Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program

MMUF Fellows

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program (MMUF) was founded to increase the diversity among underrepresented faculty scholars in higher education

A principal goal of the program is to support faculty and students whose work exemplifies a drive toward greater equity in their fields and institutions. MMUF supports underrepresented students and others who have demonstrated commitment to advance humanistic inquiry and social justice that broaden our understanding of American history and culture to eradicate racial disparities in academia. Students are ecouraged to develop their academic interests and any project within the selected field, develop the interpretive tools and methods scholars use to create meaning, pursue and complete their doctoral training, and thrive in their faculty careers in higher education. With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MMUF undergraduates are able to conduct original undergraduate research in the humanities and social sciences and promote pathways for those seeking to exercise transformative academic leadership.


The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program at Wellesley College includes the following components:


A bi-weekly seminar is held during the academic year. Together with a faculty member, Mellon Mays Fellows meet to study the role of people of color in the development of our intellectual heritage, to examine the life and work of Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays, and to explore those academic traditions relevant to their intellectual aspirations and in their lives.

Research and Mentoring

MMUF students conduct individual research projects under the guidance of faculty mentors beginning in the summer after the sophomore year.  Fellows receive one-on-one mentoring with a Wellesley faculty member from the department of a Fellow’s major.  Fellows are also required to participate in a collaborative academic project with their mentor, which may include research or curriculum development. Research continues during the Fellow’s third and fourth academic years, as well as during the summers following the sophomore and junior years. This research experience is part of the scholar development that prepares Fellows for graduate study in their chosen fields.  Fellows will be awarded stipends for these projects of approximately $1800 per academic semester and up to $3,500 for approved summer research projects.

Additional Scholar Professional Development

Through professional development workshops, networking events, travel to conferences relevant to their research, presentation of their projects at scholarly meetings, and other opportunities, Fellows continue to hone their intellectual and academic interests.  

Loan Repayment

As a Wellesley College MMUF alumna, you may be eligible to have portions of your undergraduate and graduate school debt repaid by the Mellon Foundation, based on your progress in pursuing a PhD in the humanities and selected social and physical sciences. This loan repayment program may be applied to repayment of either undergraduate or graduate loans.