The Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship

Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowships are funded through a donation by Mr. Thomas W. Smith to recognize academic excellence. Subject to maintenance of good academic standing, awards are renewable until the recipient completes their degree contract credits.

Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowships are funded through a donation by Mr. Thomas W. Smith to recognize academic excellence. Awards are disbursed in October and February. Subject to maintenance of good academic standing, awards are renewable until the recipient completes all degree contract credits. In order to be eligible, at the time of application students 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;
  • Have no incompletes on their record without valid explanation and documentation;
  • Be in good standing (not on academic probation).

Because the Smith Fellowship recognizes academic excellence, attention is given to the applicant’s GPA and to the seriousness of the applicant’s academic interests and plans. International students may apply. Typically, 25 awards are given each year. Awards of $2,715 per semester are made to full-time students (minimum 12 credits per semester) and $1,380-$2,070 per semester to part-time students (6-11 credits per semester). Please note: Macaulay Honors/CUNY BA students can apply for this Fellowship. If awarded, however, and you also apply for and receive 5th year funding from Macaulay, the Smith Fellowship will not extend to cover your 5th year of college but will, instead, terminate when you reach 120 credits. Recipients 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 graduate audit when they reach 100 credits. Please be advised that CUNY Baccalaureate 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. There are two primary requirements: 1) that students sign and submit a notarized copy of the travel waiver (pages 30-33) and 2) that they provide proof of purchase of the CUNY CISI travel insurance policy. Fellows should contact Kate McPherson to coordinate this documentation as far in advance of their time abroad as possible.


The Smith Fellowship recognizes academic and intellectual achievement and excellence. The committee is interested in candidates’ seriousness of purpose and depth of experience in their fields, corresponding co-curricular activities, as well as any academic honors and recognitions.  Civic and community engagement may be noted as well.

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 this explanation, include your expectation of when the incomplete grade will be finished.

The Spring 2021 Application has closed.

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