The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) is a two-year program designed for outstanding students in Mellon-designated humanities, arts, and social science fields who intend to pursue a PhD and a career in academia. Mellon Mays Fellows work closely with faculty advisers and graduate mentors to design and carry out an independent research project; they are encouraged to complete an honors thesis in their home departments, where available.

The MMUF program is named in honor of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays (1894-1984), educator, scholar, college president, and civil rights activist. The chief goal of the program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is to diversify the professoriate by increasing the number of faculty from underrepresented groups and also by supporting those with a demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities in higher education. For more information about the MMUF program, go to

Fellows enroll in the MMUF seminar course and independent research courses each quarter, and they conduct summer research their junior and senior years (junior year in an MMUF program at another campus and senior year at UCLA). In winter quarter of their junior years, Fellows enroll in Honors 101I: Research Today. Fellows receive Graduate Record Exam (GRE) preparation, assistance in completing graduate school applications, and professional development.

Fellows receive quarterly research stipends totaling $2,200 junior year and $5,000 senior year, as well as $3,900 each summer. Fellows enrolling in PhD programs in Mellon-designated fields within a defined time period after graduation are eligible for repayment of up to $10,000 of their undergraduate loans.

UCLA MMUF Selection Criteria

The UCLA MMUF program includes intensive undergraduate research, completion of a senior thesis project, and preparation for graduate school. Students interested in applying for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship must meet the following criteria:

  • Junior level standing (at least 90 units), and a spring or summer 2020 degree expected date
  • Minimum 3.25 GPA (earned at UCLA); transfer students are eligible to apply
  • US citizens, permanent residents, AB540 students and undocumented students are eligible to apply
  • Commitment to research and intention to enroll in a PhD program
  • Superb scholarly promise in a major that includes work in one of the following Mellon-designated fields at UCLA:
      Anthropology and Archaeology
      Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies
      Art History
      Geography and Population Studies
      English/Comparative Literature
      Film, Cinema, and Media Studies (theoretical focus)
      Musicology and Ethnomusicology
      Foreign Languages and Literatures
      Performance Studies (theoretical focus)
      Philosophy and Political Theory
      Religion and Theology
      Theater (non-performance focus)
      Interdisciplinary Studies: Interdisciplinary areas of study may be eligible if they have one or more Mellon field at their core.
How to Apply

Application Deadline: November 15, 2018

Submit an Undergraduate Research Fellows Program application (available in early October). To access and submit the application, click here or go to MyUCLA and choose “Campus Life” then “Survey.”

The application includes 3 components:

  1. Research statement
  2. Personal statement
  3. Letter of recommendation from your faculty mentor. Be sure to ask you faculty mentor early and provide him or her with the MMUF Letter of Recommendation Form.

Please view the Application Instructions and contact the Undergraduate Research Center with any questions.The Undergraduate Research Center also hosts informational workshops on the MMUF program. Click here and select “Scholarship Workshops” for a list of scheduled workshops. 

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. All materials must be submitted by the November 15 deadline.

Undergraduate Research Center –
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
A334 Murphy Hall; temporary summer 2018 location: 33442 Young Research Library
Monday through Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Tel: 310.825.2935
Fax: 310.267.5515