APPLY NOW: Smith Fellowship Application Deadline Extended

The deadline to apply for the Thomas Smith Fellowship has been extended to May 7, 2024.
Only current CUNY BA students can apply for the Smith Fellowship.


To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • Have at least 45 credits completed
  • Have at least 6 CUNY credits in progress as a CUNY BA student
  • Have at least 6 credits remaining to complete the CUNY BA degree requirements beyond the semester during which they apply for the Fellowship (students cannot apply during their last semester in the CUNY BA program)
  • Have no incompletes on their record without valid explanation and documentation
  • Be in good standing; not under ‘academic review’
  • International students may apply

Award Details

The Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship recognizes academic and intellectual achievement and excellence and is merit-based. Attention is given to the applicant’s GPA and the scholarly robustness of the applicant’s academic interests and plans. The committee is interested in candidates’ scholarly pursuits and depth of experience in their fields, corresponding co-curricular activities, and any academic honors and recognitions. The committee also notes civic and community engagement.

GPA is not the lone factor in the committee’s decision; however, you should maintain as strong a GPA as possible and include an explanation about any low/incomplete grades in your application. In this explanation, include your expectation of when any incomplete grades will be resolved and details on the steps you will take to improve your GPA.

Typically, 25 awards are given each year. Awards of $4,000 per semester are made to full-time students (minimum 12 credits per semester), $3,000 per semester to part-time students taking 9-11 credits per semester and $2,000 per semester for students taking 6-8 credits per semester). Awardees begin receiving funding in the semester following the one in which they apply for the fellowship. Awards are typically disbursed in October and March.

Please note: CUNY BA students who are also students of the Macaulay Honors College can apply for this fellowship. If awarded, however, and you also apply for and receive 5th-year funding from Macaulay, the Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship will not extend to cover your 5th year of college but will, instead, terminate when you reach 120 credits.

Award Requirements

In addition to maintaining award eligibility, awardees must:
Take at least six credits each semester following the award, attend an orientation and awards ceremony for their fellowship cohort, submit a report each semester to be considered for renewal, and have a graduation audit when they reach 90 credits.

Please be advised that CUNY BA reserves the right to scale back or terminate a recipient’s funding if it is determined that the student is taking excessive elective credits.

Smith Fellows who wish to receive funding during a term in which they are studying abroad must comply with the CUNY International Travel Guidelines. Fellows should contact Kate McPherson to coordinate their plans and receive approval as far in advance of their time abroad as possible.


Applications are accepted during the final months of the Fall and Spring semesters. Notifications of awards are sent out in December for the Fall semester and May for the Spring semester. A link to the application will be posted on this page when the fellowship is open.

When submitting your application, please ensure your responses are substantial and well thought out. Answer each question as accurately as possible. Carefully consider your answers and make sure you proofread before submitting your application. Also, please note the character limits on the form. You are encouraged to compose your responses in a separate document and copy and paste them into the online form.

Letter of recommendation for the Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship: A formal letter of recommendation is required. Your CUNY BA faculty mentor should write the letter. If you are new to the CUNY BA program and do not yet have a mentor, another CUNY faculty member can write your recommendation. Please do not ask a CUNY BA staff member to write your recommendation letter. We consider this a conflict of interest. The letter of recommendation should be emailed to as soon as possible.

Apply Here

The application for the Spring 2024 semester is open, and the deadline is now May 7th. Click here to apply.