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Deborah Murdock Scholarship

Beginning with the 2008-09 academic year, the Deborah Murdock Scholarship will be awarded annually to assist Portland State University graduate students achieve their educational goals. The fund will support tuition, fees, books, or other expenses for a graduate student with financial need who is dedicated to a career in public service.

Debbie Murdock was known and widely respected for her tireless belief in and dedication to public service and Portland State University. She worked at PSU for 14 years serving as lobbyist and strategic advisor to the president. Her intellect, passion, and powers of persuasion led to tens of millions of dollars in funding for PSU and policy directives that helped transform the University into the largest in the Oregon University System.

Debbie was a devout advocate for students and committed her energy to assist others. As a mentor, she launched the careers of many into public service of all kinds. Debbie often hired a graduate assistant to work in the Government Relations Office, which led to the graduate student focus of this scholarship.

Debbie suffered a stroke in October 2006 that left her temporarily paralyzed. She approached her rehabilitation as she did other challenges, such as training to walk a marathon or securing federal funding. She worked incredibly hard. She regained mobility and returned to work. After a short victory lap, she was diagnosed with late-stage cancer and passed away days later on August 14, 2007.

The Deborah Murdock Endowed Scholarship Fund was created by Debbie's friends, family, and colleagues to honor her memory in the way she would have loved: by helping PSU students reach their educational goals.  


You are eligible to apply for the Deborah Murdock Scholarship if you meet these requirements:

  • You are a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • You are admitted to (or have applied for admission to) a graduate degree program starting in Fall 2018 with university regular status (i.e., with no university conditions at admission).
  • You will be enrolled and successfully complete 6 or more graduate credits that will count towards your degree each term of the award.
  • You have an expressed interest and/or experience in a career in public service. Public service is defined broadly to include politics, public administration, education, or social service.
  • You have financial need.
  • You must file the 2018-19 FAFSA.

For students receiving financial aid, this award will impact the financial aid package.

On-line Application Process

On-line application for OGS (Office of Graduate Studies) scholarships and awards is now available.

You will access the on-line application for OGS scholarships and awards at the Scholarship Manager website. (This website has a new URL, so if you have bookmarked it in the past, please create a new bookmark for it.) If you have never created an account, you will need to first create an account by clicking on "First Time User." Once your account is created, you will click on "Returning User" to access the application form.

To apply for OGS scholarships and awards, you must complete the PSU Graduate Scholarship Application on the Scholarship Manager website by the deadlines stated below.

Transcripts are NOT required as part of your scholarship application
Please DO NOT send transcripts to OGS


  • The deadline for the on-line PSU Graduate Scholarship Application is February 1, 2018 at 11:59 PM (PDT).
  • The deadline for the on-line letters of recommendation is February 1, 2018 at 11:59 PM (PDT).