Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

For Students Seeking Careers in Advanced Research & College Teaching

To address the shortage of under represented scholars on college and university campuses and to improve racial relations, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation established the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program.

The program is designed to encourage the most talented undergraduate students from groups traditionally underrepresented in graduate education, as well as others with a demonstrated commitment to eradicate racial disparities, to enter Ph.D. programs and pursue careers in research and college teaching.

The program provides financial support and a developmental structure from the summer preceding a student's junior year until admission to graduate school. In addition, Mellon Mays Fellows receive continuing support from the Mellon Foundation as they advance through graduate school and gain faculty appointments.

City College is one of over forty participating colleges and universities in the U.S. and South Africa. For more information, see:

Faculty Mentoring

Fellows choose a faculty mentor from their major department who serves as an advisor, role model, and research supervisor. Together, the Fellow and mentor devise a program to help the Fellow develop his or her academic potential and prepare for graduate school.

Activities might include: conducting independent research; preparing research for presentation or publication; participating in the design of a course; teaching a class in the mentor's course; participating in professional activities such as the attendance of an academic conference or the search for a new faculty member.

Pre-Graduate School Advising
In addition to advising from mentors, Mellon Mays Fellows participate in a series of forums and workshops designed to provide information about graduate school and facilitate the application process.

Forums feature faculty speakers who address broad issues in research and academic life. Workshops help Fellows to devise a plan for application to Ph.D. programs, learn about funding sources, write a strong statement or purpose, and prepare to take the Graduate Record Examination.

Fellows receive a summer research stipend of $4,500 for each of the two summers of their Fellowship, as well as $2,000 for each semester of their junior and senior years.

Funds for Travel, Research, Academic Training
Supplemental funds are available to cover research expenses, travel to conferences and libraries, and academic training such as intensive language study.

Loan Repayment
Following graduation from City College, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows who enroll as full-time students in eligible Ph.D. programs may have up to $10,000 of undergraduate or graduate loans repaid by the Mellon Foundation.

Research Conferences
At the end of every spring semester, the Fellowships Program holds a research conference at which Fellows may present their research.They also attend annual conferences with Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows from other colleges in New York City and New England.

Social and Intellectual Community
The workshops, forums, social events, and research conference bring together Mellon Mays Fellows with City College Fellows to form a vibrant community that fosters intellectual growth and mutual support.


  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA and exceptional scholarly promise
  • Students must be planning to study in one or more of these fields:
    • Anthropology and archaeology
    • Area/cultural/ethnic/gender studies
    • Art history
    • Classics
    • Geography and population studies
    • English
    • Film, cinema, and media studies (theoretical focus)
    • Musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory
    • Foreign languages and literatures
    • History
    • Linguistics
    • Literature
    • Performance studies (theoretical focus)
    • Religion and theology
    • Sociology
    • Theater (theoretical focus)
    • Interdisciplinary studies: Interdisciplinary areas of study may be eligible in they have one or more eligible fields at their core, but must be approved by the MMUF staff at the Mellon Foundation on a case-by-case basis. Please note that interdisciplinary education graduate programs, even those that incorporate one or more eligible fields, are not eligible for MMUF graduate benefits.
  • Desire to matriculate in a Ph.D. program and to pursue a career in research and teaching at the college or university level.
  • Current sophomores or students with three to four more semesters before graduation.


Students wishing to be considered for the program should submit an application through APPLY NOW!  Please notify our office after you submit your application: Tel:  212-650-8388 or email:


Applicants will be screened, interviewed, and appointed by members of the Steering Committee.

Selection will be based on the strength of the student's academic record, academic focus and goals, faculty recommendations, and capacity to diversify the academy and/or demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities.

Awards will be announced by April. The Fellowship begins during the summer following selection.


Last Updated: 09/20/2023 12:52