Required Activities and Expectations of the MMUF

The MMUF is a structured program with specific and required activities during the summers before the junior and senior years as well as during the regular academic year. It is expected to be the primary extracurricular activity, including work-study (for which it is designed to replace), and thus Fellows should organize other extracurricular activities in order to fully participate in the MMUF program.

Structure of Summer Programs

After being accepted into the program during the spring semester of the sophomore year, Fellows will quickly begin to make plans for the upcoming summer. Upon consultation with and approval by the Mellon Coordinator, it is expected that during the first summer of the fellowship that Fellows will enroll in a residential program that is organized to prepare Fellows for graduate study. Such programs will often include courses in intensive writing as well as how to begin undertaking research. These courses are usually supplemented with workshops that assist in becoming familiar with the requirements for applying to graduate school and an introduction to various aspects of academic life.

In order to attend graduate school, applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), a standardized test used as a factor in determination admission. Given its continued importance, the MMUF program also provides support and workshops for understanding how to perform well on the GRE. 

During the second summer, in consultation with the Coordinator and their mentor, Fellows are expected to design their own independent research program, which will aid in the development of their research project. Such activities can include visit to archives, language acquisition, or enrolling in courses that provide specific knowledge needed to carry out the research project.

Academic Year

During both academic years, Fellows are required to enroll in a year-long course (half-credit each semester) taught by the Coordinator. In order to avoid conflicts with other classes, the course (HIST187) will meet in a non-canonical time slot: Tuesdays from 4:30-5:50. With the exception of an occasional dinner and public lecture, as well as the Northeast Regional Conference, most of the activities related to the fellowship will occur during the class time. Following up on themes related to graduate school preparation, there will be class sessions on writing, conducting research as well as visits by those who can speak about their experiences in graduate school and/or the professional life of an academic. Fellows will also be expected in the class to present on their research, and at the end of each semester to submit a final paper that summarizes and updates the state of the research essay/thesis/project. Thus, class will require regular attendance, short writing assignments, oral presentations, and a final papers. Fellows must maintain at least a B+ average to continue in the MMUF program.

The Northeast Regional Conference

Each fall (usually the third or fourth weekend of September) the MMUF programs in the Northeast region gather for a two-day conference at one of the participating universities. At the conference, there are panels, discussions, and plenary speakers. Fellows are expected to present on their research, usually after completing research during the second summer. For a number of years, the conference was held at Wesleyan, but now it rotates around to other institutions. All Fellows are expected to attend the conference.

End of the Year Banquet

After the end of classes during the spring semester and before final exams, a banquet is held to acknowledge the accomplishments of the graduating senior MMUF cohort. The junior cohort will be introduced while the senior Fellows are required to present on the final projects. The incoming MMUF cohort is also invited. The banquet is usually held the first Monday in May in the Daniel Family Commons.