Imagine Fellowships

At Luther College, a generous fellowship program makes it possible for a select group of incoming students—known as Imagine Fellows—to turn their dreams into realities. Many colleges in the country have specific programs for intellectually promising new students. Almost all of these colleges impose strict requirements. Although this type of learning can be effective, just imagine the results if bright, creative, and passionate students are set free to learn in a different way.

Imagine trekking the Appalachian Trail during the summer, following your curiosity to record the stories and music of families who have lived for generations in the mountains, hills, and hollows along the trail. Imagine using your gifts of compassion and empathy while serving as a volunteer at a clinic for AIDS orphans in southern Africa. Imagine joining a research team studying the effects of pesticides on freshwater fish in the Mississippi River.

The Imagine Fellowship program is one way Luther demonstrates its commitment to the liberal arts. The liberal arts are all about freeing students to pursue learning for its own sake, better equipping them to pursue their interests and passions, and helping to prepare them to be creative, compassionate, and constructive global citizens.

Requirements and Selection

  • Ten students will be selected from each incoming class.
  • Academic requirements: composite ACT score greater than or equal to 30 (or at least 1330 for combined critical reading and mathematics SAT subscores) and a cumulative high school GPA greater than or equal to 3.75.
  • Applicants must also submit a 500-word essay as well as a one-page résumé.
  • Selection is based on assessment of each student's potential promise as a student and scholar, his or her capacity and passion to engage in creative and self-directed learning, and his or her ability to translate learning into service to others.
  • The admissions staff puts forth recommendations for potential Imagine Fellows to a committee comprised of the vice president of enrollment, associate dean of the college, and faculty members.
  • Candidates chosen by the committee will be invited to interview.


Imagine Fellows will receive a $5,000 fellowship, which may be used anytime during the junior or senior year. The fellowship comes with few restrictions; students have great latitude in using the funds to pursue their own passions.

  • Students need only collaborate with a faculty member in determining the actual experience.
  • The only restriction on the fellowship is that it be used to pursue an extended learning experience beyond campus; therefore, Imagine Fellowships cannot be used to offset normal tuition and fee charges on campus.
  • Imagine Fellows must maintain a 3.0 Luther GPA and remain enrolled as full-time students.
  • Twice a year, fellows will come together for dinner and conversation.

Since this fellowship is a creative investment in people and ideas, no formal "product" is required as a result of the experience. Imagine Fellows will, however, be asked to share their experiences with other Imagine Fellows during the biannual dinners. In addition, they made decide, in conjunction with professors, to use their experiences as the foundation for senior projects, internships, or credit-bearing coursework.

Imagine Fellowship
Imagine Fellows In Action

Want to learn more about the experiences of the Imagine Fellows? Read this article in Luther's alumni magazine.