The program is named after Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, educator, college president, and civil rights activist, and it is underwritten by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens.

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program aims to increase the pool of young scholars qualified to meet the needs of educational institutions in the future. As stated by the Mellon Foundation:

“The program aims to reduce over time the serious under-representation of individuals from certain minority groups at the faculty level, as well as to address the attendant educational consequences of these disparities. The program serves the related goals of structuring campus environments so that they will become more conducive to improved racial and ethnic relations, and of providing role models for all youth.”

The Fellowship allows students to work on paid research projects during the academic year and to pursue full-time research during the summers between sophomore and junior years and between junior and senior years. The program also provides some assistance with student loans.

Application Dates and Deadlines

Yale Mellon Mays & Edward A. Bouchet Study Break
Yale Mellon Mays & Edward A. Bouchet Study Break

Eligible Fields of Study

To be eligible for selection as an MMUF fellow, students must be planning to study one or more of the below fields:

  • Anthropology and Archaeology
  • Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies
  • Art History
  • Classics
  • English
  • Film, Cinema and Media Studies (theoretical focus)
  • Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • Geography and Population Studies
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Musicology, Ethnomusicology and Music Theory
  • Performance Studies (theoretical focus)
  • Philosophy and Political Theory
  • Religion and Theology
  • Sociology
  • Theater (theoretical focus)

Application Requirements

The following documents must be received by the application deadline.

  • A short application, which includes two essays
  • Two letters of recommendation, one of which should be from a classroom instructor at Yale College
  • Writing sample (limit 10 pages; not restricted to your current or intended major/area of interest)
  • An unofficial copy of your Yale College transcript
  • A completed Faculty Mentor Assignment Form


The Academic Strategies Program at the Poorvu Center is offering the following supports for students applying to the Mellon-Mays & Bouchet Program this spring:



Stephane Andrade

Coordinator, Mellon Mays and Bouchet Undergraduate Fellowship Program
Get in Touch

Lucero Estrella

Coordinator, Mellon Mays and Bouchet Undergraduate Fellowship Program
Get in Touch