter(s)].
  2. “Personal statement regarding goals to be achieved by the master’s degree” [how well the students link their educational goals and degree objective with their desire and plans to make a difference for humanity, as judged by the personal statement].
  3. Faculty assessment of potential success” [based on letters of recommendation, and success broadly defined. Highest scores for both academic success and goal success].

Application [pdf]

Previous Recipients