Watson Fellows are selected in a multi-stage process. Students apply to be nominated by the university, which can nominate up to four students each year.
The Watson Campus Committee reads all of the applications and schedules interviews with those students who, judging by their application and letters of recommendation, best demonstrate the characteristics of a Watson Fellow. The Committee then selects up to four students for nomination to be Watson Fellows. Nominees have an opportunity to work with a faculty mentor to revise their application materials before the Watson Foundation's final deadline early November.
A representative of the Watson Foundation will visit the university to conduct personal interviews with each nominee. Then, based on the written materials and interviews, the Watson Foundation selects up to 40 Watson Fellows from the total of about 200 students nominated by the 40 participating liberal arts colleges. Watson Fellows will be notified of their selection mid-March.