Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) 

The MMUF is a national program supporting underrepresented students as they work toward applying to graduate school in a range of fields (link) in the humanities and social sciences

During the undergraduate period, the program supports juniors and seniors by providing summer and academic year fundingmentorship, and a community of fellow students who are all striving toward the same goals of earning a Ph.D.

To learn more about the program and eligibility...

  • Check out the slides from our October 2023 info session (link)
  • Read more details the MMUF national website (link)
  • Connect with MMUF Faculty Coordinator, Prof. Tushar Irani ( 
  • Connect with MMUF Administrative Coordinator, Dean April Ruiz (



Applications include:

  1. An application form (link below, this is where you'll upload the statements described in #2 and #3, and respond to item #4)
  2. Please write a statement (no more than 1000 words) describing your academic andresearch interests. In this statement, please address the following:How have you selected your major, and which courses or academic activities have served as a foundation for your interests?Which topic(s) or question(s) might you want to pursue through a research project? And what early ideas do you have about how you might develop your research plan? (You do not need to have a fully formed research proposal!)Please also share something about your future goals for graduate study and an academic career.
  3. A central goal of the MMUF’s mission is to uplift perspectives, voices, experiences, and histories that have been underrepresented in academia. In a statement of no more than 500 words, please describe what this goal means to you personally or as an emerging scholar.
  4. As you can see in the program expectations (see link to info session slides here), Fellows are expected to spend a significant part of each summer engaged in an activity that supports their academic growth or the progress of their project. Activities might include attending a MMUF summer institute at another university (e.g., at UCLA or UChicago), taking coursework relevant to their field of study, or pursuing independent work.
    Fellows receive $4500 to support their costs for the summer, and Fellows with project/program costs higher than this are encouraged to explore the Wesleyan Summer Grants (link, deadline for proposals typically in February).
    Applicants do not need to confirm their plans at time of application, but they will be asked to confirm their commitment to spending the summer in this way and to share their early ideas about the sort of activity they might wish to pursue.

  5. One letter of recommendation from a faculty member who can speak to your academic work and interests, and your possible pathway to graduate school. (Additional letters are not required.)
  6. An interview. (Students will be invited to interview after the application deadline.)

A note about eligibility:

The MMUF program is a national program sponsored by The Mellon Foundation, and there are eligibility considerations around citizenship. International students who are studying in the USA on a visa are not eligible.If you have questions about whether this limitation applies to you, or if you'd like information about scholarships and opportunities without this limitation, please email Dean April Ruiz (


  • The student application form can be found here: link 
  • The recommender form can be found here: link


General information about eligibility...

Eligibility criteria are set at the national level and can be found here:

Fellows are normally admitted in the spring of the sophomore year, with the maximum size of any cohort set at five. If vacancies occur, applicants may be accepted as rising seniors. 


General information about program activities...

Summer academic engagement (e.g., program participation or research)

Mentoring by faculty

Independent research

Weekly seminar for course credit

Discussions, workshops, and guest lectures to support the pathway to graduate school

Attendance at academic conferences

Support for graduate-school applications