Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program

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Established in 1988, the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program is the Mellon Foundation’s longest-running effort to help remedy the problem of underrepresentation in the faculty ranks of higher education. Its name honors Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, the noted African American educator, statesman, minister, and former president of Morehouse College. 

Through a pipeline process that emphasizes mentoring, research support, programming, and the impact of student cohorts, Mellon partners with select colleges and universities to identify and support students of great promise and help them become scholars of the highest distinction. MMUF is open to colleges and universities by invitation; however, following a recent period of expansion, the Mellon Foundation is not currently planning to make invitations to additional institutions. 

The program is designed to encourage fellows to enter PhD programs that prepare students for professorial careers; it is not intended to support students who intend to go to medical school, law school, or other professional schools.

Through MMUF, Mellon aims to create a legacy of engaged scholars who will provide opportunities for all students to experience and learn from the perspectives of diverse faculty members and to help colleges and universities better represent the diversity of our country across all levels.

By increasing the number of students from underrepresented communities who pursue PhDs and by supporting the pursuit of PhDs by students who may not come from underrepresented minority groups but have demonstrated a commitment to the goals of MMUF the program has provided fellowships to more than 1,000 PhD recipients since its inception.