One of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s priorities is to increase diversity among the faculty of colleges and universities. The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship is the centerpiece of these efforts.


Fellows are generally chosen in the spring of their sophomore year after their majors have been declared, though there is some variation from institution for institution. In a few cases, fellows have been selected as juniors or seniors.

According to the MMUF website"

The following criteria are weighed in selecting participants for MMUF:

  • Academic promise (some schools have a minimum GPA cutoff, others do not);
  • Interest in pursuing an academic career in an eligible field (a list of the eligible fields can be viewed here);
  • Potential for serving as a mentor and teacher for a wide variety of students;
  • Race and ethnicity, in relation to their underrepresentation in designated fields of study;
  • Demonstrated commitment to the goals of MMUF: to reduce the serious underrepresenta­tion on faculties of individuals from minority groups, as well as to address the consequences of these racial disparities for the educational system itself and for the larger society that it serves. Examples of such commitment might include serious undergraduate research into racial dispari­ties in higher education; a strong record of tutoring students from underrepresented groups; sustained mentoring of children from such groups; or other forms of community service or leadership activities in campus or off-campus organizations.
  • Availability for, and commitment to, full and enthusiastic participation in all aspects of the MMUF program, including attendance at conferences and meetings;
  • Status as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (except for students at the University of Cape Town, the University of the Western Cape, and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa).

Application Deadline

Friday, February 3, 2017

Scholarship Website

Year Available


Preference Given To:

African-Americans, Latinos and Latinas, Native Americans, and other under­represented minorities (URM).

Award Amounts

$3600 + Summer Stipend

University Affiliation

Field of Study

Anthropology and Archaeology
Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies
Art History
Geography and Population Studies
Film, Cinema and Media Studies (theoretical focus)
Musicology, Ethnomusicology and Music Theory
Foreign Languages and Literatures
Performance Studies (theoretical focus)
Philosophy and Political Theory
Religion and Theology
Theater (theoretical focus)