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This special scholarship is named in honour of AFL-CIO President Emeritus John J. Sweeney, the son of Irish immigrants, who dedicated his life to advancing the well-being of working people, making outstanding contributions to working people both in the US and internationally which will live on for years to come.


The John J Sweeney Scholarship has a value of $20,000 and that is used towards the Scholar’s tuition fees for an MSc or LLM at Ulster University.

This scholarship is generously supported by funds raised by the AFL-CIO, the American Labor community, business and civic organisations, and individuals.

*Any balance remaining may be used to purchase study materials/equipment, support course-related activities and/or in support of the Scholar’s living expenses and travel costs.

Eligibility Criteria

The John J Sweeney Scholarship supports US students enrolled to study full-time on the following MSc or LLM at Ulster University:

  • MSc Peace and Conflict Studies
  • MSc Social Policy
  • LLM Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice
  • LLM Gender, Conflict and Human Rights
  • LLM Access to Justice
  • MSc Construction Management
  • MSc Management and Corporate Governance
  • MSc Manufacturing Management
  • MSc Business Development and Innovation

The Scholarship will be open to all US citizens who:

  • Have been offered a full-time place on one of the above MSc or LLM and have made a firm commitment to Ulster University during the admissions phase;
  • Are a US union member; or;
  • Have a familial connection to a US union member (mother, father, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent); or;
  • Can provide a reference letter from a union sponsor.

How to apply

  • Candidates must apply via the online application form.
  • Applicants must ensure that all sections of the application form are completed with all additional requirements attached to the application.

These include:

  • Scanned copy of original degree certificate demonstrating achievement of GPA of 2.8 or above
  • Where applicable, reference letter from a US Union sponsor
  • 500 - 750 word personal statement
  • Two academic reference letters
  • A scanned copy of their US passport